Capaha Park, SE Hospital, Franklin School

Missourian photographer Fred Lynch had a Frony picture of the Capaha Park Lagoon being drained and being cleaned in 1962 in his f/8 and Be There blog. That reminded me that I had just seen some aerial photos I had taken of that area April 14, 1964, after the work had been completed.

I don’t know if Ernie Chiles and I had a mission this day or if we were just flying around for the fun of it. I’ll be publishing other photos from the flight from time to time.

This overall shot shows Capaha Park in the lower left-hand corner; Houck Stadium is up and to the left; the Cape Traffic bridge and the river are at the top; Franklin School is the large building with empty space behind it just to the right of center and Southeast Hospital is diagonally across the street from the park. The white smear at the top right is a reflection off the plane’s window. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Same photo, with Capaha Park area enlarged

Disturbing the peace

You can see two cars parked on Cherry Hill across from the Rose Garden. I remember the day with The Missourian’s cop reporter came back from checking the overnight police blotter.

“I’m never going to be able to get this in the paper, but it’s too good not to share. One of the items, in typical cop-speak, read, ‘While on routine patrol of Capaha Park, I noticed a crowd of people gathered around a car parked on Cherry Hill. The crowd dispersed when I approached. I shined my flashlight through the driver-side window and witnessed a couple in sexual congress. I tapped on the window. When they finished the act in which they were muchly engaged, I cited them for disturbing the peace.’ To my way of thinking,” the reporter continued, “the couple should have filed against the cop for disturbing the piece.”

If you look closely at the parking lot to the right of the swimming pool (the white area left of center), you can see something tall sticking up. I wonder if it’s part of the carnival rides Terry Hopkins mentioned in the post about the trains in Cape parks.

… I did notice that in the background on the middle shot you could see the the old carival rides that used to be in the park. Mike Stovall and I used to work for “Booty” King the guy who owned them. I think I made the princely sum of .35 an hour, plus we got a deal on a hot dog and coke each day! Big fun and living LARGE when you were fourteen! Thanks for bringing back this memory!

A view looking east from Caruthers

The front lawn of Central High School is at bottom right; Franklin School is in the right center; Southeast Hospital is at left center; the road running from left to right at the bottom of the photo is Caruthers. The curvy road at the left is Broadway. I always thought of Broadway as being fairly straight, but it has some significant curves.

Franklin School neighborhood

Franklin School is in the middle. Independence runs diagonally at the right; Themis is just to the right of Franklin School and Broadway runs in front of Capaha Park.

I’m curious about the large white house at the bottom of the photo. It has a street or driveway that looks like a question mark leading to and around it. It looks like something I should remember, but I’m drawing a blank. Anyone?

Southeast Hospital at night in 2009

When I was in Cape last fall, I played around with some night time exposures of buildings along Broadway (and Wimpy’s). The tiny Southeast Hospital of 1964 has grown to gobble up the surrounding neighborhood.

24 Replies to “Capaha Park, SE Hospital, Franklin School”

  1. If I was handing out prizes for quick answers, Fred Lynch would get a Blue Ribbon for speed.

    Sixteen minutes after posting this, he messaged me that the mystery house was Longview, also known at the Col. George C. Thilenius House.

    25 years ago: May 13, 1983
    A 113-year-old home has been added to Cape Girardeau’s growing list of sites
    qualifying for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places;
    Longview, owned by Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Thompson, attains national register

    Thanks to Fred for the info.

  2. To further identify the house and drive, it was the spooky house on the hill over Pak-a-Snak. The drive was the gravel road that went around it from the 1500 block of Whitener to the 1700 block at Sunset. That was my neighborhood and we kids were scared of what was in that house. Never went closer than the drive, though.

  3. NOTE the original St. Francis hospital just west of the old traffic bridge…and by photo inference the previously nostalgicized offices of C.T. Herbert, MD.

    1. Ken Fisher sent me an annotated aerial that shows where Rush Limbaugh was living in 1964, just east of Central High School.

      If I can find a way to embed the picture in the comments section, I’ll post it.

  4. Hi, Ken, I reallly enjoy your site and all the Cape photos! The “kiddie rides’ mentioned in the Capha Part pictures were owned by my former mother-in-law, Marie Kuehn and father-in-law, Harold Kuehn. Marie ran the rides during the week with her sons, Ken, my former huband, and Jim (Booty) Kuehn during the week. On weekends Harold, who worked in St. Louis, would work with the boys. Sometimes the whole family was there on very busy weekends. And, yes I remember the nice boys who worked with them and were handsomely? paid a paltry sum and a hot dog and coke to work there. The rides were a permanent fixture in Capaha Park and were enjoyed by a lot of kiddies during that time. It is nice to know that some people still remember them. Harold would be pleased to know that he left a memory in the Park.

