Dutchtown Cemetery on Ridge

There’s an old cemetery atop a ridge overlooking Dutchtown that I feel compelled to visit every time I come to Cape. There’s no particular reason to go up there. We have no family buried there. I’ve never followed a hearse up the steep, narrow road to the burying ground, but something calls me.

Cemetery over 125 years old in 1967

A Missourian story about the closing of Dutchtown’s St. Edward’s Catholic Church said the cemetery was more than 125 years old in 1967. That would put it between 175 and 200 years old today. I’m going to take that with a tiny grain of salt.

The cemetery was located on the hill because much of the surrounding land was swamp.

The first St. Edward’s, a frame building, was built in 1898, but burned January 29, 1928. The first mass in church that served the community for 69 years was offered in 1928. A nationwide shortage of priests was given as the reason for the 1967 closure.

You can see the steeple of the church in the background of a Frony photo of Dutchtown that Fred Lynch used in his blog. Librarian Sharon Sanders has two stories about the church in her column.

Coffins carried at shoulder level

The Missourian story said parishioners recalled seeing pallbearers. sometimes walking in the rain, bearing coffins at shoulder level up this steep hill. It’s paved these days, but it’s still a tough pull in my car. I’d hate to think of carrying a coffin up there. [I was trying to figure out whether “coffin” or “casket” was the correct term and have to admit I didn’t know the difference. A coffin, I found, is defined as a funerary box with six sides, generally tapered around the shoulders; a casket is generally four-sided.]

Photographed for years and different seasons

These photos were taken over several years and in different seasons. This was taken Oct. 27, 2011.

Cemetery well-maintained

The fenced part of the cemetery is well-maintained.

Path leads to ridge

At the top of the narrow road is a small space just barely big enough to turn around. If you walk to your right up the hill and through a gate, you enter the fenced-in cemetery. If you go straight up, you’re taken to a trail that runs along the ridge. That’s the part I find most fascinating.

Tombstones scattered all over hill

As you walk along the ridge, you encounter a dozen or more tombstones scattered apparently randomly all over the hillside. Some of them are large; some of them mark the final resting places of whole families. It’s daunting enough to think of getting a coffin up there; I don’t know what kind of effort it would take to haul a tombstone weighing several hundreds of pounds that high.

Markers from before 1900

One small stone marks the grave of an infant who was born in 1896 and died “aged 11 M 25 D.”  The inscription reads, “A little infant of ours so dear lies sweetly sleeping here.”

Find A Grave has some information

The website Find A Grave has some information about the site. It lists two “famous” internments:

  • John Lockee – a member of Company H for the Illinois Artillery. He was killed in the Civil War.
  • L. Jackson Summerlin – born 1845, died 1916. His property became what is known as Dutchtown Cemetery. His family plot is one that sits outside the fenced area.

Here is a partial list of other  internments from Find A Grave. Here’s a more complete list compiled by an individual.

Photo gallery of Dutchtown cemetery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery. Please chime in if you know anything about the place. I haven’t found much information on it.

 

 

Beard’s Sport Shop, 818 Broadway

A reader was asking me about 818 Broadway. It’s been a whole lot of things, but it’ll always be Beard’s Sport Shop to me. When I photographed it in 2009, the sign on the front of building said Grace Cafe, but I think it had already closed its doors. I used to go to Grace Cafe when it was located in the old Vandeven’s Mercantile building at Pacific and Broadway because they had a fast internet connection.

Ornate decorations

I never noticed how ornate the trim was on the building until I looked at these photos. I thought that it might have been added recently, but Fred Lynch had a Frony photo of Beard’s and Wayne’s Grill that shows it clearly in 1961.

When Friend Shari and I shot the interior of the Broadway Theater in December, we retreated across the street for some coffee to thaw out. I couldn’t remember the name of the place, but a Missourian business column on April 18, 2011, said “Calix Coffee opened at 818 Broadway, at the former Grace Cafe location in Cape Girardeau. Owner Andrew Whaley, Jackson, previously worked at Grace Cafe as a barista. The shop sells coffee and fresh baked pastries, and Whaley hopes to add sandwiches and salads in the future.”

That must be it.

You can barely make out the Beard’s sign in a photo I ran the other day of a wreck at night on Broadway.

Interested in Pinterest?

I’m always a little slow in adopting new social media, but Son Matt added a new button to the front of the blog. You’ve been able to “Like” a page on Facebook and Google+ for some time. Starting last week, you could “pin” an image on Pinterest. It’s probably easier to show you some of my stuff that’s been “pinned” than to try to explain it. It’s sort of a nice way to get a high-level feel for the kind of stuff I shoot.

 

The Ghost of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

What you’re looking at on the east side of the Broadway Theater is the ghost of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. Notice the outline of the chimneys and the roofing tar.

It took a little time to figure out what had been there because the 1968 City Directory didn’t have a listing for the Broadway Theater, but it DID have Shakey’s Pizza Parlor (Rivermart, Inc.) at 801 Broadway. The 1979 directory listed both businesses.

Pair charged in Arson in 1981

The front page of the May 24, 1981, Missourian showed a photo of Shakey’s Pizza with a story that said that two Cape Girardeau men were charged with arson and burglary as the result of a fire that heavily damaged Shakey’s Pizza Parlor at 801 Broadway early Saturday morning. I won’t name the two because I didn’t bother to track the outcome of the case.

