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TABLE OF CONTENT

I.            Preface/Gift of Memory

II.        Socio-Economic Conditions Affecting Issaquena Avenue

Chapter 1 Meet Issaquena Avenue

What Issaquena and Coahoma Mean

Clarksdale before Issaquena

The Growing Village with Issaquena Avenue

1889 Earliest Property Sale

Major Factors, King Cotton and the Railroad

Issaquena Avenue Begins Its Development

1903-1905 W. C. Handy's Selected Memories

Theodore Roosevelt's Visit

1918-1921 Post-World War I and the Depression

1922-1929 Economic Conditions Affecting Issaquena Merchants

1927 Mississippi River Flood

1920-1929 Early Merchants and Food Plants

1930-1939 Depression Years

1936-1939 Issaquena Becomes “Jewish Merchant” Street

Chart: 1923-1955 Issaquena Jewish Merchants

1937 Next Big Flood

Chapter 2 Full Bloom

Three Decades Summary

1940-1942 The Fisk University Research Project

World War II Years

Anecdotes

Jewish Minyans

Cotton States Exhibit for Wholesale Merchandise

Other Merchants and Prejudice

Syrian-Lebanese Migration

Street Crowds

Sights and Smells

Activities of Merchants' Children

Sounds like the Blues

Security

Side Street Merchants

1916-1956 Savoy Theater with Chart: Savoy Theater

Chapter 3 The Fading Era

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

1939-1960 Two Dek Ice Cream Company

1943-1953 Joe's Used Clothing

1950-1980s Fourth Street Drug Store

Civil Rights

Economic Decline

1. Farm Mechanization Causing Northward Migration Or Welfare

2. Walmart Comes to Town

3. Merchants Retiring with the Newly Educated Generation

President William Clinton's “New Market Tour” Visit

Clarksdale Becomes a Historic District

Isaacson’s Poem; Issaquena Avenue or the Changing Times

III.         Issaquena Avenue Building Tour

Tour Guidelines

History

Occupants

The Schematic Street

Maps

City Directories

Chapter 4 Building 1 (Lot 41)

History

Occupants

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1909-1913 Unknown Proprietors For Grocery and General Merchandise Store

2. 1913-1978 Campassi Brothers and Campassi & Son

A. Merchandising Strategies

B. Working in the Store

C. Customers and The Blues

D. Watching Trains Go By

E. Fires

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1909-1940 From Pressing Shop To Grocery With Restaurant, and Pool Room, Then Cleaners

2. 1940-1975 Labens Quality Store

A. Moving to Clarksdale

B. Family Working

Second & Third Floors, Rooming House

1933-1971 Rooms For Whites

Chapter 5 Building 2 Lot 40)

History

Occupants

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1914-1917 Lipsey & Brown, Barbers

2. 1917-1931 Three Restaurant Proprietors

3. 1931-1955 Green Beetle Restaurant and The Royal Sandwich Shop

4. 1955-1960 Johnny's Cafe, Claude Clements Restaurant

5. 1960-1975 WROX Radio Station Branch Office

First Floor, North Center Storefront

1. 1914-1935 A Restaurant, A Barbershop with Four Proprietors.

2. 1935-1953 Harry Gibney Craft Auto Parts and Thomas Furniture

3. 1955-1975 Three Merchants

First Floor, South Center Storefront(

1. 1914-1926 Wells Tailoring, Clarksdale Candy Kitchen and G. H. Weber

2. 1927-1940 White Barber Shop, Hays Barber Shop

3. 1940-1946 Dinkins, L. B. Price Mercantile Co.

