“The Barn” for Good Fishing

Faithful reader and regular contributor Keith Robinson was in town from Kansas City for a family reunion and suggested that we get together. He was a little young to be on my radar, but he was in Scouts with my brothers and Dad. He’s a great resource because he’s a model railroader who is attempting to recreate a layout of all of Cape’s railroads between Nash Road and Cape Rock. I think he’s accounted for every spike that’s ever been driven in this area.

He came out to the house and we looked at old photos for a couple of hours. He spotted a landmark that I’ve thought about often, but would have sworn I never documented. When I started school and we moved out of the trailer that Dad and Mother hauled from job site to job site, we rented a house at 2531 Bloomfield Road. It was a great house for a kid: there was a flat field west of us that was great for playing catch. A sloping field on the east side had some climbing trees at the bottom.

Cape LaCroix Creek oxbow

Best of all for a budding fisherman, The Barn was close enough that I could persuade Mother to take me down to fish in what I thought was a pond, but looks in the aerial to be an oxbow of Cape LaCroix Creek. The Barn, sometimes called The Red Barn, is on the lower right. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

Cape Ready Mix is center left. Rueseler’s Chevrolet is across the street. Click here to see the Chevy dealership at night from the ground.

I couldn’t find many stories about The Barn as an eating establishment. As I recall, their specialty was barbecue, but I think they also sold watermelon in season. I think they also had fireworks for the Fourth.

South Kingshighway today

The area looks entirely different. The Barn is long gone. It was located about where the S Kingshighway label is. The shopping mall is in the upper right-hand corner. Southern Parkway, which connects I-55 to the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge didn’t exist in the 60s.

South Kingshighway – Bloomfield Road

This was taken slightly north of the previous photo and shows the intersection of South Kingshighway and Bloomfield Road. On the far right-center of the photo, where the highway crosses over Cape LaCroix Creek is a small building that I think was Central Packing Company. Whatever it was, it produced the most nauseating stench on a hot day. They had to have been dumping offal into the creek. I’ve often wondered if the current occupants are aware of what the building had been used for.

Stories about 607 South Kingshighway

Even though I didn’t find any stories about The Barn as I remembered it, there were plenty of stories in The Missourian about businesses at that address.

  • Oct. 18, 1968 – Ad: 8-hour liquidation sale on appliances. Barn Discount Appliance. 607 Kingshighway (south of Plaza)
  • Dec. 6, 1968 – Ad: Liquidation Auction Sale. New merchandise – name your own price. Red Barn. 8 big sales days before Xmas. Terms: Cash Everything sells. Located 607 South Kingshighway, across from Rueseler Chevrolet.
  • Oct. 17, 1969 – City council news: Upon a report of the police department, refused the application of Thomas H. Armbruster for a liquor by the drink license at the Barn, South Kingshighway. [Note: I wonder if that’s what killed it as an eating and dining establishment?]
  • Nov. 15, 1969 – Fronabarger business column: There will be a new retail shoe outlet in the city. Dee Dee’s Shoe Outlet, specializing in women’s footwear, will occupy the site of The Barn on Kingshighway south. The outlet is now located at Dutchtown and is owned and operated by Kenneth Corbin. The store is to be opened soon.
  • Mar. 1, 1979 – A string of burglaries was reported. “The Dee Dee Shoe Outlet, 607 South Kingshighway, was also reported burglarized. Two six-packs of Coors beer were reported missing.” [Note: beer break-in at a shoe store?]
  • June 27, 1982 – A burglary was reported at Dee Dee’s Shoes, 607 South Kingshighway. Entry was gained by removing a padlock from a door on the south side of the building. Taken were eight pairs of women’s shoes, a 15-inch color television set, a radio and a fire extinguisher. Loss was estimated at about $275. [Note: Total loss for all of that was $275?]
  • Dec. 29, 1986 – Kingsway Nissan, 607 S. Kingshighway, joined group ad urging readers not to drink and drive.
  • July 11, 1988Michael S. Hurt reported a car stereo stolen Sunday morning at 607 South Kingshighway. (Coad Chevrolet, across the street, was also hit for an AM/FM cassette car stereo.)
  • Feb. 23, 1989 – A Jetsound AM/FM cassette radio and power booster belonging to Kingsway Nissan was stolen from 607 South Kingshighway, it was reported Wednesday. [Note: I wonder if it was an 8-track? It would be fun to see if I could find the date when the last 8-track stereo was stolen in Cape. Last week?}
  • Sept. 28, 1989 – Auffenberg Nissan – Jeep – Eagle looking to fill full-time office position for someone experienced in computer accounting, car deals, accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll.
  • Feb. 24, 1994 – Business wrapup: Crown Cadillac Old Nissan, which moved from Independence to 607 S. Kingshighway last year, reported a healthy increase in sales in 1993.
  • Mar. 30, 1998 – Business personnel column: Ray Drury is retiring from the automotive industry after 39 years. Drury will retire Tuesday from Crown Cadillac Olds Nissan, 607 S. Kinghighway, after six years with the company as salesman.

