60’s Cape Girardeau Christmas Shoppers

This is another head-scratcher. I have no clue where these pictures were taken, nor who is in them. (Click on any photo to enlarge it, then step through them by clicking on the left or right side of the picture.)

[Important update: just about everything I wrote here is wrong. The pictures were taken in Jackson, not Cape. For info about the Santa, go here. For the drug store and other shopper pictures, go here.]

Rexall Drugs

Rexall DrugThe only clue I have in a couple of them is that there is a Rexall sign in the window. As far as I know, there were two Rexall drug stores in town.

  • Finney Drug Store, 709 Broadway
  • Unnerstall’s Drug Store, 630 Good Hope

If you look out the window, there a store across the street that’s selling bananas. Dr. Wilson’s office was pretty much directly across from Finney’s and I can’t see him selling bananas, so that leads me to believe that this was Unnerstall’s.

I wonder who the perky blonde was and what she was promoting.

Cape Girardeau Drug StoreLiquor on the shelves

I didn’t think drug stores sold liquor, but The Southeast Missourian’s Out of the Past column had this item:

75 years ago: Feb. 6, 1934

Frank Unnerstall, proprietor of Unnerstall’s Drug Store, 626 Good Hope St., has been issued the first city license to sell liquor at retail by the package.

That’s another reason to think it was Unnerstall’s.

Checking out Santa Claus

Shopper eyes Santa Claus in Cape GirardeauThere are a few clues to the location of where the boy and Santa, but not enough for me to pull an address out.

The two-story brick building across the street has a window sign that starts with “Pa” before it’s cut off by the power pole. The “Ca” below it makes me wonder if it’s a cafe.

I looked through all the pictures I took of Broadway and Main Street last month and couldn’t find any existing building that matched the architecture enough for me to make a good guess.

I hope one of you will leave a comment if you know where it is.

Interior shots give no clues

The interior photos were taken in several different stores, but I don’t have any idea where they were. I sent copies to my Mother, who seemingly knows everyone in town, but she drew a blank, too.

Here’s a gallery of all the photos

(As always, click on an image to make it larger.)

12 Replies to “60’s Cape Girardeau Christmas Shoppers”

  1. I think the photo was taken in Shilvelbine’s storefront looking north across Broadway towards what used to be the funeral home but now Laurie’s Antiques.

  2. Mark,

    If you’re looking at the Santa picture, I don’t think that’s inside Shivelbine’s looking north.

    1. There are shoes on display. As far as I remember, Shivelbine’s never carried anything except musical instruments and electronics,

    2. If you look at that corner from Google Earth, Shivelbine’s is directly across the street from what is now Annie’s Laurie’s Antiques. To be the building you’re thinking of, I would have had to have shot at a much steeper diagonal to the northeast than it appears that I did.

    I took pictures of Shivelbine’s and Laurie Annie’s when I was in town, but not one that would give me the exact angle to do a comparison, unfortunately.

    Try again, unless someone else sticks up for your vote.

  3. Doesn’t look like the Santa picture is in Cape, notice the car is parked at an angle and not parallel. Don’t remember any places that was done in Cape, maybe Jackson?

  4. Hi Ken,
    I agree with Jesse that the photo of the boy with the Santa in the storefront is taken in Jackson. I think it is somewhere in the area of the Square. It may be close to that store (I think it was a feed store) where they had the stuffed horse in the window. Remember that?

    Is that a movie poster at the far left?

    As for the picture of the girls in the Rexall…the gal who is handing out the flyers has on a pin that says PLAID and appears to be dressed in Scottish garb. Weren’t there stamps called Plaid Stamps that people saved up to get merchandise?

    Do you think all of these pictures could have been taken in Jackson?

    I enjoy looking at the pics and reminiscing even if we don’t know all the info that a newspaper guy would like to know!!!!


  5. Well, I was going to award Missourian Photographer Fred Lynch the prize for shooting a picture that I thought pretty much duplicated the Santa shot. Since then, you all are beginning to convince me that it might not have been taken in Cape at all. Even Fred is having second thoughts.

    I’m going to have to give Jackson some thought. Jesse is right, streets there DID have angle parking.

    Brenda, the store with the stuffed horse was next door to The Jackson Pioneer, where I worked part-time my junior and senior years.

    The only problem with thinking that it was taken there – or anywhere on the square around the courthouse – is that all of the store fronts, for the most part, faced toward the courthouse and not another business. Directly across the street from The Pioneer was a bank that didn’t look like the background in the photo.

    I was tied up most of today on something and I have some catching up to do on my bike blog, but I’ll give it some more thought over the weekend.

    I’ll have to check if there is a Rexall Drugs in Jackson (or was at that time). Since I WAS working in Jackson, there’s a good chance that I might have shot the photos there.

    It’s pretty bad when you can’t remember the name of the store; it’s really embarrassing not to know what TOWN you were in.


    Indeed, there were Plaid Stamps. I gave that some consideration. I also wondered if might be promoting Scotch, the beverage, although the girls she’s talking to look awfully young for that.

    Reminds me of a couple I knew in college. He was a photographer on my Ohio University Post staff and she was a reporter. He was white and she was black in days when interracial dating was still unusual.

    When they came to me and asked me to be his best man at their wedding, I did everything I could to discourage her from marrying him. Not because of the race issue and not because they weren’t a great couple. It was because her first name was Plaid and his last name was Stamp.

    “Plaid, are you absolutely sure that you want to go through the rest of your life being called Plaid Stamp?” I asked.

    She did. I lost track of them shortly after and always wondered how things worked out. I hope they didn’t name one of their kids Eagle.

  6. The girl in the middle, to the right of the Perky Blonde looks a little like Barbara Nunnelly from my class of ’67 although I don’t recall her having bobbed hair, she always wore her hair up. The girl on the left, looks really familiar but can’t come up with a name…The Perky Blonde resembles Linda McGregor who joined us at Central sometime during high school years…said to have been a teen model..at least the McName would fit the costume….I would think plaid stamps or Scottish frugality savings of somekind might be the gig.

  7. Libby,

    Fred Lynch made a bombshell discovery that throws all of our guesses out the window. I’m working on an update right now that positively nails down the Santa location.

    I’ll follow that with a posting about the drug store picture that is equally surprising.

    It’s a heck of a note when you spend half your life interviewing old timers and then wake up some morning to discover that YOU have become one.

  8. These photos were taken in Jackson. The drug store was Kistner’s Rexall Drug. A & P Grocery store was across the street. The Santa and package wrappers were in Priest’s Department Store. The photo with the china and glassware was Cox’s Variet Store. I know most of the people in the photos as well.

  9. These pictures are all from Jackson. They are from about 1963 or 1964. The girl in the plaids name is Connie Shambo and the girl with the white sweater and the big stack of packages last name was Wills. They are on high street, not on the square!

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