4. 1946-1957 Cash & Carry Dry Cleaners, Dixie Drug Sundries, and Schwaller's Jewelry

5. 1959-1960 Tower Loan Brokers

6. 1963-1980 Last Four Occupants

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1914-1918 Brown and Williams Eating House, a Grocery With Lunch Counter

2. 1923 -1927 Charles Shamoon Dry Goods

3. 1927-1930 Vincent D. Antone, grocers

4. 1933-1936 Willie Palms Beauty Salon

5. 1936-1939 Tuminello Grocers

6. 1939-1955 Frank's Dry Goods

7. 1957-1965 Morris Baskind's Dry Goods, Central Real Estate Company, Clarksdale Pecan Company

8. 1967-1980 Remaining Merchants

Second Floor Offices and Furnished Rooms

Chapter 6 Building 3 (Lot 15)

History

Occupants

Three Storefronts

One Storefront

1. 1918 Grocery Store

2. 1918-1926 Kizer Abraham and Leo Boolos, General Merchandise

North Storefront

1. 1927-1937 Cooper Market & Grocery

2. 1937-1946 Three Grocery Store Merchants

3. 1948-1958 Hollywood Men's Shop

A. Radio Advertising

B.. Life Afterwards

4. 1958-1980 Final Five Stores

South Storefront

1. 1927-1933 Sanitary Barber Shop

2. 1933-1969 Cleaning Plant's Various Owners

3. 1971-1973 Democratic Party of the State of Mississippi

Chapter 7 Building 4 (Lot 12, 13, 14)

History

Occupants

North Storefront

1. 1914-1936 A Pool Room Before Ellet, Cooper's, Tuminello's, Abraham's Grocery Stores

2. 1936-1955 Abram's Dry Goods

3. 1957-1961 Clarksdale Pecan and Walnut Company

4. 1962-1980 Four Remaining Businesses

Center Storefront

1. 1916-1922 John Palladino, Barber

2. 1923-1924 New York Store

3. 1925 Maurice J. Gole, Moving Company

4. 1927-1933 Crown Tailoring Company

5. 1933 Mitchel Drug Company

6. 1936-1939 May Dry Goods (First Location)

7. 1940-1965 Four Different Barbershop Owners

8. 1969-1980 Johnnie Cab Company, Green Liquor Store, Jacobson Brothers

South Storefront

1. 1916-1927 J. D. Sauls Drugs, and John’s Dry Goods

2. 1927-1980 Hamburger Café’s Eight Owners

A. Menu

B. Employees

C. Customers

3. 1980 Demar's Restaurant

Chapter 8 Building 5 (Lot 10, 11)

History

Occupants

First Floor, One Storefront

1. 1916 to 1919 White Star Market

2. 1919-1920 Gates Tire and Vulcanizing Company

3. 1920 1933 Mitchell Drug Store

4. 1933-1934 White Star Market (Second location)

First Floor, Three Storefronts

1. 1936-1947 Sherman's Changes from Groceries to Variety Store

2. 1934-1942 Albert's Fashion Shop- (First Location)

3. 1936-1945 Markham then Canfield Drug Company

First Floor, One Storefront Restored

1. 1948-1978 Jacobson Furniture Store

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1923-1927 Shakespeare the Bootblack

Second Floor, Rooming House

Chapter 9 Building 6 (Lot 8, 9)

 

History:

Proposed Movie Theater Location

Occupants

North Storefront

1. 1904-1919 Alexander Lumber becomes Bornman Lumber Company

2. 1926 1933 Kizer J. Abraham, General Merchandise

3. 1933-1942 Califf's Dry Goods (First Location)

A. Helping Parents at Califf's

B. Califf's Customers

4. 1941-1970 Albert's Fashion Shop (Second Location)

5. 1973-1980 The Fashionette, Beauty Shop Fashionette, Barrett's Discount Shoes

South Storefront

1. 1926-1931 White Star Market

2. 1931-1933 Bacharach's

3. 1933-1939 White Star Market Returns

4. 1939-1941 The Great American Atlantic and Pacific Grocery [A&P]

5. 1942-1970 Sol Califf's Dry Goods (Second Location)

6. 1978: Helen's Discount Store

Chapter 10 Building 7 (Lots 5, 6. 7)

 

History

Occupants

1927 -1929 Antone Filling Station

North Storefront

1. 1933-1936 Jacobson Dry Goods

2. 1936-1943: John Brothers and Miss Annie's Store

3. 1943-1961 Leon Binder

4. 1962-1980 Remaining Two Stores

Center Storefront

1. 1936-1941 Barbershop

2. 1941-1970 Delta Drug Company

South Storefront

1. 1929-1940 Restaurant's Names: Ferris Open Kitchen, Strand Cafe, Tony's Cafe

2. 1941-1963 Valley Supply Company and Campassi's Hardware and Sports Goods

3. 1963-1975 Brooks Surplus Store (Second Location)

