Themis and Spanish Landmarks

This green stucco building at the northeast corner of Spanish and Themis was the Doyle’s Hat Shop I mentioned in the story about my grandmother, Elsie Adkins Welch. She would ride a wagon from Advance to Cape to buy a new bonnet there.

A Missourian column, Lost and Saved provides some historical background: The two-story brick stucco building, designed with Italianate influences served as the residence of Elizabeth Doyle and as her business, the Doyle Hat Shop. The hat shop was located in the southwest corner of the building with the house adjoining. Mrs. E.W. Harris, aunt of Doyle, started the hat shop in 1859 and, when she passed away in 1908, Doyle took over the family business. Doyle had a pet fox terrier named Dan and, when he died in 1922, it made the newspaper that she was in mourning over losing her beloved pet. When Doyle died in 1925, her daughter in-law, Mrs. E.M. Doyle, ran the business. The hat shop closed in 1960.

Teen Age Club

Teens from the 1960s will recall walking through this door and going up to the Teen Age Club located on the second floor.

Officials shut down dance

This is the building where the kids were gyrating so enthusiastically the floor started bouncing Officials shut down the dance before the building could collapse.

Dancing in the parking lot

Not to be deterred, the teens moved out to the bank parking lot at the corner of Broadway and Main. Follow the link to see more photos.

Common Pleas Courthouse

If you look up the hill to the west, you’ll see the Common Pleas Courthouse overlooking the downtown area.

32 Replies to “Themis and Spanish Landmarks”

  1. You know, Ken, I remember my mother and I buying Easter hats at a shop off Main Street; it could well have been Doyle’s. Coming from an European county, my mother loved wearing hats, and I did too–still do!
    Teen Town was so much fun!
    I remember walking up and down those Courthouse steps just for fun!
    As always, Ken, so many of us appreciate your being a wonderful historian for Cape Girardeau and for CHS memories. I am awaiting your book with brilliant commentary and stunning photos! Betcha it will sell like hotcakes!

  2. Following the fortunate fire in December 1963 that destroyed the CGCC clubhouse, site of regular dances for carless Cape kids, a group of these established the Teen Quarter Club in an unused warehouse on Water St. Membership was invitation only, and many of that era’s restless youth spent hours and overnights there watched only by the night watchman. That resulted in several visits by the CG police.

    So renowned was the club, at least to the authorities, that a year later the town opened TAC a block away. The two co-existed for awhile, but rumors of alcohol and the success of the supervised substitute killed the Quarter.

    1. John and Sheila,

      Thanks for the encouragement. I floated the idea of a book last year (primarily because I was having zilch luck selling advertising), but I haven’t buckled down to actually do one.

      Part of it is procrastination;

      Part is trying to figure out how to translate what I do here where I can run 50 pictures of a subject to a paper product where space is at a premium;

      Part is tying to figure out presentation. Sometimes the comments are better than my original text; are folks more interested in photos or words?

      Your comments will cause my kid to bug me to get off the dime and get something going. (He’s looking to a future inheritance.)

      In addition to that, I have another project that lends itself to a book presentation and that actually has a deadline; a tentative deadline, but that’s good enough.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll be bouncing ideas off y’all to see what you’d be interested in.

  3. Ken,
    Could that also have been called Dolly’s Hat Shop? Since the subject has been raised, why not a book of photos accompanied by comments where meaningful?
    We have not been residents of CG for 58 years, but do enjoy being reminded of places and people from CG over the years and the history lessons are often enlightening. Hope you can keep it going for as long as we live and then a while longer.

    1. The 1968 City Directory lists Dolly’s Hat Shop at 37 N. Main Street. It says Mrs. Virginia Fenimore was the manager.

      Doyle’s Hat Shop, the green building show here, was at 118 Themis. Different stores.

  4. Ken, how about a book of photos, emails and comments as a Memorial Book rather than historical? Just a suggestion. . . “Life from what we remember” kind of thing.

  5. Ken,
    The entryway has been changed which may be why you are confused, if I am right, but I think Teen Town was over what is now Jayson’s Jewelry. That is also where the USO was during the IInd World War. There was once a bowling alley where Jayson’s is called either the Playdium or Playmor something like that.

    I believe Doyle’s Hat Shop became Dolly’s Hat Shop in its last years.

    1. I think you might be right about the entrance being more to the east. The one I pictured didn’t have exactly the right “feel” to me, but it was a single-door entrance, and that was the only one that’s in the building today.

      Maybe somebody else can clear it up.

      I bought very few bonnets, so I can’t tell you if Doyle’s became Dolly’s, but, like I pointed out to Walter, they had separate addresses in 1968.

      By the way, I saw you had a duplicate posting. I’ll delete one of them. If you post a comment and don’t see it, press Ctrl-F5 to refresh your browser to see new content.

  6. The green stucco builiding was a popular watering hole in the 80’s. It was called “Griffin’s Bar”. It had a great atomosphere of regular characters, one of which was me. I miss it still today.

  7. I LOVED Doyle’s Hat Shop and bought several there when we used to wear hats AND gloves to church every Sunday. It’s still a handsome building. By the way, there will be a newsletter on the 22nd. We had to cancel our trip to Florida.

