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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.


Rerun: Old Trinity Church

Old Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 bellI grew up in the old Trinity Lutheran Church. I was baptized and confirmed there; was cast in way too many Christmas pageants, counted bugs on the ceiling when I was bored, and saw Dad’s casket in the front of the altar. Today’s post is a collection of stories I’ve done on the old Trinity.

When I heard that the building was being torn down just short of its 100th anniversary because it was “structurally deficient,” Brother Mark and I tried to document as much of it as possible. I put quotes around “structurally deficient” because the discovery was made just about the time a sizable donation came in that stipulated that it could only be used to build a new church.

Here’s what it looked like in the bell tower. Follow the links to see the whole story and to read the many comments.

1954 pledge drive

Trinity Lutheran Church CongregationThe church conducted a $225,000 pledge drive in 1954. This picture was used in a brochure promoting the drive. The post logged two dozen comments, so I wasn’t the only one picking out faces.

New Trinity at dusk

Trinity Lutheran Church steeple at sunset 11-16-2011I was walking back to my car when I saw the new federal building and the new Trinity Lutheran church in the fading sunlight.

That’s as close as I’m ever going to get to the building. MY church was torn down and many of the things that made it special were discarded, so I have no reason to go into the new Trinity.

And, yes, I know that church is more than bricks and stained glass. That’s why you rarely see me in one.

From the tower

View from Trinity Lutheran Church bell tower 08-1978When Mark and I shot the bell tower, I also took pictures out the windows in all four directions. The tall white building off in the distance is the KFVS tower.

There’s an aerial of the neighborhood in this post, too.

Sanctuary and altar

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 142The most striking part of the church was the sanctuary with its imposing altar. Jesus was hauntingly realistic.

Unfortunately, He wasn’t welcome in the new church and has, reportedly, bounced around a bit, becoming damaged in the process. I heard that He might be out at the old Hanover School.

The balcony

Trinity Lutheran Church 08-1978 135Our family usually headed to the balcony. I loved its majestic sweep. On the wall behind the organ was printed Psalms 26:8 –  “Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house and the place where Thine honor dwelleth.”

If you follow the link, you can see the inscription in the background of a photo of workers dismantling the pews and lowering them to the ground floor.

One of my readers reported the words were still visible when a bulldozer strained to pull the building down.

Lutheran Church mural

Lutheran mural on 501 Broadway 03-22-2010The church owned a property at the corner of Broadway and Middle with a huge blue mural painted on it: “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” There’s a plaque in the corner that is a who’s-who list of well-known Trinity donors who paid for the sign.

The building had deteriorated to the point where it had to be razed in 2011. I toured the 501 Broadway property with David Renshaw, one of the most introspective demolition men I’ve ever met.

Nothing left but bricks

Demolition of building at 501 Broadway 12-15-2011When David was through, there was nothing left but debris that was quickly hauled away. A parking lot is there today.

I was given a piece of the blue cement block as a souvenir.

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7 comments to Rerun: Old Trinity Church

  • jonathan Justus vogel

    Wow.. That’s quite a memorial to a grand ol’ dame. I particularly liked your balcony/interior shots. Thanks, Ken

  • Phyllis

    Too bad such a historically profound site could not be preserved. That happens to too many sites in the world. History goes into the atmosphere!!! Glad there are people such as yourself who try to preserve these memories!!

  • Brune Time Observation

    Though some of my closest friends are lutheran…. I Never did quite trust the “Lutheran Kids”…. they seemed to have a little secret exclusive club. Then I met the “catholic kids” …. they were even moreso. Married one of those.
    Perhaps my sentiments are similar to ken steinhoff’s…. I have always loved churches (especially old ones) and the individuals who fill them…. but hated ‘the church’. Maybe ‘distrust’ is a more PC word. Descry the evil that has been perpetuated on human-kind …. for the good of and in the name of ‘THE CHURCH’!

    Oops…. did I say that out loud……

  • Clarence Perr

    Thank you for the old photos and stories of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape. When I was going to school at the Lutheran School my father was one of the bell ringers and sometimes he would let me ring the bell. It took a lot of pulling to get it swinging and ringing without being pulled off of my feet by its momentum. I was confirmed and married in that church. Whenever we visit in Cape we still go there to worship although we miss the original church, especially the beautiful alter.

    I also enjoy all of your articles on the Lutheran church in Altenburg and its people. I was born there and remember some of the people you write about. I was also baptized in the old church and went to school in the one room school house.

    Class of 62 Cape Central High

  • David Klaproth, '61

    I also grew up in Trinity, was confirmed there. The way a church should be…

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