Round Barn on South Sprigg

The four most-requested photos are Wimpy’s, Pfisters, the original Blue Hole and the Round Barn.

I’ve run Wimpy’s. I sort of have a photo of Pfisters. I have a piece coming soon on the Blue Hole (without a shot of the original Blue Hole Garden). Now, I have a photo of the Round Barn.

This morning I decided to tackle an envelope marked “Dorms 1966 – Arty shots” because I wanted to do a piece on SEMO construction before long. The first thing I spotted was one frame of the Round Barn. One lousy frame. I guess One-Shot Fronyism was starting to rub off on me.

Rock bluffs near the Round Barn

There was one frame of the rock bluffs that were done NEAR the Round Barn.

I have no idea why I was down on South Sprigg on a day when I was shooting on the SEMO campus, and I REALLY have no idea what made me pull off the road to shoot ONE frame of what would become a storied landmark.

Not much for rocks and roots photography

Even more inexplicable is that I shot four photos of a rotting, bullet-holed old shoe on that roll. I’ll spare you three of them. You can see I wasn’t much of a rocks and roots kind of photographer.

When I was younger, folks would say, “Oh, you want to be a photographer. Do you want to work for National Geographic one day?”

I would shake my head and explain, “National Geographic photographers stand on garbage cans to shoot pretty pictures of roses. I’m the kind of photographer who tramples roses to shoot photos of garbage cans.”

History of the Round Barn

I’m going to save myself a bunch of typing. Ray Owen did an extensive write-up about THE Round Barn and round barns in general in 2002. Head on over to The Missourian and read his piece.

Interestingly enough, there were TWO round barns on adjoining farms on S. Sprigg. One owned by Giboney Houck burned down in 1929. The Round Barn shown above fell into disrepair and was torn down in the early 80s.

14 Replies to “Round Barn on South Sprigg”

  1. Ken,

    Don’t use my name, but I heard once that “a man went crazy in that barn one time because he couldn’t find a corner to take a leak”.

  2. Ken,
    If you don’t mind, I would like to take the opportunity to tell everyone that I have a book out with the drawings of all the buildings you mentioned above…actually there are a total of 92 buildings in Cape County with narrative histories of each. The book is call “Shadows of Cape Girardeau County Yesteryears”. If in Cape, you can get it at WESTRAY Studio, where I work, at 5 N. Main (old J.C. Penney’s Building) or email me.
    I enjoy your website each day. I’ve recommended it to others. Keep up the GREAT work!!

    1. Jeanie,

      I’m remiss for not reviewing your book. I picked up a copy of it at the reunion and use it for reference often.

      In fact, I snatched it off the shelf to see what you had written on the Round Barn before I discovered that Ray Own had covered it in The Missourian.

      Have you thought about putting it on Amazon where it’s a little less labor-intensive to order? (I don’t know how that works.)

      Do you mind if I run a shot of your cover with my review?

  3. Well nice shots…I remember this one in Cape, south Springg was a interesting street for sure. A very Long bike ride from 1414 Mississippi Street where I lived. But we did it several times and even walked it one time. We went to see the Blue Hole and try to swim in it…We did not go. We chickened out when we saw the FEDERAL MATERIALS keep out sign! We did not not what to break any Federal laws! ( I know, I know) The water was Blue due to high Cooper content adn very DEEP…maybe another reason we don’t go..
    There were several nice rock formations along that road and flat land on the other leading to the river.

    I am glad you took a picture or two otherwise it would all be gone from our memories.

  4. Ken, you’ll find that I’m a pit bull when it comes to details. Regarding round barns in the Cape area, from my previous post on this site;

    Keith Robinson August 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm ยท Reply

    There were two round barns in the Cape County area; one was identified by Judi Coleman as being on south Sprigg Street; this was on what was known as the Anna Kay Farm. The other was on the north side of Mo-74 just west of Pecan Grove Road (Co Rd 214)on what was known as the Little Valley Farm. Both were originally owned by Mary Giboney Houck (wife of Louis Houck.

  5. ImHotep Ken,

    How have you been doing these last forty years or so. I had no idea that this super friendly fellow at Central was doing all of this picture taking back then. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You have certainly done a fine job. Where is my old buddy Sharon Stiver? I believe you all were a couple in high school.

    I thought the world of both of you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just wanted to mention that I noticed “Tubby” Albert Estes Jr. in one of those shop Auto Mechanic pictures.

