Maplewood History: More Historic Photos from the Kalb/Fischer Collection

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I think this is one of the most interesting photos. I have long wondered what buildings were located at the intersection of Manchester and Big Bend in the past. this is the only clear view I've been able to find. It was taken about 1930 judging by the cars.

Local history buff Martin Fischer has kindly let me copy much of his collection of historic Maplewood documents, photos, artifacts and ephemera. Many of the most fascinating photos are of the Kalb family and their business, Kalb Electric.

Thank you Marty for letting us all have a look at these.

I think this is one of the most interesting photos. I have long wondered what buildings were located at the intersection of Manchester and Big Bend in the past. this is the only clear view I've been able to find. It was taken about 1930 judging by the cars.
I think this is one of the most interesting photos. I have long wondered what buildings were located at the intersection of Manchester and Big Bend in the past. This is the only clear view I’ve been able to find. It was taken about 1930 judging by the cars. There are gas stations on three corners. The fourth, the NW corner is still occupied by the building that once held Wolf’s Bar. This photograph was taken from the north side of Kalb’s commercial building on Ellis Ave and Big Bend. City Hall #2 is very visible as well.

 

Wolf's Bar once belonged to an ancestor of our councilman, Fred Wolf. Courtesy of Maplewood Public Library.
Wolf’s Bar, located on the NW corner of Big Bend and Manchester, once belonged to an ancestor of our councilman, Fred Wolf. Courtesy of Maplewood Public Library.

 

Maplewood City Hall #2 was located just a few feet east of today's White Castle. It contained the fire department, library and police department.
Maplewood City Hall #2 was located just a few feet east of today’s White Castle. It contained the fire department, library and police department.

 

The Kalb home and business at 2711 Big Bend. Courtesy of Martin Fischer
The Kalb home and business at 2711 Big Bend. They sold hardware as well as electrical items when this photo was taken. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

another view of the same. Talk about a short morning commute. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
Another view of the same. Talk about a short morning commute. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

This view provides a better look at the handsome southern elevation of the Kalb home. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
This view provides a better look at the handsome southern elevation of the Kalb home. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

R.T.Kalb and boys in the side yard. I'm not sure whose boys they all are. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
R.T.Kalb and boys in the side yard. I’m not sure whose boys they all are. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

Two of the young fellows pose in the side yard with a view of the Masonic Temple in the background. the temple fronted on Manchester. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
Two of the young fellows pose in the side yard with a view of the Masonic Temple in the background. The temple fronted on Manchester. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

A view of the Temple from an old program. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
A view of the Temple from an old program. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

a Kalb electric Company bus. Why they needed one we can only guess. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
A Kalb Electric Company bus. Why they needed one we can only guess. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

This wonderful photo gives us an image of the neighbor's home filling in gaps in our knowledge as to what sorts of buildings once existed on Big Bend. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
This wonderful photo gives us an image of the neighbor’s home filling in gaps in our knowledge as to what sorts of buildings once existed on Big Bend. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.

 

16 COMMENTS

    • And the one airplane of the “Maplewood Air Force” I think it was WW2 surplus Corsair minus it’s wings.
      It was used to test the water and wind resistance of windows manufactured the company at Manchester and Hanley.

    • Margaret, there has been some debate at to exactly what year the Masonic Temple was razed. I took some photographs of it while it was being destroyed. The camera that I used I bought in 1980 and used it until 1983. So that’s my best recollection. If I discover an exact year in an old clipping or somewhere else I’ll post it. There are others who would like to know as well. Unbelievable as it seems now we lost this magnificent building for a Shoney’s restaurant (now demolished and replaced by a CVS pharmacy). One always hopes we’ll get to a point where we will stop losing our architectural heritage but look what happened to the magnificent original interior of Harper’s Pharmacy by the Sierra Club no less!

  1. This neighbor was the Watson family for many, many years. House was torn down when Big Bend was widened. George B. Watson operated his printing business(Watson Printing) froma building at the rear of this lot. Next door was the Mo. Auto Radiator business and on the corner was Steckers’s market.

    • Barb, thanks so much for the details you’ve added. Doesn’t it seem weird that the Watson’s home was removed while Kalb’s commercial building survived the widening of Big Bend unscathed? The Kalb building definitely projects farther into the space one would assume they needed for the road. Which corner was Stecker’s Market on?

      • Engineers told mom and dad they were concerned that since the sidewalk would be below the foundation of the house that the house would not be able to withstand the vibration of the added traffic and would crack! Also would have no front entrance anymore. Stecker’s was on the NW corner next to Mo Auto Radiator.

        • Very interesting, Barb. I’m guessing your maiden name was Watson. Your comment is of special interest to me because I live in a home on Big Bend where the sidewalk in front is lower that my foundation. My home lost its front yard to the widening. They replaced it with a massive retaining wall. My house has no more cracks than normal for a solid masonry (stone in my case) home. Do you recall what year the widening took place? Also where are your family’s historic photos? I’d love to copy some of them.

    • Right, Ian. This is the only photo I’ve seen that shows the front elevation of that house which I’m calling the Watson’s house from now on thanks to Barb Kloeckener’s comment.

  2. Great post Doug. I like the photos of the old Kalb house. Note the difference in the front gable details between the first two photos and third. The third shows some Victorian Stick/Tudor style trim work, while the first and second displays diamond shingles, probably asbestos type.

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