Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mystery Solved

The exhibit, The Way We Worked: Serving Harvey County, is complete; but the exhibit was only one part of the project.  Throughout the next year we will host programs and events related to the exhibit, and some of the events will provide an opportunity for you to contribute to the exhibit both at the museum and at off-site locations. See our most recent newsletter (Fall 2012) for more details or click  on link  to download the newsletter -  We will also be posting on Facebook.

In several of the news releases about the exhibit, we used one of our favorite photographs.
Like many of our photographs, this one had limited information associated with it.  The waitress was not identified and the only note on the back was "Cedar Village Cafe".  Photo tech, Linda Koppes, had tried to identify the location, but when she compared the counter and other features in the photograph with photographs clearly identified as Cedar Village Cafe in the Cedar Village Shopping Center at 11th & Washington Road in Newton, there were little discrepancies.  It was enough different that she could not say with absolute certainty that it was the same cafe.

Shortly after the photo appeared in the Newton Kansan, we received several calls.  One caller said, "I think that is my sister."  Helen Partridge came in to visit with Linda, and she brought more photos.

She identified her sister, Marilyn Havens Brickell as the waitress in the photograph and shared the above photo that gave a wider view of the counter and our next clue.  The "Wolfs Ice Cream" sign is clearly visible and that reminded Linda of another photograph from a newspaper.

Mr.& Mrs. Geer, Village Cafe
Newton Kansan, April 1, 1954
When the Cedar Village Shopping Center opened in the spring of 1954, the Newton Kansan printed a special edition featuring all the businesses.  Now we had a name, a confirmation of the place and a date for the photograph.  Linda also noted that based on the photographs in our collection, the lunch counter at the Village Cafe (now Curtis C's) has been changed at least three times. 

Village Cafe, Bob Zook, owner
One mystery solved.

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