How to buy Smelterville: A Community of Love

In 1967, I went down to Smelterville, an economically depressed suburb euphemistically dubbed “South Cape” by The Southeast Missourian, to photograph one of the periodic cleanup drives.

After shooting the two photos the paper ran, I wandered around shooting portraits of anyone I encountered. Those photographs were never published and languished in my files until I retired from the newspaper business in 2008.

They were some of the first frames I digitized. I didn’t think anyone would be interested, but then I decided to try to find the grownup versions of the kids I had captured half a century earlier.

That journey introduced me to hundreds of people who still had roots in a “community of love” that had been washed away by the floods of 1973 and 1993. Smelterville is gone, but its memories survive, kept alive in the memories of former residents who come from all over the country to periodic reunions.

You can get copies from two local places. 

Annie Laurie’s Antique Store, 536 Broadway Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701; Phone 573-339-1301, $25 in person.

Pastimes Antiques, 45 Main Street, Cape Girardeau, Mo., 63701; Phone 573-332-8882. $25 in person. They are able to take credit card phone orders and mail them for $35, which includes shipping and handling.

Here are posts I’ve done about Smelterville