106th Jackson Homecomers Celebration

2014 Jackson Homecomers 07-25-2014The World War I doughboy who stands on the courthouse lawn in Jackson hasn’t been to all 106 Homecomers celebrations; he wasn’t erected until Decoration Day – May 30 – 1925.

Photo gallery of 2014 Homecomers Celebration

Here’s a quick glance of Friday night’s celebration. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the images.

Ross’s Leaves Downtown Jackson

Longtime downtown Jackson business Ross Furniture is moving to East Jackson Blvd. from South High Street, a story in The Missourian reported June 12, 2012. The store had been at that location since 1979. As Cape’s business center has shifted west, I guess it’s only logical that Jackson’s would move east. The furniture store had one of the two bay windows that existed in the Courthouse Square area. It must have been exciting to look up and down the street and toward the courthouse Back in The Day.

Looking north toward Courthouse

Late afternoon isn’t the best time in of the day to shoot a north-south street. I was limited to shooting the businesses on the east side of the street because of dark shadows.

Even though I worked at The Jackson Pioneer, I have very few memories of Jackson’s main drag. I covered lots of governmental meetings and school activities, but there must not have been much happening in the business district.

Well, I have vague memories of a bit of a stir when one of The Pioneer’s editors developed a strange obsession with a local high school girl a third his age. When the girl’s father, one of our largest (and, to be honest, few) advertisers refused to let them date, the editor picketed the father’s place of business. I’m not sure even that was enough to get you fired at The Pioneer, but he didn’t last long. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about the collection of misfits we had working there.

Other Jackson stories

Photo gallery of South High Street businesses

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Cape County Courthouse in Jackson

This night photo of the Cape County Courthouse was probably taken when I was working at The Jackson Pioneer in 1964 or 1965. There is a story, maybe true, maybe not, that the Pioneer staff threw food color in the fountain the night Barry Goldwater was nominated for President. They wanted Jackson to wake up to Gold Water in the fountain.

2010 courthouse hasn’t changed much

I wonder if anybody will be dunking teabags in the fountain to carry on the tradition?

Took 40 years to clean the skylight

I used my quest for Jackson’s Hanging Tree as an excuse to wander around in the old courthouse. The old art glass skylight is still impressive.

The Dec. 16, 1949, Missourian had a story that the skylight had been cleaned for the first time in 40 years.  “A washing compound for glass with a sponge was used by Thomas Brothers, in charge of the interior decorating of the building. Covered with a film of black smoke and dust, the pretty color had been hidden from view. Jackson children who had grown to manhood and womanhood had never seen the glass of the dome clear and bright.”

“Each small piece of the art glass is held in place with lead and since they are fragile, the workman was cautious and expected to spend many hours on the high ladder for the cleaning.”

1870-era courthouse had basement privy

This sign looks like they might have moved it over when the 1908 courthouse was built.

Contractors shaved some corners

Records show that the contractors used columns that were composed of several pieces instead of one at the main entrances.

One of the goals was to make the building as fireproof as possible. Wood construction had been used in the dome, but the Court agreed to pay an additional $3,000 to remove the wood in the dome and replace it with metal. All of the parts of the dome, except the part where stone was exposed was to be covered in copper.

Wood floors replaced with mosaic tile

The contractors tried to slip in wooden floors, but they were required to put in ceramic mosaic tile as specified.

Tile has held up well

Despite the thousands of feet pacing on it, the tile floors have held up well.

Much stone came from Cape and Jackson

The Jackson Post & Cashbook quoted workman William Craig that “blue limestone was quarried near Jackson and was hand cut on site. The white limestone of the second and third stories was quarried at Cape Girardeau near the old Normal School (Southeast Missouri State University today).”  Some of the sheets were 10’x10’x4.

The steps were also quarried near Cape. The cornice stone is from Bedford, Ind.; the wainscoating is of Tennessee marble and the columns are Bedford stone.

View toward downtown

This is looking south from the second floor toward the Jackson’s downtown.

World War I Memorial

I wrote about the memorial to the Cape County World War I dead earlier.

Gallery of Jackson Courthouse photos

Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.