Garber’s Men’s Store

Garber's Men's WearTerry Hopkins’ box of his dad’s General Sign Company photos produced this Garber’s Men’s Store sign. Peeking out from the bottom is “Gladish,” which would have to be Gladish-Walker Furniture Company. I was trying to figure out where the store was located, but more about that later.

Garber’s founded in 1954

The Missourian’s A Century of Commerce had these business notes for 1954:

  • Lester Rhodes bought Orpheum Theater Building on Good Hope Street to convert it to business use.
  • Rigdon Laundry’s equipment was sold to Tipton’s Whiteline Laundry Inc.
  • Sunset Motel on Highway 61 North was sold to St. Louis investors.
  • Charles Garber founded Garber’s men’s store.
  • Star Vue Drive-In Theater, large enough for 600 parked automobiles, opened.
  • Pletcher & Haynes Sinclair Service Station opened on Highway 61West.
  • Hobb’s Grill No. 3 on Broadway, formerly Wilson’s Cafeteria, opened.
  • Cape Manufacturing Co., North Main Street, handling Maxine equipment, was incorporated.

Moved to Town Plaza in 1960

There was a lot of activity in 1960:

  • Charles N. Harris founded Atlas Plastics.
  • B & J Refrigeration opened as partnership between Marshall Bailey and Leon Jansen; later became Jaymac Equipment Co.
  • Montgomery Mobile Home Sales opened.
  • Pop’s A & W Drive-In opened.
  • Professional Business Systems was founded by Lloyd Lorberg.
  • Charles Garber moved Garber’s, men’s clothing store, to Town Plaza.
  • The old Joseph Sciortino Grocery Store building in 600 block of Good Hope Street was razed.
  • Making room for parking lot, 103-year-old brick mill building on Water Street was razed.
  • Model Grocery closed, after serving Girardeans 39 years. The last location was at 521 Broadway.
  • Ruh’s Market, in operation 53 years, closed.
  • Victor L. Klarsfeld, owner of Rialto Theater, purchased Broadway Theater building.
  • New 17,000-foot tower of KFVS-TV went into operation.
  • B.I. Howard purchased Wulfers’s building on Broadway. It housed Howard Athletic Goods Co.

Gladish-Walker Furniture formed in 1932

633 Good Hope collapse 08-08-2014I found some ads for Gladish-Walker Furniture that said it was located at 633 Good Hope. That means that Garber’s was located a couple of doors to the east in a building that was constructed at about the same time, 1880 or so based on information in the National Register of Historic Places.

I thought 633 Good Hope sounded familiar. It’s because I did a story about the building collapsing this summer. Garber’s would have been in the building to the left. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Garber’s sold to Rodney and Dimple Bridges

Town Plaza Shopping Center 04-16-2011When Charles Garber retired in the early 1970s, the business was sold to Frank Hamra, who had Hamra’s Men’s Store in Anna, Ill. He hired Rodney Bridges, 20 and a newlywed, to manage it. A year later, Bridges and his wife, Dimple, bought the store. For more detail, you can read an interview with Bridges in the March 14, 2011, Missourian.

When Garber’s was founded, Bridges pointed out, Cape had nine men’s stores in town; today Garber’s is the only one left. The store used to carry all the big name brands, but the chains and outlet stores have taken over that business. To survive, he said, he has to bring in lines that aren’t shown everywhere. In the last 40-plus years, the store has been expanded twice and remodeled four times, increasing from 1,500 square feet to 4,300.

Garber’s has a clean-looking website, showing that the store has been around for awhile, but it keeps up with the times. The shopping center photo above was taken in 2011. That space was occupied by something called Arcade in a photo in a 1962 Girardot advertisement.

I have to confess that I usually counted on Wayne Golliher at Al’s Shops to put clothes on my frame.

The Mildred Apartments

Mildred Apartments Ellis 08-08-2014I’m a sucker for buildings with names, so when I was driving down North Ellis south of the Broadway Theater, I had to snap a quick picture of the Mildred Apartments. The place is a little shabby these days.

