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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.


Sunny Hill Is Hard to Shoot

I’ve tried several times over the years to take a picture of the old Sunny Hill Restaurant  On West End Blvd. south of Independence because people keep asking about it.

I have yet to find a good angle, but here are some attempts.

No good angle

There’s no good angle. First off, it’s an ugly building with no personality. Then, the multi-story building that was once a motel and is now apartments put what used to be the restaurant entrance in deep shadows. This is one building I wouldn’t miss if it falls to a wrecking ball. Anything that would make you think of the Sunny Hill of old is long gone.

Fred Lynch has Frony photos

The Missourian’s Fred Lynch has run at least two Frony photos that will look more like what we remember of Sunny Hill in its heyday.

The Country Store

One of Dad’s favorite places was The Country Store, located just north of Sunny Hill. It was a general merchandise store that sold all kinds of odds and ends, with the emphasis on odd. Over the years, the store was added onto until it was shaped something like a scorpion. I looked to see I had a recent photo of the building, but it’s either gone or I didn’t think to shoot one. All of my aerials cut off just east of Sunny Hill.

Wife Lila, who was proofing this, said she thought Mother had taken a photo of the Country Store right after we gave her a digital camera and while she was roaming all over town trying it out. I’m pretty sure this is it, but I’ll let someone else tell me for sure.

 

27 comments to Sunny Hill Is Hard to Shoot

  • Mary Jean Rodgers Harmon

    Oh, I really liked the Sunny Hill Restaurant. My first roommate worked there as a waitress and I ate there frequently. When I brought my fiance’ home to meet my parents, he stayed in the hotel there. Sorry to see the restaurant closed. Really liked their plate-sized cinnamon buns and their pecan cream pie.

  • vicky Berry DeReign

    I ate many meals there. I remember eating sherbet for breakfast on a Sunday morning. Funny what we remember.

  • G. Paul Corbin

    Sunny Hill is the first restaurant I remember going to as a youngster. I favorite meal was a ham salad sandwich with a chocolate malt.

  • Sunny Hill was the first REAL restaurant I ever went too. I remember the large glass ware that they served malted milks and there WAS malt in them.
    A Pineapple salad…(a ring of pineaplle, sitting on cottage cheese on top of a lettuce leaf)….did not matter after that what you ate, you were in heaven.
    A great an very up scale place to eat in Cape in the 1950’s and 60’s.
    For some reason I did not eat there many times…But the one, and only, time with Andy Pemeberton’s Grandfather. I still remember that meal…let Andy tell that story about how hot Andy’s Gandfater wanted his soup.

  • Butch Wilkinson

    My mother was the cook there for a few years. I used to eat breakfast there a lot. Enjoyed it, miss it.

  • Joy Hargraves Dunn '72

    I grew up in the 1500 block of Good Hope. Sunny Hill and The Country Store were very “handy”….I would go to the Country Store with my dad, walk for miles looking in the long isles of neat stuff, THEN, if i was good sometimes he would take me next door to Sunny Hill to get an ice cream before we headed back on our very short trip home….. both places were great stops walking to and from the Capaha park to swim. Sunny Hill had the BEST little toasted bread to eat with meals…..good memories!!

  • Brad Verhines

    Mike OConnell was a short order cook in the late 60s

  • We bought an iron doorstop shaped like a Dachshund at the Counrty Store and years later when we sold our house on Independence Street and had an auction to get rid of some 40 years of accumulation we put it into the auction and there was a bidding war for our $10 doorstop. The final bid was $50 as best we can remember. Wish all our items had done so well! The Country Store was a fun place to shop.

  • Vickie Boren

    My mom was a waitress in the Golden Coin for several. I remember my dad taking my sister and I to the restaurant to get ice cream and go in to say hi to Mom. Then we would go over to the Country Store and roam up and down the aisles. When I got married in 1976, we had our rehearsal dinner at the Top of the Hill. Ahh, those were the days…..

  • Mary Jean Rodgers Harmon

    I would love to have the recipe for the pecan cream pie. It was really good and I have never had anything like it since. If anyone knows where I could get it I would be grateful.

  • Dick Hopper

    During WW II when the Boy Scouts held paper drives, we scouts were scheduled in shifts to eat lunch at Sunny Hill and alloed $0.50 each. And, most scouts could not eat the full $0.50 worth!!

    Another comment about the paper drives. the papers were dilivered to Pollack’s recycling place of business -then know as a junk yard. The loaded trucks would drive onto the scales, weighed, then driven to the back, unloaded and then weighed again empty going out. In keeping with the “scout tradition” ):, some scuuts would bury themselves under the paper when weighing in, and walk out when the trucks were weighed going out. Boys will be Boys?

