Dogtown Historical Society will have faded advertising sign re-painted

By Shawn Clubb
Southwest City Journal
June 19, 2007
page 1

A photo of the old faded sign with Bob and John Corbett (not faded) in front of it is in the Dogtown archives

John Corbett remembers a time when practically every block had its own corner grocery.

The last of those stores in Dogtown closed its doors two years ago, ending a neighborhood tradition.

Corbett and his brother, Bob, and other members of the Dogtown Historical Society have arranged to pay tribute to the corner grocers. They will have an advertisement repainted on one of the former stores at the corner of Central and Wise avenues.

"Until the 1960s, these little groceries and the green grocers who drove the trucks around, that's how we got our food," Bob Corbett said.

The sign, which is now faded past the point of reading some words, marked the store as Central Cash Grocery & Market. It bore the image of a flour sack from Stanard-Tilton Mill Company's Royal Patent Flour.

The society has hired Lonnie Tettaton to repaint the sign. Tettaton previously repainted an Alpen Brau beer advertisement for the society on a building at 1206 Tamm Ave.

Tettaton will repaint the sign with the green and yellow colors common to Cash markets, which the Corbett's learned were a small chain. Below the sign, various owners had painted their names over the years. Tettaton will paint that area a solid red.

Virginia Yale of Dogtown remembers when Lynn and Jane Hobbs owned the market. She said students from the nearby Dewey School used to go there on their lunch hours for soda and penny candy.

Bob Corbett keeps a web site on the history of Dogtown. Yale's brother, Joseph Cooper, wrote on the web site that he remembers when Lynn Hobbs would make snowcones in the summer using a stainless-steel ice crusher. Cooper said the snowcones cost a dime, but Hobbs would mark some snowcone cups with an "X" to give away for free.

"The big thing about this is honoring the confectioneries - the corner grocery stores," John Corbett said. "They were a big part of Dogtown and now they're completely gone."

The former Cash market is now an apartment building owned by Charles Naeger. The last corner grocery in Dogtown was Garavaglia's, which was located on Tamm Avenue, John Corbett said. It closed two years ago not long after the closure of another market, Gewinner's, on Clayton Avenue.

"Gewinner's and Garavaglia's were the only ones around for years," John Corbett said. "The property values got too high. They couldn't afford to be a grocery store. They didn't make enough profit."

Tettaton was set to start painting the sign late last week. It should be completed soon.

Having completed two ghost sign restorations will give the Dogtown Historical Society the clout to solicit more sign restoration, Bob Corbett said.

Future targets could include an advertisement for Griesedieck Brothers beer on the side of Pat's Bar and Grill at the corner of Oakland and Tamm avenues and a dry good store sign on the side of a liquor store at Tamm and West Park avenues.


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Bob Corbett