[Nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 50°F  
High: 51°F ~ Low: 44°F
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Memphis Blues

Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at 5:29 AM

Since this blog has become reminiscent of old houses in Dexter, I dug through my old photos and came up with a snowball fight, circa 1954-55. However, I seem to have screwed up my blog in the process!!!
It's early morning in Memphis, and the coffee is brewing (I guess we can't use the word "perking," anymore, can we?), as I begin another day at my daughter's new little house in the University District, which they also call "Midtown."

Actually, this cute little house isn't "new;" in fact, it was built in 1942 - an excellent year, I might add... It sits on a quiet street, alongside other little two-bedroom houses from the same era. There are sidewalks, which is a real novelty for me and something that I think is absolutely wonderful!

Isn't it funny how we got away from sidewalks in suburban America? What an oversight! I'm sure the cold-hearted developers of our modern subdivisions could never have envisioned (or cared) that this nation would one day be a community of non-walkers, living through an epidemic of obesity, disconnected from their neighbors and living behind privacy fences and landscaped impersonality.

The cracked and aging sidewalks in Advance were built, I understand, by the WPA, the Work Progress Administration, one of the Rooseveltian ideas to get the nation back to work during the Big Depression. What a colossal imagination and ability to think outside the box! Who could ever have come up with such an idea? In this age of outsourcing to Mexico and China, Roosevelt's imaginative program seems outlandish and naive, but I do believe it worked...(thoughts on this, FJGuy?)

The other night we went to eat out in a quaint area, where houses had been turned into shops and restaurants. The area was bustling with activity, and we had to park around the block, where I got to see some really creative uses for the old "shot gun" houses of the past, tiny structures that have been turned into upscale town houses. How adorable! From what I understand, these little "dollhouse" apartments are quite expensive.

Last year, I discovered a similar, though much more modest effort at refurbishing the past, when I visited the tiny town of Marquand, MO. in Madison County, just over the Bollinger County line. Several Marquandians (?), who left the town years ago, have returned (bringing along the money they made elsewhere) and are buying up the old houses. They've restored several of them to their former splendor and are working to turn the town into a page out of history.

The same thing is being done in that historic hill town of Marble Hill. Debra Ivy has restored the old bank building across from the steakhouse restaurant (the one on the corner). I interviewed her awhile back, before the building was finished, and she hadn't decided then what she was going to "do with it," but I'm going back this summer to do a story on it. She even had the wonderful Coca Cola mural restored on the side of one of the brick buildings...and that took an impressive effort to do the tuck pointing without destroying the painting.

It makes so much more sense to save the past, rather than tearing it down to build modern replacements, which often lack character and personality. I know it costs more to renovate and restore than it does to build new, but it's such a shame to let the old things go. I don't notice that tendancy in Europe. They keep the old buildings forever.

Well, I had no idea which way this piece of writing would go when I started it... and the problem with composing on my daughter's computer is that it'll time me out and I have to keep hitting "copy," in order to save it... I need to quit for now...Besides, her large, fat calico cat is tapping me on the shoulder and gently biting my knees, reminding me that she wants some attention. I guess I shall have to sign off for now.

Yesterday I had several calls from the homeland, reminding me that the weather is getting bad, and I should "keep an eye on it." It rained all day here in Memphis, and my daughter's little front yard is under several inches of water. So much for planting flowers on this trip...

From the "Armpit of the South," this is your roving rural reporter, Madeline, signing off on a soggy southern Tuesday morning... Keep your mind whole and your powder dry, folks!

Showing most recent comments first
[Show in chronological order instead]

Good idea, goat lady. Maybe after they are released from the ceiling (when their faces are blue and their extremeties are numb) they should do community service at a museum to learn the value of historical artifacts - and the loss thereof. They should also be made to listen to a minimum of 100 (arbitrary figure) hours of history lectures. They should also be accompanied by their parents who allowed such rotten kids to grow up with no sense of values.

When we were kids we had chores to do, and homework, and sports, and music, and dance classes (my brothers had to be FORCED to attend). We had very little time to get into trouble - at least not enough time to get into serious trouble. I still think that's the way to go. It must have required an investment on my mom's time, but she managed it with 5 of us, plus the stray cousin or friend.

Plus, we feared our mom. A healthy fear is a good thing. She demanded respect. We could hear her knees lock into "stomp" and here she'd come down the hall. We knew we were in trouble.

I see kids today telling their parents what to do. If we'd tried that with our mom she'd have handed us our heads. Aretha Franklin had it right - RESPECT.

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Apr 22, 2008, at 12:53 PM

A more appropriate punishment might be a year's worth of public service, perhaps cleaning out the toilets at the museum...picking up litter in the parks...giving remorseful talks at the local schools...standing on a street corner, wearing a sandwich sign stating their crime.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Apr 2, 2008, at 3:46 AM

Mokath, you raise an interesting question: What is the appropriate response to a person who in a few minutes destroys irreplaceable artifacts? MD doesn't say how long the person(s) should be duct-taped to a ceiling. An hour? A day? A week? Till he or she repeats a thousand times: "I promise not to ever again destroy what doesn't belong to me?"

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 8:31 PM

GL & FJGuy - yes, that cave near Springfield is wonderful. One of my friends was a geologist who helped find and explore the cave. The team was so excited by what they found. They secured the opening with a heavy metal door - locked, of course. They kept it a secret for a long time, but no secret stays that way. Makes me wish their parents had practiced birth control.

Right after an article about the cave came out in the Springfield newspaper some stupid local high school kids (with too little parental supervision and too much time on their hands) broke in and distroyed/stole a bunch of the artifacts and bones. They did a very significant amount of damage to some pretty irreplaceable items. Rotten kids.

-- Posted by mokath52 on Tue, Apr 1, 2008, at 12:43 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I remember reading about it. Kids like that should be duct-taped to the ceiling...(of their rooms - not the cave!)

GL, there are interesting discoveries being made all over. Just last year a claw mark made by the largest bear known to have ever roamed the Earth was found near Springfield in a cave that had been sealed since the Ice Age. They estimate this bear weighed up to 2,000 pounds and could run 45 miles per hour. Yikes! Now why couldn't that have been found near Advance? ... Darn!! See, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story...

