Maplewood History: Pop’s Grocery

It is these old photographs and old buildings that have gotten me into this history business. I’ve been called by others the Maplewood historian and have introduced myself that way. Truth is I’m a history broker. If you have pictured me spending long hours in dusty basements of public buildings or hour after hour in our fine libraries, well I’m afraid I don’t do enough of that.

Nine years ago I did a massive amount of research for our Maplewood community history book that I produced for the 100th anniversary of our fair city which was 2008. My co-author Joyce Cheney also did months of research and wrote the body of text. I didn’t start out to construct the book myself. I was just trying to do as much as I could before we had to hire someone to finish it. As it turned out I had just taken two semesters of Photoshop at Meramec. I found with that knowledge I was able to decipher the companion publishing program, Indesign. No one was more surprised than me when I completed the book.

There were others such as Kathy Whipple, Pickett Lema, Amy Clark and Dawn Yourtee who helped as well. Not to mention the college student, Randy Miller from Meramec who bailed me out when Indesign would refuse to behave the way I wanted.

Everything I had done up to that point was 3D. 3D in the real world not the cyber. I was an autoworker by vocation and a carpenter, woodworker and wood carver by avocation. I list those last three things separately because the only thing they have in common is wood. These days I’m spending most of my time on photographs and accompanying text.

Since the 2008 Maplewood history book, my sister Barb and I have produced a family history book from our Grandma’s lifelong journal. Last January I completed an improved version of the 2008 Maplewood book prior to its second printing. I believe the MCBF will soon release it. I’m currently working on another book on Maplewood history that I’ve titled, “Maplewood History”. The subtitle will be something like “Volume 1. Enhanced selections from my blog”. This last one I’m doing without the benefit of a committee.

As I’ve mentioned I’ve been brokering information and pictures of Maplewood history for seven years. The blog has taken on a life of its own. People contact me who have photographs or what have you and I copy their stuff or they give it to me. Everything I copy or receive goes into our library. I personally have only a digital collection. Sorry, what started out to be filler turned into a bio.

I know nothing about the subject of this posts photo, Pop’s Grocery store but Pop’s people have got to be out there somewhere. If you think you might like to bop on down to Pop’s for some of that FOOD, Quality Dairy Ice Cream or maybe a pack of those tasty SPUD cigarettes that he’s advertising, well think again. Pop’s is long gone. Hopefully the two cute girls in the photo are still around. It would be great to hear from them.

I think this is a great photo. It is from the collection in our Maplewood Public Library but there's no info on who donated it. the little girls could not be cuter. Must be Easter for them to be all dressed up. Magnified on my computer I can see the address on the door is 7200 South. So a couple of days ago I took a ride to see if the building still exists.

Photos such as this one are windows into the past. It is from the collection in our Maplewood Public Library but there’s no info on who donated it. The little girls could not be cuter. Must be Easter for them to be all dressed up. I go over these photos at high magnification before I post them.  Mainly in order to remove dust and scratches. Often interesting details are found this way that are almost unnoticeable in a snapshot sized photo. You have the benefit of seeing most of these larger than a snapshot if you are viewing them on something other than your phone. SPUD cigarettes?  Who ever heard of those?  Who would think that was a good name for cigarettes?  Makes me think of smoking a potato.  Sounds like something Russian, doesn’t it?  Cigarettes made by the state.  The address on the door is 7200 South St. So a couple of days ago I took a ride to see if the building still exists.

It does! I was pleased to see that not only does it still exist but it is being maintained very nicely. No one came out while I took these photos so I'm not sure if the whole building is being used as residences or what. I like the fact that it could be easily converted back to a store if someone wanted to do it.

It does! I was pleased to see that not only does it still exist but it is being maintained very nicely. No one came out while I took these photos so I’m not sure if the whole building is being used as residences or what. I like the fact that it could be easily converted back to a store if someone wanted to do it. It is a lovely old corner grocery building. The owner even has glass where the transom windows were.  I don’t like it when the transoms are covered.

facade which faces Sotuh Street on the north has some nice robust brick arches over the windows. It even still has wht I would guess might be an original copper cap on the parapet. Look closely and you can see a ghost of something circular that was once hanging in the center.

The facade which faces South Street on the north has some nice robust brick arches over the windows. It even still has what I would guess might be an original copper cap on the parapet. Look closely and you can see a ghost of something circular that was once hanging in the center.

It's wonderful that the corner entry with the cast iron column and pilasters has not been remuddled. Kudos to the owner for maintaining those details.

