f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Midweek Mystery: Downtown Women

Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2010, at 7:30 AM

These women were photographed by G.D. Fronabarger in downtown Cape Girardeau. We don't know their names or when or why it was taken.

The businesses in the background include, from left: Weiss Motor Co., Studebaker dealer; Carter Auto Sales, new and used cars; Firestone, Woolworth's and Hutson Furniture Co.

According to our librarian, Sharon Sanders, the picture was taken before Hutson's moved to its present location in 1956. You can see in the background Hutson is still on the corner of Main and Independence, and Weiss Motor is in the present Hutson location.


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  • If the photo is from 1956, I believe it must be in front of the old Frisco passenger train station. Perhaps the girls were catching the train. Is there a photo of the station in the files.

    Also, in the far background one can see the St. Charles Hotel. Is there a photo of that?

    -- Posted by semowasp on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 8:43 AM
  • You can see this same area shot a few years later here:


    semowasp, the St. Charles is visible from the ground and the air in my photos.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 9:40 AM
  • Well, I've spent some time, and can't find the train name. But, as we're guessing, I'd bet this is a late August photo of co-eds headed for one of the Columbia schools - Stephens, Mizzou or Christian. Heck, there may be Woodsie in the group.

    The Wabash ran a special train from St. Louis to Columbia at the beginning of every school year. It was the place to be.

    As I recall, Frisco's northbound Sunnyland left Cape around Noon with Mr. Owen as conductor, arriving Union Station at 4 p.m. (Tower Grove at 3:30) The Special would have left about 5 p.m.

    So, what Cape families had daughters in Columbia around 1955?

    -- Posted by semowasp on Wed, Jun 2, 2010, at 3:01 PM
  • Fred,

    These comments got me thinking about a family home movie from the early 60s when it was tradition for the kindergarten class of Trinity Lutheran School to take a train from Cape to Chaffee.

    Here's some vintage 8mm film from those days:


    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Thu, Jun 3, 2010, at 11:14 PM