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 8:07 PM

Well all...I have found out today that the company is paying for his hotel...which is a great burden off our shoulders. And I'm hoping gas prices don't shoot up before Sunday. It's still looking as though the zoo is our best bet, aside from there will more than likely be rain that day. Then I'm not sure what we can do. Any indoor activities to enjoy in Memphis? I did a search, but didn't find much.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 4:46 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Mrsdolphin, my daughter says to check out this http://www.memphismuseums.org/planet.htm...

The planetariam is in the Pink Palace Museum in Midtown. That sounds very interesting! I may go there the next time I'm down to see her.

I love all these separate conversations on this blog!

Oh, my! Pmeyers - the world is a small place indeed. Yes, Madeline's and my father, Edwin W. Giles, went from Malden Airbase to New Brockton and then Enterprise, Alabama. He was a contract flight instructor for the Army at Ft. Rucker. He was great friends with your dad and was very saddened by his loss. I remember your family very fondly. My older brothers both had crushes on a sister named Monica.

I remember a charming younger brother that worked with Daddy in Enterprise, but I knew him by another name - Joey, I think. Was that you? Daddy always thought you were a sharp kid. You were. You were cute and funny too. I hope you did very well for yourself and have a happy, full life.

Daddy remarried when I was in college in 1973. Sadly, she was a former teacher of mine and I will regret to my dying day that I introduced them. They originally retired to the Seattle area and then relocated to Bradenton, FL where they were living when he had a series of strokes leading to his death. He was vital and active right up to the end. His next door neighbors saw him out at 5:30 in the morning walking the dog on the day of the first stroke.

-- Posted by mokath52 on Mon, Mar 31, 2008, at 12:50 PM

Well, there it is! Alaska's future, preserved in the past??? It's eerie to think that the region was once tropical and may well be again.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Mar 30, 2008, at 8:27 PM

GL, I did a quick search and in addition to may past dinosaur discoveries, just three years ago they found tracks of a bird-like dinosaur south of Fairbanks. The story is at, http://geology.com/news/2005/07/alaska-d...

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Mar 30, 2008, at 4:37 PM

GL, Alaska (and the whole Arctic region) used to have a tropical climate, and it is a treasure trove of well preserved dinosaur specimens because the climate changed almost instantly so the creatures were all quickly frozen. So yes, at one time Fairbanks did have alligators or some not so distant cousin.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sun, Mar 30, 2008, at 10:04 AM

The Siberian Mafia - I guess they'd dispose of their bodies in an iceberg, wouldn't they? In millions of years, a frozen enemy of the Mafia would turn up in some museum, with everyone wondering how they got to the North Slope of Alaska...

On second thought, if Global Warming goes the way some scientists are saying it will, the Arctic will have alligators.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 10:26 PM

MD, I suspect that Fairbanks was just as dangerous in the past when there were all the seedy downtown bars. You just didn't hang out where you could get in the way of a stray bullet or gentlemen (or gentlewomen) settling a disagreement with loose fists. If the mafia has moved in it is definitely the Siberian mafia!

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 4:28 PM

Maybe the Mafia has moved into Fairbanks....

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 7:28 AM

Handy list - I'm bookmarking it. However, I'm wondering how helpful it is to know that if you move to North or South Dakota, you'll be safer!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 7:13 AM

GL, Page down to the bottom of, http://www.morganquitno.com/cit05pop.htm

Detroit #1, Memphis #2 and oh my gosh, Fairbanks #4 most dangerous. Las Vegas is #8 and it is an extremely dangerous city for single women. Interestingly, 5 of the 10 safest cities are in Wisconsin. Every city has bad areas where you don't want to walk alone at night, some cities just have more of those areas than others.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 8:58 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Fairbanks must have changed considerably since I lived there, if it's rated fourth most dangerous city. Do you have any idea what's changed, FJ? I know that there's always a big influx of outsiders coming in from other parts of the world - and there is the Army base there, but that crime rate seems high, even for those conditions. I guess I'm glad we didn't stay.

Here in the Tillman Outback, it's early morning, and I have seven deer picking through the leaf litter in my back yard. (While my dogs sleep on the front porch!)

FJGuy, where did you get your statistics? Wikipedia gives the 07 crime statistics in this order: Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, New Orleans, Washington, Newark, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, San Juan, Cleveland, Oakland, Atlanta, Milwalkee, and then Memphis.

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 8:41 PM

I wonder how accurate the movie was?

Memphis has the second-highest crime rate in the U.S.? I didn't know that! I wonder if I'll ever have the nerve to go there again!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 8:30 PM

"Mystery Train" is a movie set in Memphis that was on the IFC cable channel last night. OMG is Memphis a dingy city!! Now I know why its crime rate is the second highest in the country after Detroit! In one scene a woman had to walk down the middle of the street to stay away from two men who were trying to accost her and it was totally believable! Its Amtrak station is like taking a time trip back to the 1800s, or maybe before! The movie has some slightly quirky characters that fit right into Memphis' landscape.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 7:22 PM

Well GL...we're still not sure what the exact problem may be...but I now have an extra week (and an extra week without a paycheck to pay for whatever is wrong) to figure it out, because they moved his orientation back to start April the 7th. So our trip won't happen til April the 6th. Wow...why is it that, if it's not one thing, it's another? And everyone usually piles up all at once? Oh, the joys of adulthood;-)

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 3:04 PM

Madeline Dejournett: Did your father move first to New Brockton, Alabama, then Enterprise, Alabama? If so he was great friends with my father Paul F. Meyers, who also was an instructor pilot at Malden.

I worked with Eddie for a year and a half while I was in High School at Enterprise - repairing office machinery. I lost touch with him shortly after I graduated. I have often wondered where he went and what he did.

He certainly had my respect.

-- Posted by Pmeyers on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 10:30 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Wow! Yes, so good to hear from you! I'll ask my sister if she remembers your dad. Ah, you may have gone to school with her, in fact. She speaks highly of the Enterprise schools.

After Mom & Dad divorced, he married my sister's college English teacher, and they eventually moved to Seattle, to be closer to her children (and, supposedly, me - We lived in Fairbanks, Alaska at the time).

They retired to Bradenton, Florida, (I think that was the name of the town) and that's where Daddy died of a stroke in 1995. He was 83. He was so healthy all his life, swimming 75 laps in an Olympic-size pool on his 75th birthday - I always thought he would live to 100.

It's a small world, isn't it?

I know how it is. Just when I think I have things going on an even keel, something on the car goes out! Usually the air-conditioning...

I don't think alternators are too terribly expensive....but you have to have them. (Unlike the air-conditioning, which is nice, but the car WILL run without it!)