    I couldn’t recognize who the Black guy was watching the fight at the stock car races.

    I also noticed in the Missourian Article about the five people from Cape dying in Car accidents. I knew Bill Minner well. He lived just down below the hill from Fire station #3 on Emerald. I didn’t realize that Bill had died that long ago He was a catcher for the Tigers in the little league I Think.

    Then at the bottom right hand side there is a story about Janice Stafford who was a very sweet kid and a classmate of mine. She was involved in a horrific accident where five or six people died on the road to Proctor and Gamble. It was a head on collision and I think people from both cars died.

    For a long time it was nip and tuck as to whether she would survive or not, but she did and came back to school with us.

    You, Margie, and many others here have created an absolutely amazing thing. It is incredible to be able to look back and see places in Cape that no one seems to remember anymore. Also look at pictures of people from long long long ago. I’m curious as to whether you have pictures of that outdoor drive in on old Sprigg street road. It is on someones property. I remember riding my bicycle past there many time and marveling at the beauty of an outdoor movie place where you could sit on beautifully sculptured rocks I believe.

    Also as far as I know I’m the only Black guy to be a #1 on the Tennis team in the entire history of Cape Central up and including today.Do you have any pictures of me by any chance. My parents never came to watch me play, and neither did any of the other kids in my neighborhood. I guess they thought Tennis was a dumb sport.

    Also what about the outdoor drive in down by the airport? On the East side of hwy 61 back then. I remember watching a movie one night with Charles Clemons, his family and my parents when some Preacher came past real fast and drove off the road down into a ditch and went out of sight. I can’t remember who that was. I think he might have been a young preacher or something.

    Keep up the good work Ken. This is really a lovely site for those of us who grew up in Cape, Jackson, and nearby areas.

    AmenRa ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Wow, Clyde, you managed to save up a whole lot of questions. You COULD have spread them out over the last 40 years, you know.

      To touch on a few:

      Your old buddy Sharon Stiver is alive and well in St. Louis. She was on a list of folks Jim Stone and I always say, “I wonder what ever happened to…” This summer, about reunion time, I happened to stumble onto an email address for her. Jim, Shari and I are going to meet up in Cape at the end of the month. We’d love to see you if you can to make it.

      I don’t remember a drive-in movie on South Sprigg. I have some aerials of the Bloymeyer Drive-in and the Jackson Drive-in, but I don’t think I have anything of the one on 61 or the Star Vu. At least, I haven’t found anything yet.

      I’m pretty sure I have some shots of you with the tennis team. I’ve been throwing sports shots over in a pile to sort through when I have the inclination. I’ll have to look for you. It shouldn’t be hard to pick you out of the team picture.

      Where are you these days?

  6. Stories from Smelterville: In the mid thirties,
    My father and mother had a store and Donut shop in Smelterville, “SPECK’S MELLO CREAM DONUT SHOP”. They had four delivery trucks,and a donut route in Ill.,& Mo, Fornfelt, Chaffee, and Cape, and people were coming to the shop while they were making them.
    It was while they lived there that I was born. While there, my father had a ruptured appendix and died, 1936, the day after my first birthday.
    Times were hard. Mother and supporting family moved to a location further down on So. Sprigg and built a Donut shop.(another story) It was next to the property where a big round red barn was located. (Quite a tourist attraction) I played with the girl who lived there. Her name was Evelyn Taylor.(brothers were Burl and Dwight, if I remember correctly.
    My mother was a strong and remarkable Christian woman,very talented and creative, and with a good sense of humor. She “brought herself up by her boot straps.”
    Her last venture was Hazel’s Flower Shop, in a former fraternity house, on Broadway, until semi-retiring to Cherokee Village, Ark. and spent the last 10 years of her life in our home in Wentzville, Mo. We were blessed; she was a Joy!

    1. Wife Lila and I spent our honeymoon at Cherokee Village, Ark. We had no money, so we took advantage of a timeshare pitch. I’ll have to write about THAT experience one of these days.

  7. Ken,
    As you know, my mom & dad owned Hillcrest BBQ
    Restaurant and it was located across the street from the StarVue Drive In on Hwy 61 ( where the car rental place is now).
    Anyway, I drew a large picture of it from memory and used cars of family and friends as the vehicles of the viewers. I put their initials on the license plates.
    Just thought I would send you a copy if you want to include it in your posts sometime.

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