We Had Snow in the ’60s

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauYou folks are tired of looking at snow and ice, I’m sure, but this is a reminder we had snow back in the 1960s. We had less snow than Cape has gotten in the last few winters, but I think we were better prepared for it. More cars had snow tires and it was common to put chains on the drive wheels back then.

I think this might have been taken at one of the stations where The Missourian would drop off our bundles of papers. It might have been a Gulf. The press would spit out the papers in batches of 50 or 100; they would be handed off to a binding machine that would put a blank wrap of paper around the stack, then twist a thick copper wire tightly around it to hold them together. A sheet of paper with your route number on it would let you know which bundles belonged to you.

When I first started carrying papers at age 12, I had to work to untwist the copper wire to get it off my bundle. When I got a little older and little stronger, I could grab the bundle under the wrapper paper, give it a hard yank and break the copper wire. When winter came around, the station owner would ask us to save the copper wire for him so he could use it to hold tire chains on his customers’ cars.

La-Petite Motel

Snow and Ice around Cape Girardeau La-Petite MotelA lot of these negatives are pretty scratched and spotted up. Just pretend the spots are snow flakes. The 1968 City Directory says the La-Petite Motel was at 1301 North Kingshighway and was owned or managed by Charles and Lorraine Scheller.

Human-powered snow cleaning

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauThe sidewalks around Central High School were cleaned by guys with shovels, not fancy snowblowers. The fact that they are being cleaned leads me to believe school was in session, snow or no snow.

A long throw

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauI don’t know if he’s shoveling out the stairwell or just breaking off overhanging snow.

Must have been a windy storm

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauThis snow storm must have had some wind with it to pile up drifts like these.

Central’s basement

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauI had forgotten how they built Central’s basement to be able to have windows to let light in.

Hilly neighborhood

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauI tried to read the mailboxes, but the letters were too small. I don’t know where this neighborhood was, but it was hilly and the snow didn’t have many tracks.

Out in the country

Snow and Ice around Cape GirardeauThis house looks familiar, but I can’t put a name or a face to it. Anybody? You can watch some 8mm home movies of snow here.

As usual, you can click on the photos to make them larger.



8 Replies to “We Had Snow in the ’60s”

  1. You saw more snow tires and tire chains back in the 60’s because most cars of the day were rear wheel drive front engine boats with no weight over the rear wheels. Also four wheel drive was very rare, limited to the “country gentleman” who might have a Jeep or Land Cruiser or a real farm work truck. Now most cars are front wheel or all wheel drive and 4X4 SUVs are everywhere. Add to that the dramatic leap forward in tire technology and there you have it.

  2. The photo of Victoria Drive offered a trip up Memory Lane (no pun intended, Ken) as our friends the Kaiser family lived near the top of the street on the west side. Other friends lived in the neighborhood and Victoria was our main entrance to that end of Cape. I remember those days of snow, especially sledding on College Hill as well as on Sunset. The sole thing snow is good for in life these days is to ski upon, and often.

  3. Ken, Do you know the name of the man in the first photo who is putting or checking the chains on the cars tires? Also do you know where the picture was taken?

    1. Vonda, Someone on Facebook thought it might have been Dave Davidson. It was taken, as best as I can remember, at one of the two stations that were side by side on North Kingshighway near the intersection of Kingsway Drive. One of them was a Gulf, I think.

  4. I think this is a picture of my father. He passed away in 1982 and I don’t have but a couple of pictures of him. If you don’t mind, I would like to get a copy of this picture.



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