I hope you get it worked out. Seems like you have a hard row to hoe, dolphin!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 9:25 PM

Thanks GL. I'm not sure if we'll even be able to take the trip now, because our only form of transportation is having issues. I believe it's the altenator, so I'm not even sure how things are going to work out now. We shall see.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 12:17 PM

The zoo is definitely somewhere farther inland; I remember passing it once. Mmmm...Cordova? I'll have to look it up. Ah, it's called the Overland Park Zoo, and it's in Midtown -- so there should be no flooding involved.

Look up the address online, and get directions on Map Quest.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 8:55 PM

Well...after a friend of mine called me last night, I don't believe we'll be going to Mud Island River Park. From what they said on KFVS12, it's completely flooded, along with the service roads that run to it.

I'm not too familiar with Memphis...so I was wondering if the zoo is anywhere near Mud Island? Hope someone can help! Thanks all!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Mar 25, 2008, at 8:00 PM

We took a trip to Memphis several years ago. We went to the zoo, which is, if I remember correctly about $7 a person. It was nice, but some of the exhibits were closed when we were there.

We also went to Graceland. It is quite pricey. I also have a child with ADHD, and keeping her occupied while taking a guided tour was a workout in itself.

You can take pictures inside, but with NO flash. "It could reduce the color of the artifacts". You are not allowed to tour the upstairs, you can't touch anything, and have to wait for a shuttle to and from (across the street) the house. I wouldn't recommend it with small children.

My daughter didn't know who Elvis was until then. But she still remembers that we were in his house. The buiral monuments out by the pool raised a lot of questions with such a young child.

We also took a tour of Elivs' plane that is across the road from Graceland. There is also an Elvis car museum on the opposite side of the street.

It was neat to see even if you aren't an Elvis fan. But I wouldn't take the kids, which defeats the whole purpose.

I think I would stick to the zoo and Chuckie Cheese.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 12:39 PM

Thanks MD...and tell your daughter I said thank you also. I said something to my husband about Beale Street...but he wasn't too keen on it because we'll have the boys (but my question for him was, when don't we have the boys?), but I told him during the daytime probably wasn't that bad.

As far as the keeping an eye on our vehicle, belongings, and children goes...well...the latter is obvious...I'm a very over-protective mother. Now, our truck on the other hand, might be quite offensive to some. We have rebel flags pasted on different parts of it (showing our true redneck personality), but they aren't there for the reasons some may believe. We truly believe in the "Heritage not hate" slogan. But THOSE words aren't plastered on the side of the truck...so some may not like them. I figure we may end up with graffiti that would scare the kids (especially my first grader who now knows how to read).

The zoo is sounding like a good possiblity. We all enjoy animals...and I do agree with your daughter to an extent...but the kids would enjoy it...plus it would wear them out...always a plus when you have a child with ADHD.

Mud Island Park also sounds like a possiblity, so long as the prices aren't outrageous. We are the epitomy of "low-budget" entertainment. I know the zoo in St. Louis is cheap...I just wonder if the one in Memphis is the same. I know I've found some decently priced hotels in the area of his terminal...which apparently is close to Graceland. But YR had a good point...how much is old shag carpet really worth paying to see? I'm not much of an Elvis fan anyway...so the price is probably way out of my ballpark anyway.

Thanks everyone for all the ideas. I looked online...but recommendations from actual people are always better. I'll keep ya'll posted on how our trip goes!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 10:46 AM

Thanks so much YR. Yeah, I wasn't sure on the Graceland thing. And my kids have been to Chuck E. Cheese once in Paducah, and had a blast! So that may be a must for dinner...but it'll be a long drive home with two worn out kids and no one to talk to. So I dunno. It's looking like the zoo...though that may be out of the question too if my husband forgets his tennis shoes. Money will play a big roll in these plans too...so I'll have to wait and see how that's looking at that time too. Thanks for the ideas YR!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 1:27 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Ah, mrsdolphin, this is where you asked that question... I posted a reply elsewhere, but I'll redo it here. I emailed my daughter for advice and here it is:

* Graceland overpriced.

* There is a zoo, which I haven't seen, because my pro-animal welfare daughter doesn't support zoos.

* Beale Street can be fun for families during the daylight hours. In warm weather, jazz musicians are out playing on the sidewalks, and there are lots of neat shops that the kids would like.

* Slave Haven/Burkle House is a museum where people can explore slave tunnels. My daughter hasn't been there, but it gets high ratings on the internet.

* Mud Island River Park is supposed to be cool and has a museum centered around the Mississippi River.

* The Peabody Hotel has the "Duck Walk" at intervals throughout the day, in which ducks come down to the lobby on the elevator and walk through the crowd to swim in the fountain.

* There's a Children's Museum, which she hears is "neat but pricey."

She reminded me to warn you strongly to be VERY careful with your car and belongings WHEREVER you go - even if it seems safe - and keep a very close eye on your children!

She always says to me, "Mom, after all, this IS Memphis!"

Graceland is EXPENSIVE,how much is the smell of old shag carpet worth to you? Everything else has been filmed ad nauseum,and my friends tell me you don't want to chase little kids around there.

They do have a zoo,Mud Island,and they used to have a amusement park-Liberty Land,I'm not sure if it's there anymore.

Memphis attractions are not free, but if you have a nice hotel room,maybe they could be amused. Hmmm,that doesn't sound good,trapping two little guys in one room. Oh well,the beds they jump on are not your own.

I do remember from my own youth we went to a suburb called Germantown,and they had a Chuckie Cheese,which we do not have in Essex,it was fun.You can always check online,"Armpit of the South","The REAL Poor Man's New Orleans", "Tip for a Smile,We'll Let You Keep Your Car Awhile".

Wonder how you get a job in writing tourism slogans? LOL

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Mar 19, 2008, at 11:34 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yellow Rose, Yellow Rose...I'll say it again: You should have your own blog, dear creative young one! Those slogans are PRICELESS!! I must share them with my darling Memphis daughter!

On second thought - Maybe I shouldn't encourage you to write a blog: Once you got online, nobody would read mine!!! Hahahaha!

Of course, the advantage of staying behind your anonymous pen name is that no one would know who to call and chew out!!!

MD, I was just wondering if you could offer a bit of advice for me.

