Ross’s Leaves Downtown Jackson

Longtime downtown Jackson business Ross Furniture is moving to East Jackson Blvd. from South High Street, a story in The Missourian reported June 12, 2012. The store had been at that location since 1979. As Cape’s business center has shifted west, I guess it’s only logical that Jackson’s would move east. The furniture store had one of the two bay windows that existed in the Courthouse Square area. It must have been exciting to look up and down the street and toward the courthouse Back in The Day.

Looking north toward Courthouse

Late afternoon isn’t the best time in of the day to shoot a north-south street. I was limited to shooting the businesses on the east side of the street because of dark shadows.

Even though I worked at The Jackson Pioneer, I have very few memories of Jackson’s main drag. I covered lots of governmental meetings and school activities, but there must not have been much happening in the business district.

Well, I have vague memories of a bit of a stir when one of The Pioneer’s editors developed a strange obsession with a local high school girl a third his age. When the girl’s father, one of our largest (and, to be honest, few) advertisers refused to let them date, the editor picketed the father’s place of business. I’m not sure even that was enough to get you fired at The Pioneer, but he didn’t last long. One of these days I’ll get around to writing about the collection of misfits we had working there.

Other Jackson stories

Photo gallery of South High Street businesses

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Jackson High School

I was over at the Jackson Cemetery looking for grave markers for Find A Grave, a website that runs requests for photos of stones for people doing genealogical work and the like. When I got to the west end, I noticed that Jackson High School was a lot bigger than it was when I worked at The Jackson Pioneer.

Science / Mathematics Building

I was encouraged to see a building devoted to science and mathematics. A newly-built high school in town that shall be nameless seems to have plenty of facilities for athletics, including a new football field, but the emphasis didn’t appear to be on academics.

Old building looks well-maintained

I know I must have been in the building lots of times when working for The Pioneer, but I can’t picture what the inside looks like.

Jackson’s stadium a federal stimulus program

Jackson High School’s football stadium was one of the WPA’s projects designed to put people back to work during the Depression. It was built in 1938. It’s amazing how many Cape County buildings were built under those stimulus projects. They might have been make-work jobs, but they’ve provided a lot of value to the community over the last three-quarters of a century. Jackson’s swimming pool, also built in 1938, was another WPA program.

Acres of parking lots

Here’s a view of the school from the west showing acres of parking. Contrast that with the aerial photos of the school I took in the 1960s.

Jackson High School Photo Gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

Jackson High School Aerials

I was doing some grave searching in the Jackson Cemetery the other day when I noticed how much had been added on to the Jackson High School across the street. I’ll have current photos soon, but here are some aerials of the area I shot in the mid to late-1960s. You can click on any image to make it larger.

This frame is looking to the north.Hubble Creek is on the left, the County Courthouse and downtown is at top right. Jackson Cemetery on on the lower right. I see people lined up on the football sidelines, so something must be going on. There are also people on the playing field at the bottom right.

Looking east

This photo is taken from the west, looking east. Highway 61 is on the right. The County Courthouse is center left, and the Hwy 25 – 61 intersection is at top right. There’s a junk yard at the bottom right. (I guess it would be called a salvage yard these days.)

Looking southwest

West Jefferson Street is to the right of the stadium. Hubble Creek runs diagonally across the top of the frame, passing by the junk yard and under Hwy 61. Almost all of the area to the left of the stadium has been turned into parking these days. The houses in front of the high school have also been converted to parking. [Personal rant: the next time you complain about the cost of bicycle facilities, ask yourself what it costs to pave over acres of ground for parking lots.]

View to the south

The final view is looking to the south. Hubble Creek is on the right and Hwy 62 runs across the frame at the top. The footbridge across Hubble Creek has been replaced by an extension of West Jefferson if I’m reading Google Maps correctly.

The last time I flew over Jackson, I took lots of photos of downtown and the courthouse, but didn’t think to make a pass over the high school. I’ll be running photos of it from the ground in the next day or so. It’s amazing how it’s grown.