Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak

Photos by James D. McKeown III, courtesy Steven McKeownThere has been a monster thread on the Facebook group Growing Up in Cape Girardeau about the businesses in the 1600 block of Independence. I wrote about the Pak-A-Snak, Fire Station No. 2, the Donut Drive-In, the Sunset Barber Shop and the Pink Pony Lounge in 2010.

Reader Steve McKeown sent me a bunch of scans of family photos his dad had taken way back when. From time to time, I go looking through them. This time I saw a shot of the front of the Pak-A-Snak after a windstorm had blown through town.

How do you spell that?

Photos by James D. McKeown III, courtesy Steven McKeownVarious people on Facebook came up with all kinds of variations of the name of what was probably Cape’s first convenience store. It’s a little fuzzy when I blow it up, but the sign on the building says Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak. That’s also the spelling The Missourian used in several business briefs.

Second floor added in 1966

Pak-a-Snak 03-31-2010Frony’s business column in the August 18, 1966, Missourian said that construction is underway on a second floor to Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak Market, 1606 Independence, this to be occupied by the Jack and Jill Play School, now in a dwelling at 1600 Independence and operated by Mrs. Marjorie George.

That means that Steve’s photo was taken before 1966. This one was taken in 2010.

Farrows opened Pak-A-Snak in 1933

The Missourian reported in January 13, 1960 that “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Farrow have purchased Farrow’s Superette at 1830 Bloomfield from Herman Schmittze …. Mr. and Mrs. Farrow sold the market 10 years ago to Mr. and Mrs. Al Schoen.

“Mr. and Mrs. Farrow have been in the grocery business since 1933 when the built Cape’s first drive-in grocery store, the Pak-A-Snak, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Porter Stubbs. The Farrows now own the Snappy Sak-It on Highway 61, which they built and they will continue its operation.

Don’t forget to click it

Buy From Amazon.com to Support Ken SteinhoffWe’re getting into the season when folks are thinking about buying gifts. I encourage you to shop locally, but if you order from Amazon, click on the Big Red Button at the top left of the page (or this one) to get to Amazon. I’ll make about 6% on anything you purchase, and it won’t add a penny to your cost.

It’s a painless way for you to help me keep the computer running and the gas tank filled to bring you these stories.

605 Good Hope: Ruh’s Super Market

605 Good Hope Ruh's Market among other things 10-10-2014The nondescript building at 605 Good Hope looked familiar, but I couldn’t place what had been in there over the years. A quick Internet search showed that for the longest time, it was Ruh’s Super Market.

Fred Lynch’s Missourian blog has a Frony photo that will show you what it looked like right after it opened in 1936. Fred has a nice summary of the history of the building and its owner, Frank C. Ruh, in his post.

Here is Mr. Ruh’s obituary from the February 13, 1959, Missourian. He died at 77, after nearly 52 years in retail business. He and G.H. Gross opened Gross and Ruh Market at the corner of Good Hope and Frederick in 1907. When Mr. Gross died in 1931, he continued operation of the business and moved to 605 Good Hope in 1936.

[Editor’s note: the obituary said Gross died in 1931; Fred’s account says 1932. It’s not uncommon for obits to be different than contemporary reporting. Obits are frequently based on memories, not research.]

1954 Ruh’s advertisement

1954-05-24 Ruh's AdFor some reason, we never shopped at Ruh’s. I don’t know if Mother didn’t like the business or if she preferred to shop at Hirsch’s Midtown Grocery on Sprigg if we were in Haarig. This ad ran in the May 24, 1954, Missourian.

Thompson’s TV and Appliances

1961-05-17 Thompson's ad 605 Good HopeAfter Ruh’s death, Thompson’s TV and Appliances moved into 605 Good Hope in 1961. This advertisement ran in the May 17 Missourian.

VIP Industries came in 1967

VIP Industries, a sheltered workshop, moved into the facility in 1967. By 1982, a Missourian story reported, VIP employed almost 300 handicapped residents in a five-county area here, in Marble Hill and in Perryville.

I don’t know what is in the building today.

 

Hobbs Chapel Cemetery

Hobbs Chapel CemeteryWhen you live in the land of skinny pine and palm trees, you forget how impressive the big trees of the Midwest are. I’ve taken photos in the Hobbs Chapel Cemetery before, but I can’t lay my hands on them just this minute.

What caught my eye Sunday, though was not the gravestones, it was the big tree dominating the cemetery.

Chapel completed in 1892, burned in 1993

Hobbs Chapel CemeteryMissourian photographer Fred Lynch had a photo of the church in his July 15, 2013, blog. I’m not sure, but the skinny tree in one of the photos taken by One-Shot Frony in 1935 might be this one.

 

Missourian Equipment Move

Missouiran equipment moveIt looks like a heavy piece of equipment is being taken out of The Southeast Missourian building. It’s hard for me to tell what it is, but I think it might be a plate maker that etched the zinc plates used to make halftone photos. The man on the left in the patterned shirt is one of the many Hohlers who were responsible for producing the paper. I just can’t remember which one he is.

A balcony for parades

Missouiran equipment moveThat balcony opened off the newsroom, so it was a perfect place to watch the parades go by.

Missourian Building a landmark

Missouiran equipment moveThe Missourian building may not be as iconic from a distance as the Common Pleas Courthouse or Academic Hall’s dome, but it’s a Cape landmark, nonetheless. If you are interested in the history of the building, here’s a link to the National Register of Historic Places registration form.

Spooky place at night

Missouiran equipment moveI loved sitting up in the newsroom all by myself at night. It was a great place to do my homework. There were three police monitors hanging from a shelf on a column that would occasionally crackle to life from time to time with some minor call that I could usually ignore. In fact, over the years, I got to where I could pretty much tune out the sound of the cops and robbers in the background until I heard a change in voice stress and cadence, then I’d perk up.

The spooky part was the Western Union Clock on the wall. Every hour, it would make a sound as it synchronized itself with the mother ship, wherever it was. Even though I knew what it was and should have been expecting, I’d always jump.

Of all the places I worked, I don’t think any felt more like a newsroom “home” to me.

Shooting from the balcony

G.D. Fronabarger, Southeast Missourian photographerLooks like I got the high ground on this occasion. I snapped off a photo of One-Shot Frony standing on the sidewalk while I was on the balcony.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.