Three Storefront Merge as Two Storefronts

Chapter 11 Building 8 (Lot 4)

History

Occupants

One Storefront

1. 1921-1931: Clarksdale Creamery, McLeran Ice Cream, Delta Dairies

2. 1931-1933 Issaquena Department Store

3. 1936-1956 City 5 10 25 Cent Variety Store and Its Name Variations

4. 1960-1980 Coury Dress Shop, then U-Sav Shoe Shop

Chapter 12 Building 9 (Lots 1,2,3)

History

Occupants

First Floor:

1920 Two Stores Open in Ballard Building

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1921--1927 Two Bakeries: Dixie Bakery and Lee Baking Company

2. 1927-1933 Max Kerstine's Dry Goods (Second Location)

3. 1933-1973 Mack's

A. Moving to Clarksdale

B. History of Name

C. Merchandising

D. Working in the Store

E. Wholesale Buying

F. Memorable Clerks

G. Daily Opening and Closing

H. Customers

I. Selling the Store

First Floor, Center Storefront

1. 1920 Jake Friedman's Ladies Ready-to-Wear, First Jewish Issaquena Merchant

2. 1923-1929 Martin Pure Milk Company

3. 1925-1927 Max Kerstine's Dry Goods (First Location)

4. 1929-1945 One Drug Store: Cash Drug Store, Haggard Drug Store, and Brooks Drug Store

5. 1946-1967 Palace Drug Store #1

6. 1970 1975 Dollar Store and Warehouse Outlet Store

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1922-1942 Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store #2

2. 1942-1945 Coury Grocery and Market and Wing's Cash Store

3. 1945-1953 Alias Cash Grocery

First Floor, South Storefront

Two Storefronts

Center South Storefront

1. 1956-1976 Goodfellows Market (Second Location)

South Storefront (Corner)

1. 1953-1975 Fair Deal Grocery #2

Second Floor, Rooming House

Chapter 13 Building 10 (West, Lot 1)

 

History

Occupants

South Storefront

1 1916-1932 First Grocery Store

2. 1933-1956 Goodfellow's Market (First Location)

A. Family Surname Spelling

B. Coming to America

C. Merchant Startup

D. School Discrimination and Local Economics

E. Inside Goodfellow’s Market

F. Earliest Memories

G. Buying Wholesale

H. Nonfamily Helpers and Customers

I. Seasonal Business

J. Food Supplies During WWII

K. Store Hours

North Storefront

1. 1936-1939 Mitchell Drug Store

2. 1939-1959 Lucky Café #2

3. 1960-1962 House of Bargains (Second Location)

4. 1963 House of Goodwill Youth Center

5. 1963-1966 Powell Clothing Store

6. 1966 Ace Liquor Store

Chapter 14 Buildings 11 & 12 (West, Lot 2)

History

Occupants

1895 to 1919 Three Residences

Building 11

Two Storefronts

1919-1929 Giatras, Calbros and Joe Wing

One Storefront

1. 1931-1945 Sherman’s

2. 1945-1947 Hill Bennett Furniture

3. 1947-1957 Sherman Changes Store Names

4. 1957-1960 House of Bargains, (First Location) Home Furniture & Appliance Company

5. 1967-1978 Palace Drug Store #1 (Second Location)

Building 12

One Storefront

1. 1923-1933 Eating House Changes Owner

Two Storefronts: South and North Storefronts

1. 1936-1937 Double Dip Ice Cream Parlor , Charles Hoffman, Jeweler

2. 1936-1937 White Cafe

3. 1937-1940 Auerbach Shoe Shop (First Location)

4. 1939-1946 John J Mason, Photographer

5. 1948-1951 Nicie L. Bright

6 1953-1957 Sherman's

7. 1957-1960 Mike and Ike's Grill

Chapter 15 Building 13 (West, Lot 3)

History

Occupants

South Storefront

1. 1928-1933 Jitney Jungle Grocery Store #2

2. 1933 1980 Stetson Men's Shop

A. Employee and Short-Term Manager

North Storefront

1. 1929-1936 The Bakery with Two Owners

2. 1936-1980 Jacobson Department Store

A. Inventory

B. Sales tickets Versus Bartering

C. Purchasing inventory

D. Memorable Clerks

E. Store Closing

Chapter 16 Building14 & 15 (Lot 4)

