135,000 Cigarettes Worth How Much?

101-109 William St 05-30-2015I was curious about a big brick building at the southwest corner of William and South Main (or Water Street, depending on how you look at it). It has an “old” look to it, and an intriguing set of doors marked 101, 103, 105 and 109. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

My first stop was the search box in The Southeast Missourian.

Almost the Discovery Playhouse

101-109 William St 05-30-2015In 2007, there was a bunch of buzz that the Discovery Playhouse was going to locate there after moving from West Park Mall. Whether or not they actually moved in, I don’t know. The Playhouse is currently in the old Walther Furniture Store and Funeral Home at 502 Broadway.

The 1968 City Directory assigned Biederman Furniture Company warehouse to the 101 address, with no mention of the other bays.

In 1979, 101 was listed as vacant, and Murakami Auto Service was in Bay 103.

The Great Snow Storm Cigarette Burglary

101-109 William St 05-30-2015The most interesting story was in the January 14, 1931, Southeast Missourian: “Taking advantage of the cover afforded by a blinding snowstorm, burglars Tuesday night broke into and looted the Goddard Grocer Co. building at 101 William street, of 135,000 cigarettes.”

What’s the value of 135,000 smokes?

The cigarettes were valued at about $900. Thirteen cases of Lucky Strike and Camel brands of cigarettes were taken, and about 5,000 cigarettes of miscellaneous brands were missing, the story said.

Sam’s Club in Cape is selling a carton of 200 Camel cigarettes for $43.25. That would make the 1931 haul worth about $29,193 today.

Goddard Grocer Co. was a favorite shopping spot for burglars. It was hit at least 10 times in a few years. Approximately the same amount of cigarettes were taken in a break-in on January 25, 1930. Three men who broke into Goddard Grocer, Buckner-Ragsdale Clothing Store and Kinder Drug Store on that night were sent to prison for terms ranging from four to six years.

 

Broadway and Sprigg

Missourian Librarian Sharon Sanders runs an interesting blog on Thursdays called “From the Morgue.” Back in the less PC Good Old Days, that what we called the repository of yellowing clips carefully snipped out by the custodian of the newspaper’s history. Folks like Sharon and her predecessor, Judy Crow, really DO know where the bodies are buried and can find the skeletons in closets going back generations. You do NOT want to get on the wrong side of the newspaper librarian. They used to possess both sharp tongues and sharp scissors.

I’m not sure what Digital Sharon could do to a reporter who didn’t bring back a much-handled envelope of old clips, but I bet it wouldn’t be pretty. On one of our first meetings, I started to raise my camera to take her picture. I don’t normally take no for an answer – I’ve shot Popes and Presidents, rioters and guys with guns – but I put my camera down when she shook her head. I knew right away that she wasn’t somebody to mess with.

I felt fortunate to escape with my life and a photo of a stack of aging clips.

Broadway and Sprigg

Her blog Thursday said one of her most-requested photos is of the building that used to be at the northeast corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street. It’s a vacant lot next to the Last Call Bar today. She’s done all the historical heavy lifting about that block, so it’s worth heading over there.

I don’t have any photos going back that far, but I do have the area today.

This aerial from November 2010 shows a number of landmarks. The red building is the Last Call she mentions. The white building diagonally across the street is the infamous 633 – 635 – 637 Broadway trio of buildings that have been a source of controversy for a long time. One building was razed and the other two are being renovated. In the center of the picture is Trinity Lutheran Church. The brick building to its left is Shivelbines Music and the white building across the street is Annie Laurie’s Antiques.

Last Call

It’s hard to miss the Last Call if you’re eastbound on Broadway. Its red colors are set off by a blue sky.

Blue-sided building is gone

The blue-sided building with the iconic mural at the top center of the aerial and the ones next to it were torn down at the end of 2011. Walther’s Furniture, across the street, has turned into Discovery Playhouse.

Like a gap in a first-grader’s grin

The northwest corner of Broadway and Sprigg has another empty spot. That’s where the old Chris Cross Cafe used to be. This view is south on Sprigg toward Broadway somewhere around 1966 or 1967. The three-story building on the south side of Broadway was the Cape Hotel. It burned and the spot is occupied by a Subway today.

View from Trinity Bell Tower

Just before it was torn down, Brother Mark and I crawled all over the Trinity Lutheran Church documenting it. I posted photos of the bell earlier. Today we’re focusing on the view FROM the bell tower. Those louvered windows had a fairly big space to look through, even if the mesh screening was a bit distracting with some lens choices. Click on the photos to make them larger.

View to the northeast

The building towering over everything else is the KFVS-TV building. To its left you can see the H & H Building and the Marquette Hotel. The bright white object rising above the trees at the top right is the Common Pleas Courthouse. You can barely make out the Walther’s sign on the left side of the frame. It has become the Discovery Playhouse. Across the street was a the building that would later sport a bright blue mural with the words, “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.” That building was torn down last winter.

