SEMO Football Trampoline and Mascots

When I did a piece on Griff’s Burger Bar the other day, some folks reminisced  a trampoline place in Cape. About the same time as that, I happened across these two frames shot at a SEMO football practice.

I don’t know if the trampolines were set up for the football players or if they were for something else.

Is that trampoline safe?

The supports and springs on that trampoline don’t look like they’d hold up the weight of the football players we see today. Maybe the SEMO Indians in those politically incorrect days were skinnier than the current crop.

Chief Sagamore turned into Rowdy Redhawk

Wife Lila was confused by my “politically incorrect” comment. In an attempt to be more sensitive to Native Americans, the university changed its mascot from Indians/Otahkians to Redhawks; the university newspaper dropped “Capaha” from its name and is now known as simply The Arrow.

Chief Sagamore, shown here in front of the Marquette Hotel during the 1966 Homecoming Parade down Broadway, has been replaced by Rowdy Redhawk.

Chief Sagamore moved to Chaonia Landing Resort

The local NPR station, KRCU, has a great feature called Almost Yesterday. It mentioned that there was a 22-foot fiberglass statue of an Indian Chief at the top of Houck Stadium. The statue originally graced the War Drum Resturaunt in Sikeston (which briefly became the location of the second Lambert’s Resturaunt (“Home of Throwed Rolls)). I’m not sure I have any photos of the Chief.

When “Indians” became taboo, Chief Sagamore was exiled to storage. He was later sold to the owners of the Chaonia Landing Resort at Lake Wappapello, where he was lifted to the top of the lookout above the resort.

1964 SEMO Homecoming Parade

This is a collection of photos from the 1964 Southeast Missouri State College Homecoming Parade. Bands from a lot of local schools, Including Central marched in it. Since it was a presidential election year, there are several political floats.

NOBODY could step out like Ruth Ann Seabaugh

Ruth Ann Seabaugh, Toni Grose and (I think) Nancy Swan strut past the Rialto Theater.

Gallery of Homecoming Parade Photos

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

I just discovered more film from this parade. I think I have all of the Central students in this selection, so I’ll save the rest of the the pictures for another day.

Does Jessica Haunt Pike Lodge?

I’ve driven past the Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Lodge many times, but I never knew much about it. I’ve always thought I’d like to the have the aluminum beer can recycling concession at the place, but that reflects my prejudices.

The parking lot was empty on Easter Sunday, so it seemed a good time to pull over for a quick mug shot of the building.

I had heard that the building on South Sprigg, just below the cement plant, had been a former school, so I didn’t think it would take long to get its history. Pickings were slim, though.

It was Lafayette School (Nope, see update)

The Pike web site had this to say about it: November of 1973: Pi Kappa Alpha had long been searching for an off-campus building for many functions. In the Fall of ’73 the chapter and its housing corporation found the Lafayette School house on S. Sprigg St. The Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Lodge, as it would come to be known, serves as a social place as well as a post for weekly chapter meetings.

Paranormal Task Force investigates Pike Lodge

What was more interesting was a 2007 visit to the lodge by the Paranormal Task Force conducting a two-day Ghost Hunting 101 Class with the Adult Education Department of Southeast Missouri State University.

You can get the whole story by following the link above, but here are some highlights.

The SEMO Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) Lodge is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a girl ghost named Jessica who in the early 1900’s met ill fate when this was once the Lafayette Schoolhouse. The stories vary a bit, but the common denominator in all of them involved the old boiler, coal chute and the grate above them.

Eye witness accounts and various online legends report that neighbors have seen the spirit of a little girl through the windows playing jump rope inside or just standing at the front windows watching when a train passes on the nearby tracks. Another story tells of a young neighbor boy who came over when the Lodge was having a meeting asking if it was okay for him to be in there when they were all gone. When the brothers of the Lodge told him no and that was dangerous, the boy told them he came over many times in the past to play with the little girl there.

Other accounts include strange noises, the lights swaying excessively on their own, open windows slamming shut or shaking, strange rappings, the unexplainable malfunctioning of electrical equipment and sinister laughing manifesting where the boilers once were.

What did the PTF team find?

During our mini-investigation we experienced the following:

  1. Traveling cold spots.
  2. Unexplainable EMF spikes which moved about and reached levels near 10 milligauss.
  3. While using two K-2 EMF meters and having two different people hold one each at a good distance apart, we were able to document interaction with an entity there through “yes” and “no” questions with one meter/person being “yes” and the other “no”. This interaction indicated that the entity we were in contact with was male, enjoyed us there and became lonely at times. There was further possible indication through this EMF process and sensitive investigators present that this may have been the spirit of a PIKE Brother who possibly passed away unexpectedly due to a tragic event or happening.

