f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Water Street building demolition/S. Albert Grocery

Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at 7:30 AM

G.D. Fronabarger took this picture sometime after the old railroad tracks were removed along Water street in 1958 for construction of the floodwall. The new tracks shown were installed on the west side of the old tracks.

Click to see another photograph of the building used in Lost and Saved.

This is the text from Lost and Saved:

A three-story, ornate brick building once stood on Water Street in Cape Girardeau and housed the S. Albert Grocery Store, with the Albert Boat Store to its south on the northwest corner of Water and Themis streets. Built in the mid-1800s, the building featured an arcade of six arches on the first level façade with elaborate carved window hoods. Sebastian Albert, a wholesale grocer and commission merchant, purchased interest in his brother's wholesale grocery business around 1860, and the business became known as J. & S. Albert Wholesale Grocers. It continued to operate until 1877, when Sebastian Albert took over and renamed it S. Albert Wholesale Grocers. His business specialized in wholesale grocery, liquors and farm implements. Sebastian Albert was born in France and immigrated to the United States, settling first in Louisville, Ky. In 1846, he moved to Jackson and worked in the general merchandising. He joined the Gold Rush, traveling to California in 1850, but returned to Cape Girardeau three years later. In 1865, Albert married Rosa L. Miles of Cape Girardeau. He died in 1895. In May 1959, the grocery building and the one south of it were razed by Cape Federal Savings & Loan Association for a parking lot.

May 11, 1959 Southeast Missourian

Taking Down Two Water Street Buildings

Wrecking of two massive brick buildings on the waterfront just north of Themis was started Monday. The old buildings are to be taken away so that Cape Federal Savings & Loan Association can prepare a parking lot.

R.W. Nichols who recently had owned the two buildings is general contractor for removing of the structures. He sub-let the actual work to Henry Warfield.

The one at the street corner is the former Albert Boat Store, a landmark in the community in the days of the Mississippi River packets, and the next one is the former Yellow Dog building. Farther north is the former Cape Grocer Association structure.

The roofing and some of the framework are to be removed first, then the workmen can start taking away the thick brick walls. The walls, save for some marks made by the passing years, are in pretty good condition. The Cape Federal offices are immediately to the west of the old buildings, at 102 North Main.

Editor's Note: The building under demolition was listed in the 1958 city directory as Nichols Transfer Co., 101-07 Water St. Other buildings listed, to the north, were Cape Grocers Association Inc., 111; Smith-Alsop Paint & Wallpaper Co., 113-15; Ueleke Hardware Inc., 117-19; vacant, 121; Eakins Heating, 127; Buckner-Ragsdale Co. display room, 129; Buckner-Ragsdale Co. rear entrance, 131.

The site is now a parking lot across from Port Cape Girardeau restaurant.


Beverly Hahs writes about the Alberts in this column from October 3, 2020:

The Alberts: immigrants from France


View 7 comments or respond
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  • Thank you for sharing this great historic photo and the info to go along with it. So much history is lost in the name of advancement....I know it is necessary but just thinking what wonderful loft-style apartments those beautiful old buildings could have become today.

    -- Posted by Catbert on Wed, Apr 13, 2011, at 7:42 AM
  • So, the building was removed and nothing ever when back in its place?!! Only a very inefficient parking lot...

    -- Posted by jacksonjazzman on Wed, Apr 13, 2011, at 8:07 AM
  • Does anybody remember Edward's Paradise and the Honey Dripper at 35, 37 North Water?

    -- Posted by Yankee Station on Wed, Apr 13, 2011, at 8:30 AM
  • Here's an aerial of that area and an account of the old Sportsman's Club that was at 39 N. Water.


    A 1939 fire in that building could have wiped out a good section of downtown had it not been quickly extinguished.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Apr 13, 2011, at 9:24 AM
  • Following the fortunate fire in December 1963 that destroyed the CGCC clubhouse, site of regular dances for 8th/9th graders, the Teen Quarter Club was established in the display room at 129 Water St, just visible in the photo. Membership was invitation only, and many of that era's restless youth spent hours and overnights there watched only by the night watchman, Mr. Tucker.

    So renowned was the club for carless kids that a year later the city opened TAC a block away on Themis St. The two co-existed for awhile, but rumors of alcohol and the success of the supervised substitute put an end to the TQC.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Wed, Apr 13, 2011, at 11:16 AM
  • The story mentions Henry Warfield. Now there was a man that did a lot of good, I think his main purpose of doing what he did was to teach and encourage a lot of young guys the value and satisfaction of hard work over just hanging around.

    He could pull a flat trailer through the Good Hope and Sprigg area and fill it up fast with guys knowing they would be worked hard but paid fairly.

    -- Posted by Old John on Thu, Apr 14, 2011, at 7:35 PM
  • I was going through my great uncles old stamp collection and found a bunch of 1800's post cards to the S. Albert Grocers Co. I googled it and found this article. Interesting how things move around with time. Shame the place is gone it would have been more exciting to have found the buisness still running and the building still around.

    -- Posted by John T on Tue, Jun 7, 2011, at 2:46 PM