If you don’t mind a short walk, I like the overlooks at the Trail of Tears State Park north of Cape or the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in Cairo.
I don’t know that I was ever in the building, but Fred Lynch and Sharon Sanders did a pretty good job of nailing down the history of the landmark building in Fred’s blog.
Idan-Ha Hotel sign
You can see the Idan-Ha Hotel sign off in the distance on the left. The N’Orleans sign shows up behind one for the State of Missouri Employment Service. The Idan-Ha burned in 1989, and the N’Orleans is sitting empty today.
Built in 1915
Fred’s blog said the building was constructed in 1915. In 1937, Harris Motor Car Co. razed the adjoining Dr. Adolph List house, built in 1888, to expand its operation. Another story noted that the List house was modeled after a German castle.
Turned into apartments in 2001
I couldn’t find a story about the fire, but there was an ad in the Dec. 3, 1965, Missourian saying to watch for the Grand Opening of Harris Motor Car Co. The 1968 City Directory listed Harris Motor Car Co. at Highway 61 North and Independence.
In 1968, Charmin, which was building its new plant near Neely’s Landing, leased space in the “former Harris Motor Car Building.” In 1971 the paper reported that the building had been converted into an apartment complex by Vernon Rhodes.
The Cape Girardeau Historic Preservation Commission announced its list of 11 of the city’s most endangered buildings in hopes of raising awareness about the building’s uncertain futures.
One of the buildings is the old Cape Cut Rate Drug Store at 635 Good Hope, the southeast corner of Good Hope and Sprigg. I’ve been shooting the building for at least three or four years, but I kept putting off doing a story until I got the photo I wanted. I guess it’s time to go with what I’ve got.
Going to be teen club
I was on a bike ride a couple of summers ago when I noticed a dumpster in front of the building and some work going on. I stuck my head inside and was told that someone was going to fix it up for use as a teen hangout to give neighborhood kids a place to go. I didn’t have the equipment with me to shoot in the dark, so I said I’d come back. That was the last time I saw any activity in the place.
Roof peeling off
In the few minutes I spent inside the old drug store, I could see that the roof had been leaking for quite some time and that the interior was charred like it had caught fire at some point. I happened by the place on a windy day and say big pieces of roofing material flapping in the wind, so I know where the water came from.
A regular stop
No telling how many times I passed through these doors because we spent a fair amount of time in the Haarig district.
Dad’s construction office was in Farmers and Merchants Bank, the place we did our banking.
I got my hair cut by Ed Unger at the Stylerite Barbershop.
We bought our ice from the Pure Ice Company
Suedkum Hardware was better than Disney World. (Or course, Disney World hadn’t been invented yet.)
You hoped you weren’t sick enough to see Dr. Herbert
If it was REALLY serious, you went to St. Francis Hospital
We could buy clothes at Schades and shop for groceries at Hirsch’s Midtown.
At Sprigg and William, in the next block up, you could go to church at St. Mary’s, buy a car at Clark Buick and a TV from Lorberg’s.
In later years, we’d stop in to see Doris.
What is Haarig?
Haarig was the heavily German section of Cape Girardeau. You can read about the history of Harrig and its buildings in this National Register of Historic Places registration form. Here is a list of last year’s endangered buildings.
Old Jefferson School has been removed because it was torn down.
635 Good Hope Photo Gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on sides to move through the gallery.
There was a confusing Out of the Past column note that talked about how the business got into its current location: “Dec. 22, 1959: A three-way shift is underway in the 700 block of Broadway that will transfer Michael’s Drug Store, Broadway Prescription Shop and the Blue Note Cafe to different locations; the store is moving to the Bauer building at the northwest corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street; the Blue Note will move to the Michael property at 731 Broadway; and Homer George will move Broadway Prescription to the Blue Note’s current spot.”
The brown brick building to the west used to be occupied by Dr. Wilson and Dr. Estes.
Changes since 2009 photo
Broadway Prescription Shop, Cape’s oldest drugstore, has undergone some changes since I shot this photo in the fall of 2009.
Two SEMO graduates, Lee Schlitt and Kevin Wood, bought the pharmacy in 2011. One of the most visible changes to passersby on Broadway is a restoration of the 40-year-old wooden sign that is said to be the oldest one in Cape.
One of the things that struck me when I did a history of the shoe factory was how the lives of the employees were recorded over the years in the newspaper. The Broadway Prescription Shop was much the same way, with stories of weddings, births and hospital stays popping up from time to time.
Here are some obituaries connected with the drugstore:
- Milton George: Milton Armor George, 79, of Cape Girardeau passed away Friday, May 4, 2012, at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau.Milton graduated from Cape Girardeau Central High School and St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation, he joined the family business, Broadway Prescription Shop, with his father Homer. He purchased the business from his father, and upon retirement in 1998, sold the business to his brother, Harry George.
- Jean Gerhardt: Jean Haynes Gerhardt, 70, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, Jan. 23, 2003, in North Carolina. Mrs. Gerhardt worked for Dr. Nussbaum several years, and retired fromBroadway Prescription Shop.
- Donald Hente: Donald Martin Hente, 95, of Cape Girardeau, died Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, at The Lutheran Home. Donald attended Trinity Lutheran Grade School. He was a graduate of College High School. He was also a graduate of St. Louis College of Pharmacy. He was a pharmacist for Broadway Prescription Shop, Finney’s and various other Southeast Missouri pharmacies.
- Runyon Dyer: Runyon Estes Dyer, 92, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001, at Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau. Runyon was employed as a pharmacist in Cape Girardeau by the late Homer George in March 1949, and worked for Broadway Prescription Shop 36 years before retiring in 1985.