We didn’t spot Jessica

I may have missed Jessica when I looked away from the lodge toward the cement plant. All I saw was Spring starting to make the Winter blahs go away.


Several folks have written to question my info that the Pike Memorial Lodge was the former Lafayette School. They think its the old Marquette School. That thought crossed my mind, too, but I assumed that the Pi Kappa Alpha frat boys would know what they had bought.

That was, of course, before I remembered that a buddy of mine, who was an enthusiastic Pike at first, quickly became disenchanted and dropped out when he was taken to task for “spending too much time on academics and not devoting energy to supporting the chapter.”

A reliable source sent me two links to Missourian stories about the dedication of the school in 1924 and the dissolving of the Marquette School District in 1968.

I’m going to go with the consensus that the Pike Memorial Lodge IS the old Marquette School and the Pike who wrote the history of the place was NOT one who spent too much time on academics.

  • November of 1973: Pi Kappa Alpha had long been searching for an off-campus building for many functions. In the Fall of ’73 the chapter and its housing corporation found the Lafayette School house on S. Sprigg St. The Pi Kappa Alpha Memorial Lodge, as it would come to be known, serves as a social place as well as a  post for weekly chapter meetings.

Southeast Missouri State University 1966 Aerial Photos

Southeast Missouri State University – Kent Library

I love looking at Fred Lynch’s collection of Frony pictures, including the February 22 photo of Kent Library from the 1940s.  His f/8 and Be There blog makes my job easier.

  • They jog my memory about things I’ve shot.
  • He and Sharon Sanders do all the research I’m too lazy to do. Instead of doing a lot of writing, I can send you directly to the work they’ve done.

(I KNOW that it was called Southeast Missouri State College at the time these pictures were shot, but I’ll go with the current name to make it easier for folks who use search engines to find it these days.)

SEMO has several good maps to help you identify campus buildings

The photo above shows Kent Library in the upper left corner. Dearmont Hall is to its right. The Grauel Building is under construction at bottom right.

Academic Hall, Kent Library, College High School

This photo, from a slightly wider angle, picks up Academic Hall in the center, , then clockwise to College High School, the Grauel Building at the bottom, Dearmont Hall, Kent Library and the baseball field at Capaha Park at top left.

Houck Stadium and Field House, Academic Hall, Kent Library, Broadway & Pacific

This photo centers on Houck Stadium and Houck Field House, but includes the intersection of Broadway and Pacific at the bottom right. You can see Howard’s Sporting Goods, the Esquire Theater and Vandeven’s Merchantile.

Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

There’s a two-story building at the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway, across the street from Howard’s, that is no longer there. I can remember there was a tiny gap between it and the building to its west that was just large enough for a kid to walk through. Here’s what The Missourian had to say about it.

In the mid-1800s, Frank C. Krueger purchased property on the southwest corner of Harmony (now known as Broadway) and Pacific Street. It has been said the Krueger erected the building that once stood at the end of Cape Girardeau’s city limit during the 19th century. Broadway to the west of Pacific Street was a gravel road known as Jackson Road. Krueger opened up a general store on the east side of the building, and he established a saloon on the west side. It soon became known as the “Last Chance” saloon headed west out of Cape Girardeau and the “First Chance” as one entered town. The saloon provided the last chance to have a drink when leaving Cape Girardeau and first chance upon entering town. Krueger died in 1882, and the building saw several proprietors after that. In the 1920s, the east section — 901 Broadway — housed Miller & Foeste grocery for many years. In the 1940s, the Last Chance Tavern opened on the east side. Oscar Becker operated the Last Chance Pool Hall on the west side — 903 Broadway — for more than 45 years. In the later years of the building, it would house a restaurant and pizza business before returning to a tavern, called the “Second Chance.” In November 1994, the building was razed.

Three buildings north of the intersection, on the right-hand side of the street is a two-story brick building that was a bottling company. I wish I knew more about it. A good chunk of that area has been gobbled up by the university for parking.

BurritoVille replaces the Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

This is the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway on Oct. 28, 2009. The Last Chance – First Chance – Second Chance Saloon is gone, replaced by BurritoVille and some other businesses. I guess that may not be much of a loss. When Son Matt and his family visited Cape in 2008, he gave BurritoVille a rave review on my bike blog.

Northeast corner of Pacific and Broadway

The Esquire Theater is on the left and Howard’s / Craftsman Building / Vandeven’s Mercantile (depends on your era) is across the street.


Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.