f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Windmill Drive-In

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 7:30 AM

This is the only picture we have that shows the Windmill Drive-In on North Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau. Frony made the picture in the early 1950s.

The drive-in is shown in the background of this extreme enlargement at the corner of what is now Mount Auburn Road and North Kingshighway. The property is north of the present Osage Centre.

The only references to the business we have found were tiny ads in the Locals and Personals column such as these:

Aug. 28, 1952

Hamburgers, beef and pork barbecues. Curb Service. Windmill Drive-In.

July 27, 1954

Cold Sliced Watermelon and Sandwiches. Windmill Drive-In.

March 31, 1955

FOR SALE -- Soft Cream machine, bottle cooler, and car trays. Windmill Drive-In, Highway 61 at Kage Road.


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  • They had the best cold watermelon I've ever eaten.

    The place reminds me a lot of The Barn, that was located on South Kingshighway south of Bloomfield Rd. There was a small pond on the property where you could pay to fish.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 7:45 AM
  • wow how hwy 61 has changed...

    i love these old pics of old forgotten restaurants and other buildings of interest...now i can sort of get a visual of what my grandparents always talked about since most of these pre-date me.

    On another topic...

    Fred, do you have pics of the 10 mile rose garden, etc? Can anyone tell me exactly what the route of that rose garden was and any other info on it?

    -- Posted by TommyStix on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 8:43 AM
    Fred Lynch
    See this previous blog on the Ten-Mile Garden from Sept. 27, 2010:


  • Interesting to see Kingshighway as a two-lane road.

    -- Posted by travellin man on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 10:47 AM
  • I think a go cart track relaced the windmill.

    -- Posted by Yankee Station on Wed, Mar 30, 2011, at 3:19 PM
    Fred Lynch
    May 5, 1961 Southeast Missourian

    To Open Sports Center

    A sports recreation center, the Windmill Funland, featuring children's rides, go-kart track and kart rentals and a miniature golf course, will have its grand opening Sunday afternoon at 1:30. The funland is located just north of the Cape Girardeau city limits on Highway 61.

    Regular hours for the funland will be 1:30-10:30 in the evening on Saturdays and Sundays and 4:30-10:30 on weekdays. The funland is being operated jointly by Elmer Luehring, Roy Bannister and Bob and Dave Ludwig.

  • There was a miniature golf course there for at least one Summer. Some of my friends worked there.

    -- Posted by Snorky47 on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 5:01 PM
  • Cape Girardeau has changed so much, but thankfully, it is still an attractive city overall.

    I especially like this photo and information about the intersection of Kingshighway with Mount Auburn and Kage roads, because one of my favorite things about returning to Cape to visit is driving down Kingshighway from Interstate 55 toward the Mount Auburn/Lexington intersection. There are still so many trees along the route thanks to the county parks and the adjacent conservation area, and as one drives past the parks toward the Mount Auburn intersection, the Academic Hall dome and Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge are visible. Whenever I see this view, I immediately feel like I'm at home. The drive into Cape Girardeau from Highway K or Highway 74 tells the story of a prosperous small city and a regional hub, but the drive along North Kingshighway is still the scenic front door to Cape in my opinion.

    Fred, I find this blog very fascinating, and I appreciate you finding all of these photos and sharing related information about them with us!

    -- Posted by SEMO2STL on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 7:30 AM
  • Fred, If I remember correctly, the Windmill Drive-In and the surrounding buildings were owned by Elmer Lehring, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

    -- Posted by klrwhizkid on Thu, Feb 16, 2012, at 9:13 PM
  • I believe that business was owned by Elmer Lehring, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church back in the 50's through 70's.

    -- Posted by klrwhizkid on Sun, Mar 16, 2014, at 2:01 PM