  5. The hill up to Southeast hospital was VERY steep….I remember hearing of people running up the hill in WWII for training. As high schooler I got my dad’s old WWII combat boots, lucky they were my size with two pairs of socks. Then ran up the hill as fast as I could. I did this several times to increase my knee lift and speed, or at least that was the idea at the time. I remember several others tried too, but not like me.
    I remember Bill Wescoat bought the bottom of the hill later for his car lot and cut way must of the hill, although you could still use the drive way to the west of his lot and climb up and use the top of the hill for running.
    Like Pep says Rusty lived on Sunset next to Gary & Kenny Fisher’s house go ahead and lite the sight up…I guess all fo us were living next to famoust people and did not know it…(grin)

  6. Yes, the hill below the hospital was steep and had a couple of terraces near the top. The sledding down the hill was terrific before Wescoat cut away the bottom of the hill. One could go airborne on the sled at the second terrace. I remember on occasion someone hitting a snow covered stump near the bottom and, on rare occasions, a sled sailing out onto Broadway. This photo appears to show the first of many hospital additions to form a “T”. My Mom led me to my first day at Franklin School in ’51 from my home on the dead-end street called Sunset Court. We walked around the hospital and a goldfish pond out in back of it. Eventually more buildings and parking lots consumed the childhood homes of many CHS graduates, three just from the class of ’62 that I know of: Rich Kinder, Susan Montgomery Smith, and myself. Gets more than a little nostalgic, Ken, seeing our homes from above…Thanks!

  7. Does anyone remember the building behind Longview? I grew up on N W End Blvd just North of Fischer’s Market. We were told the building had been used by slaves to make wine during the Civil War. Does anyone know if it was rumor or fact?
    Thank you, Judi

  8. Tricia Tipton lived across the street from Longview. We used to go over and prowl around the building to the west of the house. We called the place a wine cellar, but I don’t recall ever seeing any barrels.

  9. Judi Wickmann asked about the long building behind (actually it was attached) Longview. It was a wine cellar. I was shown it one time when I was a kid growing up on Whitener Street. I had heard that slaves were housed there but it is not true. The family was in the brewery business.
    Marge Thompson, a descendant of Col. Thilenius, lives in Longview and is quite active with the museum housed in the old fire station on Independence Street.
    Since Col. Thilenius fought for the North during the Civil War I very much doubt that he had slaves.
    The German families that settled in this area were almost to a man against slavery.

  10. Longview was pretty cool and there was a wine cellar on the west side of the house. The old Cellar was built into the hill on the west side of the house and had sandstone arch opening. There was newer home built after 1960 or so and when that ranch home was built the old cellar was covered up. Byron Carson, John Hodges and I used play in this area…it was very neat…there as another wine cellar over by the college off of Sprigg street in the Hollow to the east of the “Highrise Dorms” and that one had two rooms… probably filled in by now…but BIG fun then!

    1. Terry,

      I ran across pictures of those cellars on Sprigg the other day. I hadn’t planned on running them any time soon because I didn’t think anyone would remember them.

      You all don’t forget anything, do you?

      You’re right. They were filled in.

  11. Ken, the more I see all your great pictures and read your great commentary the more great memories I have.I think my father must have taken me to every historic place in Cape.I remember seeing it many times.How wonderful it must be to live in such a wonderful historic home.
    There was a house on Broadway, where the new Methodist church is just down from the Central of our child.I believe it was civil war era or before. Yellow brick if my memory serves me. If you have any pictures or information I would be intrested.
    I lived at 515 Themis until I wse six so many of my early memmories are from that area. I believe the original land grant or title was on some kind of animal skin.My neighbors were the Ford boys,Coddy Cotner ,JJ Edmonds ,David Cotner and many more who escape me right now. At four we were allowed to walk all over the center of Cape. Thanks again,sorry I started rambling, you just bring that outin me .

  12. I lived at 1432 Themis Street…the Limbaughs (David and Rusty…Rush…or Rusty Sharp…K.G.M.O….lived on Sunset)…before they moved to Redwine Street…as well as the Buksteins and the Mulkeys. Even though I lived 1/2 a block from Franklin School…I went to the old “Training School” at S.E.M.O….I can really tell my kids…that I walked to school in the snow…etc., etc., etc…lol! The Spradlings lived right behind Franklin School. I learned to play tennis hitting against the Franklin school wall…years later I was disappointed to see air-conditioning units in the exact same spot alot of us learned to play tennis. I really felt and still feel that I grew up in a real “Beaver Cleaver” town and it had that same feeling. It was very special.

  13. Ken

    I remember both hospitals quite well in Cape. When I went to SEMO in 1972 they gave $25.00 a pint of blood
    you gave. I was on a call list when they needed plasma.
    There were times I gave and maybe I shouldn,t have.
    It was cash and that was good money back then.

  14. Marge Thompson, owner of Longview, died this past year after a long and valient battle against breast cancer. Her home was alot like the Museum she also ran. Loaded with interesting stuff. A sweet, upbeat, funny lady. Good golfer.

  15. I remember as a girl, our scout group went on a tour of the house, Longview. The thing that impressed me the most was a soda bottle with a glass ball instead of the cap. Many years later I lived at the house on the corner of Independence and Keller. Way back when it was the caretakers house. I also did upholstery work for Mrs Thompson. The kitchen breakfast nook. Mrs Thompson was a very nice lady.

  16. I grew up at 1629 Whitener, which is pictured at the bottom left. The Thelenius house was just across the street, and though many neighborhood kids were afraid, I knew the people who lived there (Mr. And Mrs Fred McGowan, who owned Sunny Hill) and they were very nice and hosted neighborhood get-togethers. It was a great place to grow up — one block from Franklin School, three blocks from CJHS, and one block from CHS. I only had to ride a bus to school one year — 7th grade at L.J. Schultz. We were also within a short walk or bike-ride to the university, which was good for my dad, an economics professor, who rode his bike to work for many years.

  17. Hello,
    We are working on an educational book and one of the photo specs calls for a hospital at night. We came across your image of the Southeast Hospital in Missouri. We are wondering if it would be possible to permission your photo? The designer has not approved any images yet but I’d like to show her your image if it is available to permission.
    Thank you kindly for your time,

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