When I was up in the steeple of St. Mary’s Cathedral the other day, I noticed land being cleared on William west of Sprigg. It’s one of those things where you say, “Something’s different, but I don’t know what.”
Here’s an aerial taken November 6, 2010, showing the area. The yellow arrow marks the spot. William Street runs from the bottom of the frame to the top of it, and we’re looking east toward St. Mary’s. The building to the left of the big black parking lot houses Fred’s Super Dollar Store and the Save-A-Lot food store.
Click on the photos to make them larger.
Site will be a Family Dollar Store
A November 25, 2013, Missourian business column reported that “an acre of land that includes four properties on William Street between Sprigg and Ellis streets has been sold to Family Dollar store and the deal is closed, according to Thomas M. Meyer of Exit Realty. All the properties now are commercially zoned and will be demolished to street level for the building of Family Dollar.”
It’ll be interesting to see if the project continues in light of news stories that “Family Dollar closing 370 stores and lowering prices after revenue falls 6%.”
Should have shot in when weather was good
I should have gone from St. Mary’s to the vacant lot on a day with the temps were in the high 70s and the sky blue.
I procrastinated, though, and shot these when the wind was gusting, the thermometer was heading south into the low 40s and my bald head was being pelted by rain trying to get up enough gumption to turn to sleet.
This photo was taken from an alley on the east side of the property looking west toward the houses on Ellis.
I was roaming around Cape looking at all the bare ground where buildings had been torn down. One that caught my eye was at Christine and William across from the Town Plaza. There’s a new Plaza Tire directly south of it.
I mentioned to someone that a sign said a new CVS pharmacy was going on the bare lot, but I couldn’t remember what had been there before.
My friend said she couldn’t remember, but had read the project had been delayed because a couple of big underground tanks had to be removed.
I remembered those tanks
That shot me back over half a century ago. One of the most significant moments of my boyhood came flooding back.
Here’s how I remembered it: When I was about 10, Dad was setting a big tank for someone. He had the load locked down and suspended about five feet off the ground while a worker for his client was leveling the dirt below it. He stepped off the crane for a break, then sent me back to get his jug of iced tea. When I climbed up into the cab, the tank owner went berserk. “Kid, get DOWN off there. If you touch something, you could kill that man.!”
I froze until Dad hollered back, “If I thought he was going to touch anything, I wouldn’t have sent him.” Turning to me, he said, quietly, “Fetch me the jug, please.” I realized then how much confidence Dad had in me.
Missourian librarian Sharon Sanders pulled up a Frony aerial of the area right after the Town Plaza was built. From all the trucks parked around the lot, it might have been a trucking depot at one time. That would explain why they needed the tanks.
As many of you have figured out, I’m in Cape for a few weeks. When I’m here, I drive around like crazy trying to bag as much new material as possible to dole out when I return home to Florida.
From time to time, I have even managed to scoop The Missourian. (Of course, as I point out to bike riders who brag about overtaking another rider, “It’s only a race if the other guy knows it.)
I thought I might have a chance of catching Photo Buddy Fred Lynch asleep this afternoon when I drove past what I’ve dubbed the Historical Triangle.
Have catskinners become deere slayers?
There was a artist on a bulldozer who we’d have called a “catskinner” in the days when yellow Caterpillar equipment was ubiquitous on job sites. I’ve seen enough dirt pushed around to judge he knew what he was doing.
Since he’s on a Deere dozer, I guess that would make him a “deere slayer,” but that doesn’t have the same ring. The sign in the foreground proclaims the narrow strip of grass to be Murtaugh Park. The Red House is in the background.
Drat! James Baughn beat me
Right there in front of me was a flurry of dump trucks, jackhammers, front end loaders and guys leaning on shovels. All I had to do now was to figure out what was going on.
Drat! Missourian webmaster James Baughn, who with Fred and Sharon Sanders, are must-read Missourian bloggers, beat me to the story. He deserves the traffic, so get the full story from Baughn. (If you REALLY want to be distracted, go to his Bridgehunter website. There’s nowhere else like it to find interesting factoids about bridges.)
The short version is that making Main Street open to two-way traffic made Aquamsi Street redundant between William and Merriwether Streets. The workers were ripping up Aquamsi so grass could replace asphalt, resulting in Murtaugh Park nearly doubling in size. (Of course, that will last until the City Fathers and Mothers decide to make Main one-way again in a few years.)
I stumbled across another story that is right up Baughn’s alley. I hope he reads it here before I see it appear in his blog.
Stories about Murtaugh Park
It took a minute to figure out which school safety patrol these boys belonged to. The gas station and houses looked a little familiar, but it didn’t have the feel of Broadway about it. I like that you can see the driver in the car on the left and that the girl’s right shoestring is flapping.
St. Mary’s Mass schedule
The frame with the St. Mary’s Cathedral school in the background helped nail it down. It was the corner of Sprigg and William that I’ve written about before.
Sherer’s Mobil Service Station
The sign above the door says S.H. “Bud” Sherer Dealer. (It might be “Bub.” It’s hard to tell at the angle).
Station and houses are gone
This April 17, 2011, aerial shows that the station and the houses on the corner are all gone.
Photo gallery of St. Mary’s School Safety Patrol
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. Here was Trinity Lutheran School’s Safety Patrol, including a video.