Knights, Eagles, Moose, Oh, My

Glouster OH 07-28-2013Small Ohio towns have plenty of one thing: buildings once occupied by fraternal organizations. Glouster, population 1,791 in 2010, had at least four in one block. This ornate building used by the Knights of Pythias, was labeled K. of P. Block.

A whole menagerie

Glouster OH 07-28-2013In addition to the Knights, the street hosted a Moose Lodge, Masonic Hall and an Eagles Aerie.

Corner in late 1960s

Glouster c 1968I’m pretty sure this is the same corner taken in the late 1960s. I apologize if the photo looks dark. It’s hard to judge color and tones on a laptop because the appearance changes depending on the angle of the screen.

Football stadium built by WPA

Glouster OH 07-28-2013Here’s another of those federal stimulus projects left over from The Depression. I wonder how many football games have been played in it since it was built in 1940?

Home of The Tomcats

Glouster OH 07-28-2013The Home of the Tomcats looks like it has been freshly painted. They built it to last.

Franklin School Construction

I wrote a little about the history of Franklin, the school with no name, back in March of last year. At that time, Cape voters hadn’t been to the polls yet to decide whether or not to tear down Franklin and build a new school. The issue passed and the old building’s days are numbered.

The plan is to construct the new school building, then tear down the old one. The area was fenced and the gates locked, so I had to shoot everything through and over a chainlink fence.

Franklin flag pole

It’s striking how similar the flag pole is to the one that used to be on Washington School.

Washington School flag pole base

Here’s a link to photos of Washington School before and after it was razed.

Franklin School Photo gallery

Here are photos of the old school and the construction going on behind it. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.



Lorimier School / Cape City Hall

When the state legislature passed legislation in 1867 allowing tax-supported public schools, Lorimier School became the first public school in Cape Girardeau, not a popular concept at the time.

Jeanie Eddleman observes in her book, Yesteryears, that Mark Twain was quite taken with the architecture of Cape. In Life on the Mississippi, he characterized Cape Girardeau as the Athens of Missouri because of its ornate nature. Lorimier was an three-story Renaissance building 163 feet by 72 feet, with a one-story chapel wing.

The 1873 structure was abandoned in 1928. In 1936, an $85,000 bond issue was passed to build a new school on the existing site. A $57,000 grant from the Public Works Administration was added to the bonds. (Another one of those Federal stimulus packages designed to pump up the economy.)

Cursive writing on cornerstone

I’ve never seen a cornerstone with cursive writing on it before.

Lorimier School closed in 1975

Lorimier School closed in 1975, due to declining enrollment. The city of Cape Girardeau converted the facility to a City Hall, preserving this piece of local history.

What is this house?

I should know the name of this house to the east of City Hall, but I’m drawing a blank. Can anyone identify it?

Ornate entrance

No public building of this era would be complete without some kind of ornate do-hickey to set off the main entrance. The modern, utilitarian City Hall sign injects a jarring sterility to the scene. (That’s the kind of stuff I learned to say in Art 101 in school. It’s a fancy way of saying, “That sign is butt-ugly.”)

My film scanner gave up the ghost

I had a whole bunch of negatives to scan, but my film scanner bought the farm this morning. I knew silver film had been wounded, if not killed off, by digital photography, but it never dawned on me how hard it was going to be to find a digital scanner.

All of the high-end professional models were backordered for at least two months or discontinued. In some cases, used equipment was selling for higher prices than new, because the new wasn’t available. I finally ended up ordering a “like new” Nikon Super CoolScan 8000 ED off eBay late in the evening. I hope my First Born likes his new master, cause that’s about what it cost.

If nothing else, I’ll have a reason to haunt the mailbox for the next few days.

Jackson’s 1938 Swimming Pool

I get amused when I hear people complaining about federal stimulus programs, because a lot of the same gripes were made about FDR’s alphabet soup of  the CCC, NRA, WPA and the like.

In 1938, Jackson agonized over spending $2,000 for materials needed by the WPA to build a swimming pool for the city. The Missourian reported June 7, 1938 that a delegation argued “that such a pool is a necessity, that other cities nearby have such pools and that the pools are frequented a great deal and pay for their upkeep. It was also said that the construction of a pool in the Sanford Park would redeem the park which has become more or less of a white elephant to the city and that, unless something is done to utilize it, the park might as well be sold.

“It was also pointed out that daily Jackson people visit the swimming pool in Cape Girardeau, that, if Jackson had a pool, graduating classes from other towns could be invited to use it, that the pool would serve to keep the youth of the city off the streets in the idle summer months, that the Board of Education is spending $10,000 of the people’s money on a stadium that is used probably four or five times a year, and that only $1,500 of the people’s money is being asked for to build an $11,000 swimming pool that would be used 120 days a year.

The pool, as planned, would hold 140,000 gallons of water. The biggest concern was how much it would cost to maintain the pool. The City Council ducked making a decision by ruling that it would circulate a petition “to ascertain the feelings of the citizens regarding the matter.”

Jackson Swimming Pool and Drive-in

The voters must have decided they wanted the pool, because it WAS built. This aerial photo from the late 60s shows the pool in the middle of the photo. Jackson’s Drive-in Theater is at the bottom right. It’s the site of the new pool, which replaced the 1938 WPA project in 1976.

All good things come to an end

Oct. 13, 1965, The Missourian ran a story that said the old pool was too old and too small. James R. Nelson, summer pool manager and principal of Jackson High School, said the pool had become outmoded, machinery is believed to be in danger of collapse and huge leaks are releasing tremendous amounts of water. In one three-day period with no activity, the pool leaked 90,000 gallons of water, about half its capacity.

Nelson thought the problem was in the circulation system. When the pool was built, pipes were laid in the concrete around the pool. During the first 20 years of operation, the acid level of the pool was rarely checked and it was believed that acid over the years had eaten the pipes away. The presumed result was that the circulation system consists of holes in the concrete instead of pipes. Water leaked out at every joint or crack in the concrete. Water in the pool met safety standards, but just barely.

Pool has been filled in

I’m not sure when the old pool closed, but a new pool, opened in 1976. The old pool has been filled and turned into a Tot Land. If you look closely at some of the photos in the gallery, you can still see where the lifeguard chairs were mounted and see  barely make out the NO DIVING markers.

Jackson Pool Photo Gallery

Here is a collection of vintage and current photos of the Jackson pool. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.