9 Replies to ““The Barn” for Good Fishing”

  1. I remember getting fireworks and BBQ at the Red Barn then going down to where Bloomfield Rd. crossed Kingshighway and watching as cars tried to cross Kingshighway. They had alot of wrecks there before the traffic lights. They had an old barn at that intersection and some said an old go cart trck.

  2. I thought there was a spring behind the barn and that was why there was a “pond” there. I also remember they had to keep moving the fireworks stand back toward the water each time the city limits was moved so they could sell firecrackers.

  3. David used to take me to “the Barn” on our dates. He loved their iced tea and french fries. He was one of the few that didn’t like going to Wimpy’s.

  4. Dennis Mize, there was a Go Cart Track there. It competed with another one located at the current day Mt. Auburn Rd – Kingshighway intersection on the Southside. I think there might have been a windmill at that location. The Go Cart Track at Mt Auburn Rd was much much better than the one at The Barn. I would guess we’re talking 1957 to 1960ish. I think they served to fuel dreams of racing careers that were fulfilled in the 70s and 80s by a few Cape kids.

  5. The packing company on the south side of Cape LaCroix Creek at Kingshighway in the picture above was originally the Southeast Missouri Packing Company and was owned by the Anton Sebeck family. It was sold to the Pipkin-Boyd-Neal Packing Company of Joplin in 1938 and operated until 1966.
    The sense of smell creates stronger memories that hearing or sight and the odor of that packing plant stuck in my memory as well.

    Another landmark of the sixties on South Kingshighway was Thoni Oil Company. http://www.capecentralhigh.com/cape-photos/thonis-gas-station/
    While it does not show in first picture, its location was on the east side of the highway about where the S. Kingshighway label is in the second picture.

    1. In looking back at the first picture, Thoni Oil Company does show, at the left edge, just above Kingshighway. The old office building sits at the back of the lot against the long fence.

  6. Assume we are talking about the same old “Barn” drive in / restaurant that a distant relative to my Dad, Roy Shuck, owned in the 1950s? My family would go there occasionally to eat … Roy amused us by throwing pieces of bread into the ponds to feed the fish.

    1. That’s the “Barn” I remember. Good BBQ! Dad lost a beagle hunting in the woods across from the Barn. Looked for his dog till after dark, said he heard the prettiest music from the Barn’s outdoor speakers while he was in the woods. The song he heard was “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.

  7. The small building by the creek that you thought was Central packing company was Nenningers packing house. I bought a lot of meat there in the early 50’s when I had a small grocery store on south Ellis St. They would let me go into the meat lockers where the sides of beef were hanging and let me pick out the side of beef I wanted and throw it in the trunk of my car and take it back to my store.
    Joe Whitright “45”

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