My husband is starting a new job around the end of this month, and I have to drive him down to Memphis for orientation on the 30th. I didn't see making the trip, and then turning around and driving straight home, so I've been trying to plan a little trip for that Sunday, and I've been looking for an agenda. Apparently the company he's going to work for is near Graceland, so that's a good possiblilty, but I was wondering if you knew of any good places to go that would offer us not only a little fun (my 2 small children will be going...they're 4 & 6), but also a little heritage. Any advice or recommendations you or anyone else would have would be great...THANKS!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Mar 18, 2008, at 4:06 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I'll get some advice from my daughter, mrsdolphin. The last time I was there, we painted three rooms, so I didn't get to see much but walls! They did take me to the World Market, which I enjoyed very much, but kids wouldn't...

I'll get back with you tomorrow!

You really should consider taking them to see that dinosaur exhibit in Marble Hill (after the water goes down!). The experience could make them fall in love with science, which is something that could give them a definite educational advantage.

Well, I know from experience that it WILL get green again in Southeast Missouri, but right now, it's pretty darn depressing.

I guess if the buzzards have come back to Hinkley, Ohio, then it must be the beginning of spring...

Can't come soon enough for me, I'll tell ya!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Mar 16, 2008, at 9:27 AM

MD, you mentioned that you drove along Walnut Street and felt that it was missing something. I know what you mean, although I do have some hope for you. First of all, of course, the houses are older there than they were in their heyday and when we were in our "prime!"

But! Bear with me here. One day a few years ago I met a young lady who had just moved here with her family from out west. She was still in a daze, it happened so quickly. Her entire family was still out west and she was homesick, even started crying as we talked. It was in the dead of winter here, and I hate to say it, but it can look pretty dismal around Dexter in the winter.

I told her, "Please hold on until spring! You'll be amazed at how beautiful Dexter is when the trees leaf out and the yards green up!"

About a year later, after seeing articles in the newspaper where her kids were active in school and activities, and she was active in church, organizations, etc. I ran into her again. She loved Dexter and had been "home" to visit out west, but said she couldn't wait to get back HOME to Dexter.

Just wait. Walnut will be beautiful in just a few weeks!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Mar 13, 2008, at 9:40 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Wise advice, lovebooks! The trees and green lawns make a BIG difference.

I remember when my dad came home one day (when we lived on Malden Air Base) and said, "I've found a new town. Do you want to see it?" and he brought us to Dexter. We couldn't believe it! (having come up from Abilene, Texas, the land of sand and cockleburrs) When he asked us if we wanted to live there, we all said, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" It was like a garden paradise to us!

My mom had the same experience in Springfield, MO. She married a widower who had moved to El Paso, Texas for his health - and they would spend the summers in Springfield. When they took back photos from Springfield, their friends in El Paso couldn't believe how GREEN it was! They accused them of doctoring up the pictures!!

Thank you lovesbooks...that would be it! I had her and Mrs. Balliff (?) so many times, I should have their names (and the spellings) etched into my mind! That's another topic that irks me...I can name my teachers from K-12, but EVERYONE else I talk to can barely name their teachers in high school shop! I think that's an important thing to remember...a topic to share with your children and such...I wonder why more people don't remember?

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 10:40 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I guess not everyone treasures their school memories, and teachers are a big part of that. Even though I felt that some of my junior high and high school teachers were BARRACUDAS, I still treasure the memories. I just wish there could have been a way to save the old Dexter high school. I understand that it wasn't economically feasible, but it still makes me sad.

Still, at least they saved the old gym.


-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 9:00 PM

Yes, MD. It takes you downhill to 25...right by the Ameren UE place. I went in that house when I was a kid. My landlord loved me to pieces, and they would have pecans for me, or let me use their treadmill (which was a BIG thing then), or go fishing for a catfish or two when he thought there might be some decent-sized ones or too many. They just completely remodeled the house I used to live in down the hill next door. That house is where I learned how to ride a bike, play baseball, had my first dog, and went to kindergarten. I sure do miss it there. In fact, the Taylors live a block and a half north of there at the corner of South Hickory and Stoddard. Kirby and, oh, her name fails me. It shouldn't, with her being a substitute teachers from my school days. Anyway~those houses are beautiful.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 8:43 PM

I remember swimming in that pool behind the stone house. It was spring-fed and it cost a quarter to get in.

I love Hickory Street! Some of my favorite houses in Dexter are there. It's a "must drive" at Christmas.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 4:46 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Is Hickory the one that runs north and south, just at the edge of the hill? If so, that is a beautiful street! Actually, it's retained all of its homes, I think, unlike Walnut - which is a shadow of its former self. I used to think Walnut was the most beautiful street in Dexter, but I drove down it Sunday and couldn't help feeling that something was missing.

Oh, and I heard about the winter of '79. The Blizzard of '79 is what I hear most call it. I was born in Phoenix in 1980, and we moved here in '82, and I've been here since, aside from a 6 month extended vacation in Florida. The biggest snow I remember is the winter of 2004 (I think). That's got to be the most I've ever seen us get.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 3:03 PM

Wow...listening to MD, lovesbooks, Ducky, and others talk about times when they were young is fascinating. I had a super overly-protective dad, so I never really got to do much like that when I was growing up. I lived on South Hickory. So I remember the house on the corner of South Hickory and Vine. They recently gave it some TLC. Then, my next door neighbor and landlord lived in that giant stone house they just finished remodeling about a year or two ago...the one on South Hickory right around the corner from the giant white one. It had a pool down the hill behind it, and I caught catfish out of it sometimes. The owner informed me that it was the original Dexter Community Pool at one time...now it's gone. That's about all I remember about the houses, aside from the one with the round room. The history in this town is so rich, I only wish I could sit down with a group of folks from the turn of the century and listen to stories told among them. That would be great.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 2:59 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Oh, my, oh, my! We used to swim in that pool. Yes, indeed, the Covington ladies let the community use it. You should see the WONDERFUL enlarged poster that Janet Coleman (Chamber president) has of that pool, "back in the day." That must have been how it looked when it was a private pool. Judging from the style of dress, I would date the photo as having been taken in the 20's. Elegant, elegant, elegant!!!

My mother always spoke highly of the Covington ladies, who always seemed so delicate and gentile. They were a large part of the Library Board, as I remember, and I think they were the ones to whom we paid the rent for the Elm Street house each month.

I don't remember ever being in the house, but one of our cousins recently reminisced about a PUPPET SHOW that the ladies put on for the kids one time.

Yes, the stone house is on the northwest corner of Stoddard and Poplar. Directly across the street is the First Christian Church, and then across from that is the Fire Department (used to be Lynn Pontiac), and then across from that is City Hall. No great big white house. You must be thinking of VINE and Poplar. That's the Barney house with the columns.

Actually, Mrs. Lantz's house (stone) isn't very big, but it has tons of personality!

I remember when I was little (50's and 60's) and my brother and I ice-skated on Worley's pond regularly. We bought our skates at Goodwill!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 9:24 AM

GL, the house lovesbooks is referring to is a yellow adobe and stone house. Since you can't get that link to work for you, try going to www.dextermls.com and search residential. Enter MLS# R-3028 and it should take you right to it. It's a spectacular house...sure wish I could afford to live there.

Oh, and MD, the first thing that caught my eye on your photo of the old library was the amount of snow! I LOVE snow, but we just don't get much anymore. Was a snow like that common back then?

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 12, 2008, at 8:40 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
That's a good question, mrsdolphin. We had just come up from Texas a year or so before that, so the snowfall in Dexter that year was like a Wonderland to us - but I think it must have been rather unusual, even for Southeast Missouri.

In more recent years (the last 35 years, to be specific), I've noticed that my pond out here on the farm doesn't freeze solid anymore. We came here in '75, and the pond seemed to freeze solid every year back then.

Global warming?

Then, of course, there's 1979, which (I'm sure) broke all the records. We had ten-foot snow drifts out here.

Wait a minute! The house that lovebooks was talking about isn't that huge, gorgeous white house on the corner of Stoddard and Poplar. She's talking about a little one across from the Christian Church.

Am I gonna hafta come down to Dexter and see for myself????

We need a TOUR!!! Someone give us a TOUR!!! The Statesman Bloggers' Tour!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 10:01 PM

Okay, let's see if this works. I found the story in the Statesman archives. It was in the October 31st issue. Noreen Hyslop wrote it and there's a wonderful photo of the Holmes house.


-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:48 PM

The house on Holmes Drive is haunted...has been for years. There used to be a grave out in the frontyard.

That house on the corner of Stoddard and Poplar is gorgeous! I could only dream of owning a home so big and unique. It says on the listing that it was featured on the front page of the St. Louis paper. I just think it's interesting that the stones came from Johnson's Shut In.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:44 PM

Lovebooks, that link isn't working for me. I even tried copying it and pasting it into the browser. Phooey! I wanna see that house!!!

Sc1120, you're right! I remember seeing the Holmes house featured in the Statesman during the Halloween season. It was all decked out as a haunted house.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:38 PM

The house on Holmes Drive was pictured in the Daily Statesman in October, I think. All you could see was the front of the house, but it looked beautiful. I think the reason it was in the paper was for a Murder Mystery Dinner of some sort. The new name, I belive, is The Enchanted Holmes. You might do a search on here and come up with a picture.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 8:20 PM

I found it! Here is the link to look at it. The first few pictures of it look good, but keep looking and you'll see that they cut corners.


-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 5:46 PM

Goat Lady, Mrs. Lantz's house was on the corner of Stoddard and Poplar on the north side of Stoddard. They flipped it and then put it up for sale, but it hasn't sold. I should go take a picture! I know you'd recognize it because it's very unique for Dexter.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 5:34 PM

Lovebooks, the little house wasn't across Stoddard Street was it? I don't know what that other street is. I don't remember the house, but it sounds as if they rented it out, a sure way to wreck a house!

Mmm...I can see all of us, driving around Dexter, checking out these houses!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 5:06 PM

Thinking about all of this makes me think of the Holmes house on the hill off Locust. I wonder how old that house is. The lady that owns Old Timer's bought it and made it into a bed and breakfast. I'm not sure if she restored it to it's original beauty...I've heard she "flipped" it. I don't see a need in flipping houses that were made to look and feel so majestic, because houses built then were built to stand the test of time, unlike the new constructions of today.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 5:02 PM

I think an on-going thread for local history would be a wonderful idea.

I just remembered a house in Bloomfield that has been torn down and a new one built. It was a big yellow house that sat on the corner of Prairie Street(main street through Bloomfield) and Bloomfield Ave.

It was a big 2 story yellow house kitty-cornered from the A-frame house. I do believe that Mrs. Heaton (her first name has failed me) owned the house for quite some time.

I remember being in that house as a child. It kind of gave me the creeps then, but I'm sure it would have made a wonderful restore if someone made the time and effort.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 12:38 PM

She's fine! She's fine! Talked to her yesterday, in fact. Retired and living on a golf course in Vegas, no less! They'll be home for a visit in June.

I'm not sure why they cut down the big tree in front of the old library. I will check on that.

Does anyone remember the neat house across the street from the First Christian Church? Looks kind of like a little villa, stone...that's another one to discuss that I'm very upset about. I always loved that house. Mrs. Lantz lived there (taught art). She passed away and someone bought it and FLIPPED it. By FLIP I mean they did it fast and dirty, then put it up for sale. Ruined it. It needed to be lovingly restored, not flipped.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:33 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Whew!! That's a relief! I couldn't stand it, if I heard that Randa was gone, too!

We went to the Christian Church when we lived in Dexter a million years ago, but I don't remember the little house - just Pauline Vaugh's great big house on the other side.

Your input on that history site for Malden Air Base more than makes up for your youth, sc1120!

Wouldn't it be neat if we could round up some more people to post local history blogs?

I wonder why they cut down that old tree? The city worked so hard to save it all those years - it must have been sick - You think?

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 9:18 AM

I am so enjoying reading everyone's posts on this particular blog.

I don't have much input on somethings, as they were 'before my time'. But I love imagining what these places were in their prime.

Local history, IMO, is very interesting.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 1:01 AM

I am so enjoying reading everyone's posts on this particular blog.

I don't have much input on somethings, as they were 'before my time'. But I love imagining what these places were in their prime.

Local history, IMO, is very interesting.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Tue, Mar 11, 2008, at 1:01 AM

MD, you may find it interesting to see an aerial view of what is left of the old Malden Air Force Base (now known as Malden Municipal Airport). Go to Microsoft's Virtual Earth at, http://maps.live.com

In the Search Box enter: Malden, MO

Then click on the 3D and Aerial buttons on the top menu bar. Click on the + button on the leftside menu bar to get more details. Click on the - button to have less details.

Move the image by holding down the left mouse button and moving your mouse. You can also increase the details by clicking on the left mouse button.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 8:35 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I can't get this site to work. Not unusual, given my technical abilities. I'll try it again tomorrow, when I'm not so tired.

So Madeline, you lived in that house that became the old library? I loved the inside of that place.

And sadly, I drove back by there this afternoon just to make sure the big tree was still there, and it isn't. I remember they did everything to accommodate it when they widened the street. The other tree in the yard is still there, though. The big one was a Missouri State winner.

My sister was Randa!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 6:12 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Randa???!!! Oh, yes, a very good friend of mine! We even went off to college together in '60! Where is she now? I've made it to only a couple of reunions, and I don't recall seeing her. Of course, the way my mind is going on me...How would I know???

Uh, oh...Why did you use the past tense? "Was"?

When I was writing a food column for the Statesman, I was told to interview a certain good cook, but we had to postpone it, because her sister died. Then, when I saw her later, I knew the face: It was Delores Godfrey's sister, and Delores was the one who had died... So sad, so sad, so sad! We're too young to die!

If any of you can visit the NEW Keller Public Library, there is a VHS tape there that you can check out of Dexter "back in the day." Shows girls coming out of either the hat or shoe factory holding hands after work, everyone hanging out on the corner of Stoddard and Walnut by the drinking fountain, etc. Parades. It is just the neatest video to watch! Most of the footage is from the 40's and early 50's. You talk about nostalgic!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 2:26 PM

One thing that's still there in that picture of the old house they later used as the Dexter Public Library is the tree out on the street! It's still there, folks! Of course, the house is too, and they use it for the city court.

What made me realize that it might be the house that was later the library was the bay window thing on the front. Ruth Sturm from the libary called me one day in March when I was in the 7th or 8th grade and asked me to come down and get my picture taken for the newspaper. They had just installed a night depository in the right window of the three and needed someone standing there putting in a book!

I remember I was so excited because I had on my new raccoon collared coat (circa 1963).

-- Posted by lovebooks on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 2:22 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, lovebooks, that is a WONDERFUL old tree!

Thanks sc1120 for that site. I'm not sure if those were the barracks I was talking about or not...that was taken a long time ago, and they had gone WAY down hill when I first seen them. But it may be...not sure.

Ducky, you sure are right about being a kid as long as you can. I would love to go back to the days where I didn't have a care in the world...growing up is almost cruel.

Are we talking about the old library? I don't guess I ever seen anything in that spot but the old library. I sure hope Dexter doesn't change much in the next twenty years. I just don't understand how we can learn about (or be interested in) history if our visual examples are torn down for "betterment."

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 1:29 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I think the library board began the renovation of the building around 1956. I never did go back to see it as a library, even though we lived in Dexter until 1960. I didn't think I would be able to stand seeing it changed. I didn't see it again until ...when? 2006? There was nothing much left that I recognized, except the living room.

It had a long, enclosed but unheated porch, which connected the main building with the original kitchen - which had been set off from the main house. That room was also unheated, so we used it only in the summertime.

I remember the house that MD posted. Wow, that really takes me back. Yes, lovebooks, it's the house that later became the library.

Part of me would dearly love to go back to that time and live it all over again. What wonderful days of childhood: snowball fights, sledding, hot summer days playing the sun until we were brown as berries.

Now I'm afraid to go sledding for fear I'll break some major bone(s) and the summer sun drives me indoors to the airconditioning or scrambling for sunscreen.

I had a silly little niece that told me once "I'll be glad when I grow up so I can do what I want to do and spend my money on what I want." I remember laughing at her and thinking, "Oh, kid, if you had any idea." Stay a kid as long as you can because you sure can't go back.

-- Posted by Ducky on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 12:32 PM

All this talk about the Malden Air Base had me curious. I did a search and came up with this site:


It has a lot of information on the air field and how it operated. Including the reason it shut down. Under the Memories tab, there is one picture of the barracks in the upper right hand corner of the page.

The pic is small, and it's hard to say if those are the ones mentioned on this blog.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 12:22 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
sc1120, thank you SO MUCH for finding that link!! It's terrific! I had no idea that an organization had been set up to commemorate the airbase. I should have known that.

My dad was Edwin W. Giles and was listed among the instructors. His students called him "Steady Eddy," because he never got rattled. One time there was a fire in the cockpit while he was flying, and when he landed, they had all the firetrucks there. They asked him where the fire was, and he said, "I put it out."

Maybe one day I'll post some memories on the site.


I still can't figure out about the barracks, though...

Or was it next door to the Presbyterian Church on Vine Street? Aaaagh!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 8:10 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Hahaha! I guess you see that Ducky and some of the others answered your question. My family rented the future library when we first came to Dexter. I was in the sixth grade.

It had a wonderful yard on the Vine Street side, and there was an iron fence around the whole thing. There were bay windows all over the place, but the most impressive one was in the formal dining room, which faced Vine Street. It had lovely parquet floors and two ivory columns on each side of the entryway. The east wall had built in class cabinets for china.

Mmm...I may devote an entire blog to this topic, since I have some old pictures of the exterior and interior.

I love the picture you placed on here of the house (in Dexter, I assume?) I don't recognize it right off, but it reminds me of the house where the old library was. Would it be the big house on Vine and Walnut, where Collier Realty is now? It had rod iron fencing around it, too.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 8:09 PM

Yes, sc1120, I am talkin about the ones on the west side of 25...right next door to where that old gas station was on the corner at the stop sign. Man, the history of some places. Now it's got me wonderin what old building the truck driving school inhabits. I knew it had some age, but never realized it could have been part of an old air base. In fact, I didn't realize that actually used to be an air base...I just figured it was a popular airport at one time. I need to find a book somewhere that has all the history of southeast Missouri...not just Stoddard County. I love this stuff!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 12:01 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I never knew that there were barracks off the base. When it was an Army base, we had to drive past the guard at the guard post (You had to have a sticker to get in.)

I'll tell you what I know. During WWII it was a military base; then it was closed down after the war ended (1945). Around 1950, it was reopened, and my daddy always said that Lyndon B. Johnson is the one who pulled the strings to get that done.

We moved up from Texas about 1951-1952, and lived on the base until about 1953, when we moved to Dexter.

My dad was a flight instructor and had students from all over the world. My favorites were his German students. At first, the students were called "cadets," and they were straight out of high school. Later, they were "student officers" and were older, mostly married. This information, was very important to me, of course, as I was a teenager and would have given my right arm to date them (which Daddy never allowed to happen!).

They flew T-28's and T-36's - (trainers). Daddy would even go to the flight line on Sundays.

Even after we moved to Dexter, I would take my brothers swimming at the base pool. Mom and Dad would go to dances at the officer's club. These facilities were well into the base and couldn't be seen from the highway.

The base operated year after year, with an occasional rumor that it was going to close - but the rumors always proved false - until 1960, when the base closed suddenly.

I'm sure there are people who know more than I do, since I was a child at the time - but, as for a written history, I would have no idea where to look.

I could be wrong but I think the Army Barracks she is talking about sit on the West side of Highway 25, at the stop sign right before the airport.

I remember those being there, and I make two trips past them every week, and didn't notice they were gone. I'll have to look Tuesday. It would be sad to tear those down, I always thought they were neat to look at, and about the only indication that there ever was an Air Base at Malden.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 11:41 AM

MD, they may be the block houses...I believe someone told me they were old Army Barracks...so I'm not sure. I just found it odd that they would just plow them over like they did...all in the name of the future I guess. I don't know much about the Airbase either. I've been down there a few times, as my husband went to truck driving school down in that area, but I've never researched the history. Looks like I have something to do today ;-)

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sat, Mar 8, 2008, at 9:36 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Were the houses on the north edge of the base, just where you could see them from the highway? Makes me want to make a trip to Malden to check it out. I can't imagine why anyone needed that piece of land - unless there's more going on down there than there was the last time I went through on my way to Kennett.

If those are the buildings you're describing, they were used as housing when the base was re-opened in the early 50's. In fact, my family lived in one when we first moved up from Texas to the airbase. I don't know how long we lived there, but it was only until one of the pre-fabs opened up - so then we could live "above ground." (That's what it felt like!) The block houses had ice boxes, and the ice man delivered the blocks of ice periodically. I don't remember how they were heated, but they had once used coal, and there were old coal bins out back. My brothers and I thought it was an adventure to live there, but I'm sure my mother had other opinions...

reading your reminiscing has filled me warmth and comfort and thats hard to find these days so thank you. i also was blessed enough to have grown up in that neighborhood, i lived there with my granny and fondly remember all the old names and houses you are talking about. my friends lived in neighborhoods where all the houses looked the same so even at a very young age i knew i lived somewhere special and grannys stories have been passed on to my children and i love to drive them thru the old neighborhood

-- Posted by Dextergrad91 on Sat, Mar 8, 2008, at 1:38 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I am so glad that this blog has had that effect on you! It's brought back good memories for me, too. Our years in Dexter were the very best of my family's life together. My mother never got over having to leave when Malden Air Base closed.

Yes, her mother remarried Mike Lynch, but Pam was a Weber. She and my sister were great friends and graduated together.

I don't know a lot of the small streets but I can remember the big ones!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Sat, Mar 8, 2008, at 12:28 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Ah, if your sister graduated with Pam, then she's a classmate of mine, too! Dexter class of 1960. That's also the year my family had to leave Dexter. Maybe that's why I have so much trouble remembering the street names. When you're a kid, you don't pay much attention to the streets - just the houses where your friends live!

Okay, now I remember Grant Street - it goes past the Keller Library, doesn't it? Funny how you can grow up in a town and not know the streets...

Pam Weber Turlington used to live in that house on Vine. I don't remember what her parents' names were. Lynch?

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 7:58 PM

Goat Lady, Grant Street is the street that runs west from Walnut, out past Southwest Elementary and Dexter High School. Dr. Simmons' office was right on the corner of Walnut and Grant, although they have recently moved.

The house kitty cornered from the old library with the columns is the Bob & Janice Barney house...before that it was the home of Sally Poe, and before that it was Mike and Mae Lynch's house. I grew up in that neighborhood and played in that house a lot when I was little. The Barneys have returned that house to its glory and it is gorgeous inside and out.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 12:56 PM

I went through Malden yesterday, and seen that they tore down the old Army Barracks right there off 25. That was a surprise. I would figure something like that the state of Missouri would take over and restore. Thank you GL on the smoking cessation well wishes, and seeing my question still hadn't been answered. This has almost become a sad subject.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 11:10 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Mmm..I'm trying to remember those Army barracks...You don't mean the block houses, do you?

I have such good memories of Malden Airbase. Not the town or the school - just the airbase. My brothers and I spent many happy hours running all over the base, playing with the other kids, catching the bus to school, swimming at the base pool... It was all sunshine and the soothing drone of airplane engines. I don't remember a single cloudy day.

It makes me too sad to go back. Too many ghosts...

I wish I had the guard post that stood at the entrance.

So good to hear all these comments about local history. I hope someone out there can answer mrsdophin's question about the George Hammerly homeplace.

I think I know which house you're talking about,lovebooks. I thought that was Grant Street that ran by the old library and on down the hill past the Ringer house. Maybe Grant is one street south of there.

Ringers also used to own the old library building, didn't they?

Another Dexter house I love is the one katty cornered across from the old library - big yard, lots of trees, columns on the porch. Oh, my, Dexter has so many beautiful homes!

And, the beauty of it is that the city hasn't had to suffer the blight that Sikeston and Charleston have. Many of the homes in those cities are so spectacular - but other parts of the town are so scarey!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 10:02 AM

It's wonderful to see people posting about local history and preserving old buildings. It's so sad to see old buildings torn down. Often it's because the owners let them get run down to the point they're past saving. It's called demolition by neglect. Sometimes it's deliberate and sometimes not, but the result is the same.

I'm so tired of hearing that we don't have anything historic - just old buildings. Cheers to anyone who saves an old building and its history. I wish more of us had the money/ability to save the old things before they're gone.

Thanks MD for your history stories. Even though the buildings may be gone, we can remember where they were and the stories surrounding them.

-- Posted by Ducky on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 1:27 PM

There is a Sears Kit house for sale in Bloomfield on North Prairie. It sits on a large lot on the corner or Prairie and Christian Drive (goes to 1st G.B. Church--Kevin Eskew). Used to be owned by Allen Christian's mother.

Very beautiful.

-- Posted by Amanda on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 11:26 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Is that the house that has an old retaining wall across the front of the lot, and the house sits up high? If it's the one I'm thinking of, I've admired it for years!

Madeline, Ms. Alberta's house is on Vine, the last house you pass on the right before going down the big hill. It is right across the street from what I call "the Ringer house." You probably would never have noticed it before, but now that it is gleaming white, it is gorgeous!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 10:24 AM

I found a wonderful site for anyone that is interested in some of our heritage to visit. http://www.visitdexter.com/history.html. It includes some information taken from a book you can buy at the Stars and Stripes Museum. I hated history in school...but if it would have had something to do with the area I've lived in most of my life, I probably would have excelled. You can also look at the different points of interest in Stoddard County, among other little things.

I originally went there to find the location of the George Hammerly Homeplace, which will be up for grabs at the courthouse soon, but never found it's whereabouts. Does anyone on here happen to know where that is located? It's close to Dexter somewhere, but I don't know how to read all that mumbo-jumbo about lot # this and line directly north to this, blah blah blah. I think they should have to give an address so you can go look at the place, but oh well.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 12:37 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Mrsdolphin, thank you for this site! It's wonderful! The history book mentioned on the site - a Pictoral History of Dexter - is a great resource. I bought one at the Chamber of Commerce last summer. It's only $15, and the proceeds go to the Heritage Museum. Marvelous old photos of these houses that we've been talking about! Everyone in Dexter should have one on their coffee table!

Goat Lady, are you thinking of what I call "the Ulen house" on the west side of Walnut? It has a red roof and sits kind of at the intersection of Walnut and Carter Street. It was also Gladys Williamson's house, but the Ulen family owned it originally. There are pictures of them sitting on the front porch in the old Baptist cook book. I grew up on Carter Street, and we used to go over to "Ms. Gladys'" house and she would give us cookies. A man from Florida owns it now, and he's not there very often. Just north of that house is the Rahm house, a Victorian that was actually a Sears kit, as was the yellow Victorian farther on south of the Ulen house. Bit of Walnut trivia!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 9:33 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, lovebooks, that's the house that I thought Billy Pat bought, but his must be the grey one next to it. A Sears kit? Wow, what a house to buy from Sears! That's a story in itself. I don't believe I've ever seen that large a Sears kit house. There's one in Chaffee, but it's a lot smaller.

I remember a house with a round tower, but I thought it sat up high on the left (east) side of Walnut Street, across from Billy Pat Wright's house.

At least, I THINK I've heard that the beautiful old house on the right (west) side of Walnut belongs to Billy Pat now. (?) Isn't it the one with the red tile roof?

I've always loved that whole street of houses on Walnut. I still love to drive slowly on that street and just soak up the atmosphere. I think people drive too fast along there - I just about get run over...I guess I should park my car and WALK, shouldn't I??

I also love Bloomfield's old houses on the street that goes south from the square.

Houses like that can't be rebuilt, once they're gone. So many towns no longer have old houses WORTH restoring. They're gone!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 2:42 PM

One more comment and then I'll be quiet, I promise. The mention of sidewalks made me remember how I grew up in downtown Dexter around Vine Street, Locust, Walnut, etc.

We used to start roller skating around the neighborhood as soon as our sidewalks were free of ice (!) and start out early every morning in the summer. Our skate keys around our necks, we knew every crack in the sidewalks for blocks. We knew exactly where we needed to lift our skate so we wouldn't fall, and we also loved the "new" sidewalks that our neighbors would install.

You mention a skate key to the kids nowadays and they look at you like a relic. And yet, those were my favorite memories of growing up in Dexter.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 12:30 PM

That house across from the Baptist Church belonged to Dr. & Mrs. Brentlinger, I believe. She was the founder of the Dexter Public Library. I always loved that house, too.

But! Let's remember that the Alberta Schnakenberg (Webb)house on Vine has been lovingly restored lately! Thanks to Bob Keathley, the house has returned to its original glory. I always loved that house, growing up in that neighborhood. I used to tell my mother that it definitely had "potential." And now it shines!

If I had plenty of money, I would buy one of the houses in Dexter that could be restored and do it. Nice dream anyway!

-- Posted by lovebooks on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 12:25 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, that house is probably the first one on the right as you head south on that strip. Billy Pat's must be the second one, then.

Exactly where is Ms. Alberta's house? Vine...mmm...must check a map..

The combination of "money" and "dream" so rarely go together - That's why so few of these old treasures are restored, I'm afraid...

I completely agree MD and mrsdolphin. It's a shame to see so much history torn down and discarded like yesterday's trash.

I am not very old either, but I enjoy seeing old buildings and such restored as they were in the early days.

As time goes, it gets harder to recall some of the businesses and houses that used to stand in Dexter. A few that I had forgotten about until recently was Polly's Drive-In (On Walnut), and the Dairy House (beside Chrisman's Tire).

It's sad to see so many things from the past go out the window.

-- Posted by sc1120 on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 11:47 AM

I may be young, but I don't act it...I whole-heartedly agree on refurbishing the old. And sidewalks are a commodity some of us here in the little towns don't get to enjoy much. There used to be one in front of my house, but it was torn out a while ago. I guess they never intend to replace it either. My kids had to learn to ride their bikes in the grass due to the lack of sidewalks. Learning how to ride a bike in the grass just isn't right.

I remember this house here in Dexter from when I was little. It was on Castor St. caddy-cornered (?) from the First Baptist Church. It was gorgeous! It had a corner room that was rounded like a castle. I always dreamed of owning that house when I grew up...but now it's just a memory. It was bought and torn down to make more parking for the church. I wish it was still there...I would have rebuilt it to it's original beauty. I just wonder how all these towns can remember there history if they don't preserve it...we wouldn't be here now if it weren't for all the history.

In fact, I bet 3/4 of the people who live here don't know where Dexter even got it's name. I do...I made it a point to research that in high school...but I doubt anyone cares either. It's a shame...it really is.

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 9:38 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
The "masses" may not care about all this history, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who DO. I've been including local history stories in the North Stoddard Countian for several years, and I get very good feedback from them. I suspect that the history-minded group in Dexter is even larger.

The beautiful thing about local history is that it keeps changing, as someone discovers another unknown tidbit.

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Off the wall
Madeline DeJournett
Recent posts
Blog RSS feed [Feed icon]
Comments RSS feed [Feed icon]
Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
Hot topics
Angels danced the day you were born!
(1 ~ 5:11 AM, Jan 26)

School dreams
(1 ~ 6:11 AM, Jan 14)

It started with a squirrel bite
(1 ~ 10:57 AM, Jan 5)

The day Travis hid in the ham
(0 ~ 5:45 AM, Dec 23)

Making biscuits and memories
(1 ~ 12:19 PM, Dec 8)

© 2017 Dexter Daily Statesman · Dexter, Missouri