It’s wonderful that the corner entry with the cast iron column and pilasters has not been remuddled. Kudos to the owner for maintaining those details.

The eastern elevation along Bellevue once had another storefront in the rear of the building. i'd be curious to know what businesses had been located there in the past. The information exists in the Headquarters Branch of the St. Louis County Library on lindbergh. The old county directories list the occupants by address. This a very nice building, well kept, that most of the time we'd walk or drive right by without noticing.

The eastern elevation along Bellevue once had another storefront in the rear of the building. I’d be curious to know what businesses had been located there in the past. The information exists in the Headquarters Branch of the St. Louis County Library on Lindbergh. The old county directories list the occupants by address. This a very nice building, well kept, that most of the time we’d walk or drive right by without noticing.  Well we should appreciate them.  Today I went to the IKEA store for the first time.  It has enormous windows where you can look out and see some really great historic buildings of St. Louis.  I could see the new cathedral on Lindell and the Armory along highway 40 just to name a couple.  The IKEA building is a nice new building but I couldn’t help thinking it would be a pretty boring city if all you could see were ones like it.  Doug Houser History Broker 11/28/16

 

18 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Pop’s Grocery

  1. I received this very interesting information by email. Let’s not let something like this happen again. DH

    I am very familiar with 2200 South Street. When the city had a company called Team Four do a zoning study and make recommendations, they only did what they called “a windshield study”. Meaning they only drove through the city and looked around. They then recommended that blocks be zoned according to what the predominant use was and produced a zoning map. I still have a copy of it. The city adopted the map without much thought. That was during the Richardson administration,

    Because many of the predominantly residential blocks also had one or two commercial buildings, mostly “Mom and Pops “ and the entire block was zoned “residential”, the commercial properties were “orphaned” and could not be used for business uses. And since they didn’t qualify for residential use, no kitchen, bath, bedrooms, etc. they could not be used for the zoning use they were trapped in !!
    I was on Planning and Zoning and the property owners had to come to P+Z every time for permission to use it commercially.

    Tom Bakersmith

    • Right across the street from 7200 South Street is 2122 Bellevue, another “orphaned” property.

      • That is a shame, Tom. Those spaces could be useful as incubators for small business people that can’t afford the higher rents along the more busy streets.

  2. When I was in grade school it was called Roy’s. My sibs and I used to go there all the time. they had great candy.
    Nearby on one of the streets was a home that had a pony in the back yard. We used to sneak back into the yard to pet that poor pony who was tied up all day long.

  3. Whoops, back to Pops store, I remember it as a confectionary. And yes, buying lots of candy there. But not certain if a different name. Remember buying an ice cream treat there also, called a ChoCho bar, chocolate on a stick kinda like a fudge cycle, but round. Forgot to add to my previous statement.

  4. I was born at St. Mary’s Hospital, and lived on Glades Ave until we moved to Ellisville where I started fifth grade. This was 1955. Mr. Cheney was our grade school principal. Does anyone know if there are any pix of downtown Maplewood shops/storefront windows that had been temporarily painted by local students for the holidays, mainly Christmas? I remember being chosen to paint a scene and doing that when I was in fourth grade.

    • I don’t know of any photos of your Christmas painted store windows, Anne. I appreciate you adding to our knowledge of the neighborhood life in the era of Pop’s grocery.

    • Anne I remember being chosen to paint a window for Halloween! I forgot about that. I have never seen pictures of it, how fun it would be to see that bit of nostalgia!

  5. We lived on High St. from 76 until 82. Our address was 7234, between Yale and Bellevue. I just noticed the other day, on Bruno, that the addresses were 7200 on the other side of Bellevue, and wondered the same thing. I used to send my very young son to that store for cigarettes and he got to get candy with the change. Don’t know of anyone else that might know the name of the store back then, but I will keep trying.

    • Another great recollection. Candy memories seem to be long term. Thank you, Judy for sharing that.

  6. I remember when that was a little confectionary. I can’t remember the name of it, but I went there many times when I went to East Richmond school. We could fill a small paper sack full of penny candy with the money we got from returning soda bottles. I used to get pretzel sticks there, and chic-o-sticks, and round pinwheels of red licorice with a small round candy in the middle. I wish I could remember the name of the store, I can sure remember the layout of the candy counter.

  7. Interesting. I’ve always wondered what used to be there. But can you tell me why the addresses on South start at 7200 on that block but if you go one block east it starts at a higher address. It’s backwards for some reason. None of the other streets are like that.