  • Sunny hill was a clean place with great food. After my 6th grade teacher she would come from St. Louis to visit. She would write to let me know she when she got to Cape so I could contact former classmates. We met at Sunny Hill to have a coke and catch up. My senior class (1970 Central High graduate) had our banquet at the top of the restaurant. It was a great place to enjoy oneself without the piped in music they put along with some TVs in restaurants today.

  • Bill Stone

    Sunny Hill was the first restaurant I can remember going to and it was a treat. My favorite meal was the same as Paul Corbin’s, a ham salad sandwich and Chocolate malt. The ice cream was a treat. I remember after football practice going there for a lemonade.
    Later Jan and I would consider it a treat to eat at the Golden Coin restaurant. We were there celebrating our anniversary one July 2nd when Cape experienced a massive power outage. We finished our dinner by candlelight and got a free dinner because they couldn’t use the electronic cash drawer!

  • Keith Robinson

    Ken, it is interesting that you note the shape of the Country Store. The reason for the crescent shape was the railroad track that ran along the south side of the building. This was part of the old Houck Cape Girardeau & Chester, and later the Cape Girardeau Northern Railroads that also ran down the middle of Indepence Street to the east. The CG&C was started in 1905 by Louis Houck and ran through western Cape, through the Arena Park area, past the former Hawthorn (now Clippard) School, on to Jackson, Fruitland, Perryville and Chester. Later it was reorganized into the Cape Girardeau Northern. In 1927 the line was purchased by the Missouri Pacific, and the line beyond the Arena Park was abandoned. In 1986, the Missouri Pacific shut down the branch and finally pulled up the last of the rails.

  • Judy Breckinridge

    My aunt and uncle, Clara and Louie Blattner, owned the dairy and then opened the restuaranr later. Mother and Daddy helped Aunt Clara stock the restaurant (including the glass sundae and ice cream soda.glasses), and then Mother and the ladies from church hemmed hundreds of tea towels made from flour sacks. My favorites were the phosphates and thie toasted ham salad sandwiches. Sitting in a booth, watching the milk being processed on the other side of the big glass windows kept us occupied while we were eating! Loved that place and loved the Sunday dinners of comfort food there.

  • Janet Robert

    Ham salad sandwich toasted and the chocolate malt! Must have been everyone’s favorite. That was a real treat for me as a young girl. We lived nearby and would walk there. My dad worked at Tucker Truck Lines on Independence and I would go with him to work in the office. Wonderful memories!! Golden Coin was good also and I remember some good parties on Top of the Hill. It is a rather sad place now.

  • Ginny Wrape Johnston

    I feel like I grew up there. My parents, the Wickert’s, Riley’s, Kramer’s, Durkin’s, Roberts met there all the time. The kids would run around the parking lot and on the elevators. Stayed there for the senior prom in 1979. Again…great memories, great times!

  • Dick Hopper

    Anyone remember when the Cape police were caught stealing hams fro Sunny Hill?

  • Dick Hopper

    It happened in the 1949-50 time frame I think. The Southeaste Missourian may have something in their archives. One contact might be Charley Blattner in Cape. His relatives were connected with Sunny Hill. Charley and I ran in the same crowd back then.

  • renee brown

    My parents & there friends use to stay here ! I had so much fun swimming in the pool & eating at the resturant!Then we went to the golden coin bar & my dad always got me a kiddie cocktail!!We also shoopped at the store next door soo much fun !!

  • Jeff Stephens

    I want desperately to find pics of Sunny Hill as it was in its hay day. My mother (Joy) worked at the front desk for many many years, leaving there when they finally closed.

    • Your best bet is probably going to by The Missourian. Go to Fred Lynch’s blog’s archives. I think I saw at least four stories there. The next thing is to contact Sharon Sanders, Missourian librarian. She also does a blog and is the keeper of the flame.

      The Special Collections Department at SEMO might be able to help you, too. My contact there has moved on, so I don’t know who to tell you to talk with.

  • Maxine Ulrich Phillips

    As a 16 year old in 1950, I worked evenings part-time Saturday and Sunday while in Central High. It was a fun time and the food was super. Mr and Mrs Blatner was very kind to the young people that worked for them. Remembering they furnished transportation home after work in their big 48 or 50 Chrysler sedan. My folks lived on Southwest Blvd. Those were the good ol’ days.

  • renee

    had so many memorys at this motel with my parents !! would love to have a picture of it !!

  • John Gilbert

    I remember it well. In the early 60’s, I would have been in Jr High School which was on pacific, now senior housing. After school I would walk my first love and girl friend, Pam Beard, home after school. She lived on the street behind Sunny Hill. I lived all the way over on Middle street by the bridge so it was always a long walk home after that. She always wanted to stop in there for a soda or ice cream. Prior to that on Sunday afternoons my dad and mom would take us for a drive in the country and we would always stop there for sherbet. Whatever happen to Sunny Hill Dairy? Was it bought out and if so by whom?

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