History

Occupants

1910-1923 One Dwelling prior to Commercial Building 14

Building 14

1. 1923-1929 Busy Bee Cafe

2. 1933-1948 New World Barber Shop, Arnold Brothers Barber Shop

Three Storefronts

South Storefront

1946-1960 Two Shoe Shiners: Wiley Riley, Harvey Davis

Center Storefront

1940-1959 Arnold Brothers, Sam's Sandwich Shop and Harvey Davis Restaurant

North Storefront

1. 1940-1955 Auerbach Shoe Repair (Second Location)

2. 1957-1958 Clarksdale Finance Service

3. 1960-1961 Sherman's

Building 15

One Storefront

1. 1923-1936 Annie Dean Eating House to Colored Lunch Room

2. 1936-1949 White Rose Dry Cleaners

3. 1949-1951 Army Surplus Store

4. 1953-1954 Brooks Surplus Store (First Location)

A. Working in the Store

B. Purchasing inventory

C. Customers

D. Closing

5. 1955-1957 Delta Mercantile (Third Location)

6. 1959-1970 Mark's Tailor Shop

Chapter 17 Building 16 (West Lot 5)

History

Occupants

1916-1923 Three Residential Homes

1920s Residents

Three Commercial Buildings

South Storefront

1927-1949 Shoe Shop Known by Two Names

Center Storefront:

1927-1948 Jeremiah “Jerry” Green, The Tailor

North Storefront

1. 1927-1948 Delta Barber Shop

A. Juke Joints before the Roxy

Building 16

Three Buildings Convert to One Storefront

1949-1967 New Roxy Theater

A. Naming the Theater

B. Loyal Employees

C. Managing the New Roxy after 1962

Chapter 18 Building 17 (Lot 6)

History

Occupants

1905-1919 Two Residences

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1923-1925 Charles Abraham's Billiards

2. 1928-1931 Gilmer Grocery Company

3. 1934-1937 Joe Toy Chop Suey House

4. 1937-1941 Michael's 5, 10 and 25 Cent Store

5. 1941-1942 Rossie's Super Market

6. 1942-1945 Hill Bennett Furniture Store, South Clarksdale Dry Goods

7. 1945-1950 The Roxy Theater

8. 1952-1972 Bacharach's Department Store

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1923-1927 Goodman Baking Company

2. 1927-1929 Cut Rate Drug Store

3. 1929-1930 The Orange Crush Bottling Company

4. 1934-1936 Frank Giatras Grocery and Restaurant (Second Location)

5. 1936 1939 One Minute Cafe and Rossie's Cash Grocery

6. 1939-1972 Abe May Company and South Clarksdale Dry Goods

A. Buying Merchandise

B. Clerks

C. Customers

D. Real Estate Added and Lost

Second Floor, Offices and Furnished Rooms

A. Medical Offices

B. The Beauty Shop

C. Two Professional Organizations

D. Coahoma County Headquarters for Negro Schools

E. Immaculate Conception Catholic Mission

F. Photographer

Chapter 19 Buildings 18 & 19 (West Lot 7)

 

History

Occupants

1914-1964 The Big House

Building 18

1927-1965 Shoe Shiner Stand with Four Black-American Owners

Building 19

1. 1916-1927 Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Passenger Depot (Y& MVRR)

2. 1927-1929 W. M. McCloud, Peanut Stand

3. 1936-1946 Palms Beauty Salon

4. 1946-1950 Assaf Gattis, Home Furnishings (First Location)

Building 19

Two Storefronts

1. 1950-1955 Frozen Gold Ice Cream and Blue Heaven Inn

2. 1955-1964 Mason Studio

3. 1955-1965 Four Occupants in 349½ Issaquena

Chapter 20 Building 20 (Lot 8)

 

History

Occupants

Residential

Building 20

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1921-1923 Cooper's Market (First Location)

2. 1923-1929 Gibson Drug Company (First Location)

