Rerun: Santa Mystery Solved

Shopper eyes Santa Claus in Cape Girardeau (actually Jackson)As promised, I’m taking a short break over the holidays and offering up rerun links to older posts.

This story about Christmas shoppers from December 9, 2009, was one of my earliest posts. I made some guesses about where they might have been taken in Cape.

It set the tone for all my posts to follow:

  1. I got most of the facts wrong
  2. My readers went to great lengths to prove I was wrong and to provide the correct information.

By December 12,  Brother Mark, Bill Hopkins, Chuck Blitstein, Jesse James and Brenda Bone Lapp chimed in with opinions, speculation and photographs, but it took The Missourian team of Fred Lynch and Cathy Hancock to determine the photos were taken in Jackson, not Cape.

Hey, close is good enough in horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear war; I mean I was only seven miles off, give or take?

We know where this is

Rexall Drugs in Jackson, MOBy December 14, the Fred and Cathy team helped figure out where in Jackson these photos were taken, too. Jim Vangilder filled in more blanks.

After that, I wasn’t afraid to post mystery photos. With few exceptions, someone always stepped up to the plate to provide the (maybe) correct information.

This is one of those exceptions: nobody has come up with who these cheerleader-looking types are.

 

 

Bill’s and Hirsch’s Midtown

Bill's Courtesy Cleaners signWe’re dipping into Terry Hopkins‘ dad’s General Sign box again. This time I ran across two signs that shared a bunch of elements.

Bill’s Courtesy Cleaners was located at 1107 Broadway, more or less across from Houck Stadium. The cleaners were housed in one of two buildings built by Eddie Erlbacher shortly after World War II. I photographed the school board moving a big safe out of the second floor of the twin building to the east.

The property had an interesting past, detailed in a Fred Lynch blog in April 6, 2010.

Hirsch’s Midtown

Hirsch's Midtown signThe Hirsch’s sign’s has the same arrow and basic shape. I wonder how many other businesses in the area shared those pieces / parts?

I did a post on Hirsch’s Midtown in 2012, and it generated quite a few comments. So many, in fact, I followed up with another story about the Hirsch Bros. No. 2, otherwise known as Hirsch’s Northtown.

It was better known to later generations as the Mule Lip or Margarita Mama’s. It’s a casualty of the Casino, but the Midtown store is still standing.

Mystery sign

Hirsch's Midtown signIf you look closely at the bottom right of the Hirsch’s sign, there are some tiny red letters faintly visible. Blowing them up just makes them blurrier. The appear to spell COFERS. I looked at the 1968 City Directory and didn’t see any business in the 200 block of South Sprigg that came close to that.

Ideas?

 UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I usually post the blog at about 2 a.m., and after I’m done I check to see if Fred Lynch has updated his f/8 and Be There blog. I didn’t check it before going to bed, so I was stunned this morning to see his topic was “Cofer’s Men’s Store.”

I emailed him to ask if he had seen my topic and decided to piggyback it (we exchange links, which builds traffic for both of us, and it helps readers fill in the gaps).

His response: “Are you kidding? I’m in bed by 10 pm. You retired folks amaze me with your sleeping habits. Anyway, I am two weeks or more ahead with finished blogs so yes, quite a coincidence.”

Working people can be SO organized. I usually don’t start thinking about the next days’ post until around 9 p.m. the night before.

605 Good Hope: Ruh’s Super Market

605 Good Hope Ruh's Market among other things 10-10-2014The nondescript building at 605 Good Hope looked familiar, but I couldn’t place what had been in there over the years. A quick Internet search showed that for the longest time, it was Ruh’s Super Market.

Fred Lynch’s Missourian blog has a Frony photo that will show you what it looked like right after it opened in 1936. Fred has a nice summary of the history of the building and its owner, Frank C. Ruh, in his post.

Here is Mr. Ruh’s obituary from the February 13, 1959, Missourian. He died at 77, after nearly 52 years in retail business. He and G.H. Gross opened Gross and Ruh Market at the corner of Good Hope and Frederick in 1907. When Mr. Gross died in 1931, he continued operation of the business and moved to 605 Good Hope in 1936.

[Editor’s note: the obituary said Gross died in 1931; Fred’s account says 1932. It’s not uncommon for obits to be different than contemporary reporting. Obits are frequently based on memories, not research.]

1954 Ruh’s advertisement

1954-05-24 Ruh's AdFor some reason, we never shopped at Ruh’s. I don’t know if Mother didn’t like the business or if she preferred to shop at Hirsch’s Midtown Grocery on Sprigg if we were in Haarig. This ad ran in the May 24, 1954, Missourian.

Thompson’s TV and Appliances

1961-05-17 Thompson's ad 605 Good HopeAfter Ruh’s death, Thompson’s TV and Appliances moved into 605 Good Hope in 1961. This advertisement ran in the May 17 Missourian.

VIP Industries came in 1967

VIP Industries, a sheltered workshop, moved into the facility in 1967. By 1982, a Missourian story reported, VIP employed almost 300 handicapped residents in a five-county area here, in Marble Hill and in Perryville.

I don’t know what is in the building today.

 

Hobbs Chapel Cemetery

Hobbs Chapel CemeteryWhen you live in the land of skinny pine and palm trees, you forget how impressive the big trees of the Midwest are. I’ve taken photos in the Hobbs Chapel Cemetery before, but I can’t lay my hands on them just this minute.

What caught my eye Sunday, though was not the gravestones, it was the big tree dominating the cemetery.

Chapel completed in 1892, burned in 1993

Hobbs Chapel CemeteryMissourian photographer Fred Lynch had a photo of the church in his July 15, 2013, blog. I’m not sure, but the skinny tree in one of the photos taken by One-Shot Frony in 1935 might be this one.