In fact, a young man showed up on the police blotter for “maintaining a disorderly house” there not too long ago. I suspect that the citation wasn’t for something as mundane as not picking his socks up off the floor.

Built in 1912

Mildred Apartments Ellis 08-08-2014The January 21, 1921, Missourian carried a front page story “How Builders View the Situation.” Theodore Ochs, president of the Union Lumber Company, and with 20 years in the lumber business, said things were going to bounce back now that the War was over. “I do not propose to cut the pay of a single man of the many who are working for me, but expect them to merely produce more than they have in the past.”

Ochs continued, “I intend building a six-family apartment house on Ellis Street in the spring, which will be almost identical to the Mildred Apartments I built there some time ago.”

Lots of happenings

The newspaper columns were full of stories about things happening in the apartments and to its inhabitants. There were lots of bridge parties and social organization galas. James Kinder II was quarantined with the mumps in 1936. Lightning hit the structure in 1920, “all lights in the building being snuffed out except those in one apartment.”

In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis H. Butler of that address “motored to Advance, Glenallen and Lutesville Sunday. They said the roads were in good condition all the way.”

E.W. Boyer advertised in 1927 for stenographic work: “Addressing envelopes, typewritten letters, shorthand or copying; 5 cents for original, long or short letter; 3 cents for each additional carbon copy; neatness and accuracy guaranteed. Phone 768.”

 

 

 

Flashback to the Rialto

Shasta Black Cherry soda 08-22-2013While I was in Cape, I picked up some cans of Shasta Black Cherry soda at Schnucks. The taste took me back to the soda dispenser at the Rialto Theater on Broadway.

Buddy Jim Stone, in town chasing a big magnet, reminisced about Carol Klarsfeld, whose mother owned the theater. Carol got to keep the money from the weight machine and the soda dispenser, he said.

Carol used to joke that the two profit centers in the lobby were the soda machine and the popcorn machine. “The most expensive parts of each were the containers they were sold in.”

The soda machine sat over on the left side of the lobby, near the popcorn popper (which produced oceans of fresh-popped corn, drowned in real butter). When you put in your dime, a thin cup would plop down with a satisfying “SMACK!” followed by a smattering of thinly crushed ice and your choice of flavored soda. I don’t remember the other flavors because I always picked Black Cherry.

Rialto and other theater stories

I’ve done a number of stories about Cape’s theaters. Here are some links in case you missed them.

Beard’s Sport Shop, 818 Broadway

A reader was asking me about 818 Broadway. It’s been a whole lot of things, but it’ll always be Beard’s Sport Shop to me. When I photographed it in 2009, the sign on the front of building said Grace Cafe, but I think it had already closed its doors. I used to go to Grace Cafe when it was located in the old Vandeven’s Mercantile building at Pacific and Broadway because they had a fast internet connection.

Ornate decorations

I never noticed how ornate the trim was on the building until I looked at these photos. I thought that it might have been added recently, but Fred Lynch had a Frony photo of Beard’s and Wayne’s Grill that shows it clearly in 1961.

When Friend Shari and I shot the interior of the Broadway Theater in December, we retreated across the street for some coffee to thaw out. I couldn’t remember the name of the place, but a Missourian business column on April 18, 2011, said “Calix Coffee opened at 818 Broadway, at the former Grace Cafe location in Cape Girardeau. Owner Andrew Whaley, Jackson, previously worked at Grace Cafe as a barista. The shop sells coffee and fresh baked pastries, and Whaley hopes to add sandwiches and salads in the future.”

That must be it.

You can barely make out the Beard’s sign in a photo I ran the other day of a wreck at night on Broadway.

Interested in Pinterest?

I’m always a little slow in adopting new social media, but Son Matt added a new button to the front of the blog. You’ve been able to “Like” a page on Facebook and Google+ for some time. Starting last week, you could “pin” an image on Pinterest. It’s probably easier to show you some of my stuff that’s been “pinned” than to try to explain it. It’s sort of a nice way to get a high-level feel for the kind of stuff I shoot.

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.