3. 1929 Weber Jewelry Company

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1920-1929 Billiard Parlor, Poolroom Owners

2. 1929-1933 The Fashion Shop

3. 1933 One Minute Cafe

First Floor, One Storefront

1. 1933-1942 Thomas Furniture Company

2. 1943-1956 The Hub Department Store

Three Storefronts

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1957: Louis Campassi & Sons

2. 1957–1959 Lunceford Bargain Store

3. 1965-1967 Clarksdale Salvage Store

4. 1969 Clement & Son Fabric Store

5. 1975 and 1977 Little Lower Shoe Store

First Floor, Center Storefront

1. 1957–1959 Fuller Products,

2. 1960–1963 Peter Pan Thrift Store

3. 1969–1975 The Mason Studio

4. 1978–1979 Roebuck Clothing Store

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1957–1975 Branch #4 of the Superior Cleaners & Furriers,

2. 1978–1979 Funhouse Amusements

 

Second Floor, Furnished Rooms & Beauty Salon

Chapter 21 Buildings 21 & 22 (Lot 17)

 

History

Occupants

Residential

Building 21

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1917-1923 Reno Cafe On the South Side

2. 1929-1933 Gibson Drug Store (Second Location)

3. 1933-1973 OK Grocery's Three Owners

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1923-1933 Reno Cafe On The North Side

2. 1934-1964 Reno Cafe Becomes Belmont Cafe

3. 1965 to 1980 Smith Tavern, Tomlinson Used Clothing and Gates Piano Company

Second Floor, Furnished Rooms

Building 22

1. 1928 1930 Quick Service Market

2. 1936-1938 and 1946-1950 L. B. Price Mercantile Company

3. 1939 to 1946 The Fruit Store

4. 1950-1955 Assaf Gattis

5. 1955-1967 Dave Auerbach Shoe Shop (Third Location)

6. 1970-1980 One Retail Store and Two Cafes

Second Floor, Furnished Rooms & Businesses Chart

Chapter 22 Building 23 (West Lot 17.1)

History

The European Hotel

Occupants

Boardinghouse

1914-1928 The European Hotel Faces South Edwards Avenue

First Floor, South Storefront

1. 1927-1929 Joe Sherman's Emporium

2. 1936-1955 Lurie's Department Store

A. Physical Description

B. Inventory

C. Working in the Store

D. Customers, Closing Time

3. 1955-1978 Remaining Years of Four Occupants

First Floor, Center Storefront

1. 1936-1939 Baker Mercantile Company

A. Moving Baker Mercantile to Issaquena

B. Inventory

C. Saturday Clerks

D. Customers

2. 1940-1949 Self-Service Dry Goods

A. Self-Service Dry Goods to Binder’s

3. 1951-1955 Taylor's Department Store, Irwin's Bargain Store

4. 1955-1965 Remaining Three Occupants

First Floor, North Storefront

1. 1928-1932 Cash Drug Store, Sanitary Fish Market, Arkansas Fruit Stand

2. 1937-1956 Isaacson Department Store

3. 1960-1978 Clarksdale Appliance Company

Second Floor, Offices and Furnished Rooms

1. 1909-1928 Hotel Lodgers

2. 1929-1980 Second Floor Furnished Rooms

End of The Tour

IV. Appendix

Map 1 The Delta

Map 2 First Proposal—1869 Clarksville Plat

Map 3 The First 1888 Clarksdale Plat Map

Map 4 Issaquena Avenue Ashton Land Division #2-1901

Map 5 1892 Corner of Issaquena and railroad tracks.

Nelson Jones’ New World

Map 6 1897 Shanties on the South Side

Map 7A. 1905 West side: a church and a school

Map 7B 1914 East Side

Map 8 Changes due to Yellow Bottoms fire

<![if !supportLists]>A.     <![endif]>1918 Before the Fire

<![if !supportLists]>B.      <![endif]>1923 After the Fire

Map 9 1929 East and West Side, Issaquena Avenue

Map 10 1966 East and West Side, Issaquena Avenue

Street Schematic

V. Acknowledgments

VI. The Author

VII. The Photographer

VIII. Bibliography

IX. 4 Index

A.    Business and Organizations

B.     General

C.    Names

D.    Places and Streets