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Picturing the Past 27: A look at Kuhn'sPosted Tuesday, September 22, 2009, at 7:19 AM
Kuhn's 5-10-25 cent store, on the Shelbyville square in 1963. (T-G file photo)
Farrar's Hoisery appears just to the right of Kuhn's.
This photo clears up some confusion for me, as I'd been thinking Kuhn's was in the middle of the square's east side when I was a young boy in the late 1960s. Now I'm thinking that store may have been Cohern's.
I'm pretty sure this is what's numbered today as 111 and 113 South Side Square (Security Finance-111 and Hitchcock Insurance-113), based on the facts the frame of the window above the Kuhn's sign can barely be seen today (it's been filled in) and the upper windows next door have the same framing.
Actually, only the facade remains -- the rest of the building was gutted by fire in, I think, 1999. (That was one of my biggest "missed photo" opportunities -- occupants of a clothing store were tossing clothing out the door as flames erupted around an inside sign reading, of all things, "We're having a fire sale!" Then my camera's flash unit failed...)
The 1960s were the last days of the dime stores before Walmart-type centers took over. In fact, Kuhn's parent company operated Big K stores, which were eventually purchased by Walmart. Shelbyvilles' Big K opened in 1965.
Ben Franklin joined Kuhn's and Cohern's, which I think was locally-owned, on the square. The Ben Franklin store moved at some point into the location occupied by Kroger in the early 1950s on the corner of the east side square and Depot Street.
Ben Franklin was in that corner building by 1959, going by a photo I'll be posting eventually, and still there by 1963 since part of their sign can be seen in this picture. I remember Ben Franklin still there as late as the late 1960s and possibly early 1970s.
If you can get this photo large enough in your web browser, look closely at the reflections on Kuhn's and Farrar's front windows. They're confusing but interesting.
You'll see the courthouse reflecting on the left side windows, part of the Ben Franklin sign on the east side square in one pane, and backwards images of the Masonic Lodge building and Caperton's Drug Store and Dickerson Studios signs on the ground floor of the Gunter Building, on the west side.
Another thought: The Kuhn's sign and roof over its entrance sort of resembles what could have been part of a movie marquee sign. Was this the old Bedford Theater location?
Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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