Sgt. Jack Reubel, a special arson investigator … said there were “five points of origin of fire” in the basement and dining area of the pizza parlor. The resulting fire heavily damaged the rear areas of the basement and dining area and caused extensive smoke damage to the upstairs portion of the building, according to firefighters.

Shakey’s and Broadway sold in 1985

  • A June 9, 1985, business column by Frony said that the old Broadway Theater and a building adjacent to its east side were acquired by Vinyard Christian Fellowship from Kerasotes Missouri Theaters, Inc.  The theater closed March 15, 1984. The adjacent two-story building had been unused since a fire several years ago had gutted the ground floor, occupied by Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. The second floor was once occupied by offices of the old Southeast Missouri Telephone Co.
  • Fred Lynch has Frony pictures of the Blizzard of ’79, including photos of Broadway being plowed.
  • Ray Owen’s January 10, 1994, business column reported that “the fire-damaged structure which housed Shakey’s Pizza Parlor more than a decade ago, is being demolished to make way for a parking lot for Kerasotes Theaters. The building was recently acquired by Kerasotes Theaters, which owns the movie house adjoining the structure. [This is a little confusing because Frony’s 1985 column said Kerasotes sold the property in 1985 and that the Broadway closed in 1984. Did the deal with the church fall through and did it reopen as a theater later?]
  • Shakey’s Pizza and Dino’s Pizza must have had something good called Mojo Potatoes, based on the number of references I saw to them. Susan McClanahan ran a recipe for some that were supposed to be similar.
  • Recent photos of the Broadway Theater

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train Cars Hop Track

Twenty-seven railroad cars squashed together in a massive pileup Monday morning (March 7, 1966) about a mile north of Neely’s Landing. Two crew members were hurt and two workers were injured later during the clean-up operations, the Missourian story said.

“It’s one of the worst train wrecks I’ve ever seen,” a railroad worker of 44 years commented.

Frisco on regular run

The 76-car Frisco freight train was on its daily St. Louis-to-Memphis run when the cars in the middle derailed almost directly in front of the main cut of the Westlake Rock Quarry, a 200-foot bluff to the west. The Mississippi River was about 150 feet to the east, but no cars went into the river.

Conductor and brakeman injured

Engineer J.H. Davenport lost contact with his crew after the pileup. He found that the conductor, A.L.Bailey, and the rear brakeman, R.L Becker, were injured and “shook up.” He phoned for help from the home of Sylvester Hitchcock at Neely’s Landing. The two injured crewmen were taken to the Frisco Hospital in St. Louis. Neither was seriously hurt.

Massive cranes came from St. Louis and Memphis

Two wrecker crews worked with giant cranes mounted on railroad flatcars to clear the tracks. A crew from Memphis, with a 250-ton crane, worked the wreck from the south. A St. Louis crew, working with a slightly smaller crane attacked from the north.

Bulldozer shoved, pushed and rammed

Gerald Ford of Neely’s Landing used a bulldozer to help push the freight cars off the tracks. As the steel cable on the crane pulled one end of the cars, the dozer shoved, pushed and rammed the other end.

What caused it?

It was working this wreck that I stumbled onto a technique that came in handy over the years. Nobody would comment on the cause of the derailment, so I tried getting the workers aside and asked, “You’ve seen a lot of these things. When you’ve pulled apart ones that looked like this one, what did you find?”

The engineer said he thought the cause might have been a spreading of the rails or a break in the rails. One of the crewmen said that one of the wheels might have frozen and jumped the tracks.

Cable whipped back on workmen

Two crewmen were injured when a cable whipped back striking about six workmen and catching the legs of two of the men.

I learned from experience to be wary of cables. One of the first things Dad taught me when I was a kid hanging around his job sites was to always step on, not over, a cable on the ground. That way you’d be thrown to the side instead of being cut in half if someone suddenly took up the slack without warning. I saw enough tow cables go whipping around to always stay a cable-length away when they were under load.

It was a cold night

This must have been one of those nights when Frony said, “Let the Kid handle it.”

I was going to comment that we didn’t have any access problems at the scene, but the last paragraph of the story says that a Frisco official grabbed a Missourian photographer (me) as he was taking a picture of the wreckage. He warned the photographer and a Missourian reporter not to get too close. Another reporter who did not have a press card was told to leave.

Frisco was better than the B&O

That’s still better than the treatment I was used to getting when the B&O Railroad would pile up a train in southern Ohio. Their railroad bulls were of the ilk and era of the days when hobos were rousted from the trains by clubs and worse. To add to the problem, they had law enforcement powers and were quick to threaten you with arrest for trespassing on their right-of-way. Derailments were common because their tracks were in miserable shape, with rotted ties and spikes that were loose or missing.

I thought I had them when a trainload of new automobiles piled up south of Athens, Ohio. Before I headed to the scene, I stopped by the county courthouse to see who owned the land alongside the track. I called the farmer to ask if I could cut across his field and shoot the wreck from his property. “Sure,” he said. “You’re welcome.” Then, just as I was starting to put the phone down with a sly smile on my face, he finished his sentence. “You do remember, don’t you, that the Hocking River is flooding. You’re going to have to be about nine feet tall if you’re going to stand there.” Drat!

Train wreck photo gallery

Some of these images are redundant, but I figure Keith Robinson and his train buff buddies will find details in them that the rest of us will miss. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.