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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

Kage School Then and Now

Kage School interior, circa 1966I photographed Kage School just before it closed in 1966, after 112 years of service. Here is what it looked like then. Follow this link to read the amazing history of this progressive school.

47 years later

Kage School 10-19-2013_8712One of my readers mentioned that they had been inside the school and had been disappointed at its condition. I made a quick stop and found that it was rough, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected. This shot was taken from just about the same spot at the 1966 photo. It’s funny how much bigger the room felt with kids in it.

Is it haunted?

Kage School 10-19-2013_8690

There are two questions I get asked a lot: “Is it haunted?” “Is there a tunnel leading down to the river as part of the Underground Railroad?”

I can pretty much always answer the latter as “No.” The jury is out on the first question. I don’t know about “haunts,” but I can feel some kind of spirits or vibes in some buildings. It’s probably my overactive imagination, but something triggers a reaction that I hope is reflected in some of my photos.

More often than not, I wonder about the people who passed through the buildings. Who, for example, was the last child to write addition tables on this board before the door was closed for the last time?

Every once in awhile, not often, a building will hit me stronger than I like.

Why this and not that?

Kage School 10-19-2013_8705Why would someone leave behind a roll of toilet paper or some tiny bowls?

Flash cards, books and bingo cards

Kage School 10-19-2013_8666The kids who used these items have grandkids and maybe great-grandkids today. I wonder if they are some of the ones who carved their names in the bricks in the back of the school?

Earlier Kage School stories

Kage School WS initials on wall 03-18-2020

 Kage School photo gallery

Here are photos of the interior of the school. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.

4 comments to Kage School Then and Now

  • Martha Hamilton

    I’ve never seen a ghost, but can’t say if they don’t exist. I do believe energy of past lives can be sensed in old houses and buildings. Where does sound or voices go you hear them?

  • Why such high ceilings? Wouldn’t that cost a lot more to heat in the winter?


  • Gail Hennecke

    After the school closed, I thought that a car club met in the building.

  • Charlie Herbst

    The Capaha Antique Car Club met there the 4th Tuesday of each month for many years. When the building began having some issues, the car club purchased some property to have their club meetings. I recall the desks piled up against the west wall, with all the books, etc in the same place as when it ceased being a school. I recently toured the building and it appears just as it did when I was there many years ago.

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