View to the north

Switching to a slightly longer lens let me throw the screening out of focus (mostly), but it didn’t cover as much area. The white building to the right was Brinkopf-Howell Funeral home, now Annie Laurie’s Antiques. Shivelbine’s Music would be the building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Frederick. Star Service Station was on the northwest corner. I’d sure like some of that 36-cent gas today.

View to the west

The tall structure at the top right is the telephone company’s microwave tower. In the days before fiber optic cable, much of the country’s long distance traffic was handled by radio signals beamed from tower to tower. Southeast Missouri State University’s Academic Hall’s dome barely clears the treetops near the top right.

View to the south

This is looking south from the intersection of Themis and Frederick. The small brick building on the southwest corner was known as “The Mouse House.” Cape-Kil is directly south of it.

 Trinity Lutheran Church neighborhood in 2011

Here is an aerial photo I shot of the neighborhood April 17, 2011.

 

Broadway End-to-End

I was trading some messages with Nicolette Brennan from the City of Cape about a picture of Broadway for a project she’s working on. That got me to thinking about how many Broadway stories I’ve done. I’ve documented the street from the river’s edge to the old Colonial Tavern on the west end. Click on the photos to make them larger and click on the links to go to the original story.

So many teens were dancing at the old Teen Age Club at Themis and Spanish that the floor was bouncing and a city inspector shut ’em down. They moved the dance to the bank parking lot at the corner of Main and Broadway.

Crash at the Colonial Tavern

The Colonial Tavern was my dad’s morning coffee stop where everybody would gather to hash over the previous night’s Cardinal game. A sports car picked this night to plow into the building that was at the west end of Broadway.

The park that got away

A three-acre tract of land on the south side of Broadway east of Hwy 61 was donated by the Doggett family with the understanding that the the land would be developed into a park similar to Dennis Scivally Park on Cape Rock Drive.

The family felt that the tract hadn’t been improved in the past 10 years, so they filed a suit to reclaim the land. A granite marker with the name “Doggett Park” next to the Masonic Temple parking lot is all that remains of the park.

Crash at Broadway and Fountain

Sometimes what you think is going to be an inconsequential story resonates with readers. Fred Kaefpfer, who was directing traffic at this crash at the corner of Broadway and Fountain, turned out to be Cape’s singing policeman. It became one of the most-commented stories of the early blog. The Idan-Ha Hotel shows up in the background of the photo.

Idan-Ha Hotel burns

The Idan-Ha Hotel, which had caught fire in 1968, caught fire again in 1989.

Star Service Station – Cigarettes 25 cents a pack

The Star Service station at the corner of Broadway and Frederick gave stamps with your gas. Ninety stamps would get you $1.50 worth of free gas.

Annie Laurie’s used to be Brinkopf-Howell’s

Niece Laurie Everett’s Annie Laurie’s Antiques, across the street from the Star Service Station used to be a funeral home. It’s the top-rated antique shop in Cape County now. Shivelbines Music, across the street, got a new sign in November.

Bob’s Shoe Service

Bob Fuller’s Bob’s Shoe Service was where I stocked up on Red Wing boots, the ideal footwear for a photographer. They’d shine up acceptably for formal wear (at least as formal as I ever got), but you could wade water and walk on fire with no worries.

507-515 Broadway

The 500 block of Broadway has had an interesting past.

Discovery Playhouse – Walthers’s Furniture

I was glad to see some life around the old Walther’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home. The Discovery Playhouse has become popular in a short period of time. Here is was before it opened.

Lutheran Mural Building razed

When I shot the Discovery Playhouse, I had no idea that the landmark building across the street was going to be torn down within a couple of years. It was best known for the huge blue mural on its side.

Rialto Theater roof collapses

A rainstorm caused the roof of the old Rialto Theater to collapse in 2010. This story contains a bunch of links, including one that tells how I met Wife Lila there when she was working as a cashier. This picture is of the 1964 Homecoming Parade.

Broadway Theater is still impressive

I managed to talk my way into the Broadway Theater on a cold December day. It still has the feel of the premier theater of the city.

What’s going to happen to the Esquire?

When I did this story in October 2011, it looked like the Esquire Theater was going to get new life. A new owner had an ambitious plan to renovate it. The latest stories in The Missourian make it sound like the project is unraveling.

Here’s a piece I did about its art deco history. In September 1965, I used infrared flash and film to capture kids watching The Beatles movie Help! It was the first (and only) time I used that technique.

Pladium / D’Ladiums – it’s still the same

I wasn’t a pool player, but those who were spent their time in the Pladium (now D’Ladiums) across from Houck Stadium or the Pla-Mor, next to Wayne’s Grill and the Esquire. The Beav still rules the roost at D’Ladiums.

Vandeven’s Merchantile

Howard’s Athletic Goods and a handful of other businesses have moved into the building at the corner of Broadway and Pacific over the years, but it’ll always be Vandeven’s Merchantile to me.

It dawns on me that I have even more photographs along Broadway – way too many to inflict on you in one shot. I’ll hold off putting up the rest of them until another day. Don’t forget to click on the links to see the original stories.

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.