A Nov. 24, 1939, article published in The Southeast Missourian provides a review of some of Cape Girardeau's longest-operating stores. The story ran in connection with the 75th anniversary of Walther's Furniture Store, 502 Broadway.
Although Walther's closed in 1984, recent years have seen new life breathed into the old furniture store building when it was transformed into the Discovery Playhouse, a children's museum.
Several of the buildings mentioned in the 1939 article are still standing, some housing new businesses:
Doyle's hat shop, 118 Themis St., now Montgomery & Greaser Law Firm.
Hirsch's general store, northwest corner Sprigg and Good Hope streets, now Baisch & Skinner South Wholesale Florist.
Vandeven Mercantile Co., southeast corner Broadway and Pacific Street, now Howard's Athletic Goods.
The other two stores listed in the article -- Bahn Bros. hardware and Hartung's lock and gunsmith -- are both gone.
Bahn's on the east side of Main Street, between Themis and Independence streets, came down in 1962 for the expansion of the Montgomery Ward store.
Hartung's was at 600 Broadway until February 1965, when the business moved to 240 N. Frederick St. The next month, the Broadway structure was the victim of an automobile accident, when a car was knocked into the vacant building. It was torn down and a gas station built at the site.