  8. I remember Doyle’s Hat Shop very well. Back in the 50’s when Eisenhower was Pres., his wife Mamie ALWAYS wore a hat! Of course women of that era had to have hats like Mamie, so it was a thriving business which also sold scarves, gloves, and probably some other accessories. My dad and mom’s shoe store (Zwick’s next to Hecht’s) was just north across the street and up a couple of stores. I would always go to the shoe store after school until my parents were off work. This meant that I would terrorize other businesses frequently with my presence since there was no TV or video games to occupy my time. I remember visiting with sweet Miss (Mrs.?) Haman who worked there and would always indulge me in conversation when no customers needed her. Maybe they sold perfume too because I remember a sweet scent that I associate with that store.

    1. Pam, Mrs. Haman was my husband’s (Brian Miller ’67) aunt, Artencia Miller Haman. We always thought she owned that shop! She was a sweet, sweet woman but she had her spicy side as well! She never missed a Kentucky Derby until the year or two before she died at a ripe old age! I’m so glad to know you have fond memories of her.

    2. I’m writing the history of 109 N. Main for my HP200 class at SEMO and I was wondering if you had any interesting information on the building, especially since Zwick’s was in business for such a long time. Any information anyone has would be very helpful!

        1. My phone service is pretty awful down here in my dorm room and for some reason I don’t get many calls. I do, however, constantly check my email so if you could email me that would be great!

      1. Riley, my dad ran Zwick’s Shoe Store with my mom as assistant for many many years. I can’t tell you the history of the architecture, nor who owned the building, but since I spent my life there from the time I was born until I left for college, I can tell you every step of what it looked like inside. I have a picture or two of my mom and dad in the main part of the store. Let me know if I may be of help.

        1. Is there any way you could email me whatever info and pictures that you have? I would really love to have them in my project. Thanks!

  9. Dollys Hat shop and Doyles were two different stores. Dollys was on Main and my Mom was the manager. It outlasted Doyles because it was still open in the late 1960’s. I had many a hat from there along with the gloves and also some wigs and hiar pieces. My mother still wears her hat to church every Sunday!! And Walter Hosea there was a lady that worked there with the last name of Hosea who then married an Aubuchon. Was that your Grandmother? I never went o Doyles but sure had lots of fun in Dollys!!

  10. Pam I just read your response and Ms Haman was at Dollys with my mother not Doyles. I think there is a lot of confusion between the two places!! That sweet scent was probably my mother…ha ha!!!

  11. I just noticed in the teens dancing in the Bank Lot picture…BILL EAST … front and center…Dancing in his own space…Dude, you knew how to jive and move in those days! Of course playing to the camera is an art not a lot of us pickup, and you had it mastered even then! Who cares about your dance partner when the Camera is around!

    TAC was big fun, even I, with two left feet and pretty much a white guy in rhythm in moves enjoyed the place. I remember Ruth Vanaman (SP) dancing and wondering…well never mind the thoughts of 15 year old. Which thoughts are pretty much the same as 63 old, now that I think on it a minute. I was a fun place and when we said we were rocking the house down we were not kidding!

    PS…last time I was in Cape I called Doyle’s Hat shop Dolly’s to my daughter and wife…Thanks for clearing that up…now how about a picture of 37 N Main so I can place it!

  12. Seeing that picture of the courthouse reminds me that , that is where I saw the first dead person I can remember seeing. It was a man laying on the lawn to the left of the stairway and he had apparently shot himself. It was so long ago that I can’t recall what I did or whether I was the first on the scene or not. It had to have been in the late 30’s or early 40’s.
    Joe Whitright “45”

  13. I am 99% sure that there was an Italian restaurant in that green stucco building on the corner of Spanish and Themis in around 1998, after it was Griffin’s, anyone else remember that?

  14. The door entery leading a zillion steps up to TeenTown (if 68 year hasn’t askew my memory) the door in your photo with the Large Green awning..
    (after TT closed the inside entery I think was rearranged)..I remember several very hot sticky Sat. night dancing..till time to close… In 58′ one summer evening the place was packed…the floor rolled as if you were skating at Capaha Park on thin ice…Everyone took the dancing down to the cracked as loud as it could go.. The police put a stop to that …So a large number of us piled into cars ..out to Dennis Scivally Park…park the cars in a circle..turn on the car lites and turn-up the radio to finish off the evening..Then off to Wimpy’s…..

  15. Of course Janet is absolutely correct about Dolly’s Hat Shoppe. Thanks, Janet. Now that I see the pic of Doyle’s I remember that one also. When I was a little girl and we had only 3-digit phone numbers which we told in person to an operator, I lived in the yellow stucco in the same pic as Doyle’s. We had a “nanny” named Halley who came to take care of my brother and me while the parents were working. I also remember when ‘TEEN TOWN’ was right across the street. My brother Tom, class of ’55, used to frequent that TEEN TOWN which was closed by the time I was interested, but then reopened for a year or two when I was in high school. After the 2nd TEEN TOWN on Themis was closed, it reopened elsewhere under a different name. When it was the 2nd TEEN TOWN on Themis, I remember a white-haired lady (who smoked, but I can’t remember her name) who seemed really interested in teenagers having a place “to be”. It seems to me that she was one of the people who ran it and tried to keep it open.

  16. Do you have any photos or memories of the huge Flour Mill on Main Street north of Broadway on the east side of the street. I seem to remember it ran all the way from Main Street to water. I believe it came down on the early 1950s. And I really enjoy the pictures. Thanks for the Memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *