1952 visitor’s guide recalls scenes of Jefferson City

In 1952, a visitor could pick up a guide to Jefferson City’s hospitality, attractions and history. It included current events, a map, industries and churches.

The city limits of Jefferson City at that time was the Missouri River on the north, Dix Road on the west, Stadium and Leslie boulevards on the south and Warwick Village on the East. McCarty Street was U.S. 50 through town before the Rex Whitten Expressway was constructed in the 1960s.

The traveler may have found the following information useful in this promotional tourist brochure.

“For something to eat, make your first stop Stegeman’s Café for good food and fast service at 120 Bolivar near the bridge. There are three locations for Truman Brothers’ Lunch Rooms at 620 Jefferson, 1145 East McCarty and 813 West Dunklin. For fine pit Bar-B-Que steaks, chickens and fish try Red J. Rolfes Café on Highway 50 East where you can also get beer, whiskey and set-ups. Also on U.S. 50 East is Doehla’s Drive-In and Dining Room with excellent food, air-conditioning and curb service. If you are downtown, Kelley’s Tavern at 104 West High. has excellent steaks, country ham dinners and snacks or try Adcock’s Café at 216 Madison for the house specialty Ole Missouri County Ham. The Café is opened round the clock (closed Mondays) with a private dining room for parties, luncheons and banquets.

“For drinks you can go to the Brass Rail Cocktail Lounge which has excellent drinks, genial hospitality, good service and entertainment nitely at 216 Madison. Or, get your package liquors with free delivery from Diemler’s at 504 Madison.

“Several lodging places are also available. The Hotel Missouri managed by Ralph Scott and distinguished by its modern rooms, attractive rates, coffee shop, dining room, Steamboat Lounge, convention facilities and friendly service is on East High Street. Your visit is their pleasure at the Hotel Governor, the center of activity in Jefferson City and the newest hotel featuring the Rathskeller (no minimum-no cover), coffee shop (fine food moderately priced) and convention facilities (ballroom and meeting rooms). The New Central Hotel can also be booked.

“For something less formal, a motel or cottage court may be of interest. On Highway 50 East there is the quaint English Warwick Village with cottages or hotel rooms which are air cooled and steam heated owned by Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Grubb and Tower Court Cottages and Standard Station operating 24 hours a day with 20 cottages all strictly modern on a one acre beautiful shady park owned by Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Taylor. On Highway 50 West there is Veit’s Diamond Restaurant and Cabin Camp with 25 cabins, Veit’s Motel with 15 cabins and Westwood Cabins with 8 cabins William Bret manager. Kolb’s Motel and Café with 14 units is five miles South on Highway 54 and Kingdom Courts is four miles North on Highway 54 with 8 units.

“What to do? In November there is the J.C. Symphony Concert and December has the JC Player dramatic production, the Civic Music Concert and Capitol Caroling. The scheduled high school Jays home games will be against Kemper, Columbia (homecoming), and Springfield.

“Tours of the State Prison are available Monday thru Friday; of the Capitol Building daily 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Cole County Historical Society 1-4 p.m. every day but Sunday. The Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and Zonta International all meet at the Missouri Hotel. The Optimists meet at Larry’s Tavern in the evening.

“Shopping downtown may include Schell and Ward (shoes and ladies apparel), Collon’s (the store for men), Capitol Dress Shop (ladies’ ready-to-wear), Hammond Irwin (camera shop), Mavrakos (candies for all occasions), Herman’s (the family department store), Reed’s (cosmetics, toiletries), Millsap’s (Jefferson City’s leading department store), A. Brandenberger (your Rexall store), Pohl’s Shoe Store, Bartlett’s (gifts, toys, sporting goods, greeting cards), O.C. Stegmaier (jeweler and optometrist), The Purple Shoppe (fashion names you’ll recognize), Jack & Jill Shop (for tots and teens), Wyandotte Furniture Co. and Saffee’s (fashion house).”

Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce President Russell Rinklin writes: “Don’t miss visiting our beautiful Missouri State Capitol. Use the map in this magazine to locate points of interest for your enjoyment. Why not stay here with us? We have for you: good homes, friendly people, fine churches, splendid schools, outstanding shops and businesses, excellent parks, pools and recreational facilities, above ordinary cultural advantage.”

Debbie Goldammer is a former officer on the board of directors of the Historic City of Jefferson. She conducts research into Jefferson City history in her retirement. She assembled this story from the 1952 Guide to Jefferson City.

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