Old Jigsaw Puzzle Illustrates an Owensboro Some May Not Recognize — See Photos
I'm pretty sure I think the same thing every time I'm out in the Highway 54 area. I see Menard's, Meijer, Academy Sports, Walmart, Kohl's, Don Moore, and everything else that's made the east side Owensboro's busiest, and I just KNOW that anyone who moved away from here 20 years ago would recognize the place if they returned for the first time today.
I did that just yesterday. In fact, I have lived here my whole life, and even I can't place how it used to look. I remember that a large field and creepy old house occupied the space Menard's and Meijer occupy now, but the rest escapes me.
AN OLD OWENSBORO JIGSAW PUZZLE REVEALS A LOT
And then I saw this jigsaw puzzle. I'd seen it years before and thought it was gone for good when it turned back up a few weeks ago. We've done a lot of remodeling here, so I guess that's why it was unearthed. Take a look at this thing, and then we'll break it down (and keep in mind...this is an artistic rendering and not to scale):
Since I don't know the story behind this puzzle, I'm assuming businesses paid to be a part of it, like they would for online, radio, or TV. But I do have some questions about the date.
A TIME DISCREPANCY
First, I cannot tell what the artist's name is from that signature. Second, the credited company--Legends Distinctive Community Prints--must not exist anymore because I cannot find it via a Google search. And third, that signature pretty much confirms it was created in 1990. But look at this:
The RiverPark Center opened in 1992--two years AFTER this was published. Also, if you look closely at the top right, you'll see the old Malco Theater and "Goldie's" on the marquee. Since the RiverPark went up where her old theater was, she didn't move to the Malco until after 1992. And that raises the timing question again. Before we move on, I had forgotten all about Citizens State Bank. And what about Central Bank & Trust, which evolved into National City Bank which then became PNC Bank? There they are in that 4th street bank cluster. Heading over to the east side, we find:
OWENSBORO JIGSAW PUZZLE IS A FUN WAY TO MARK CHANGE
So I checked the Glenn Funeral Home website and learned that their current location at Breckenridge Street and Old Hartford Road was built in 1989. I did not realize it has been there that long. I thought it was more recent. Anyway, to the left of the big Maglinger hot air balloon, you see the Villa Point Shopping Center sign. I had forgotten all about it, but it WAS part of a jingle that circulated back in the day. And, of course, the puzzle doesn't extend past Villa Point; nothing was out on Highway 54 at the time. Now, let's head back downtown:
Ah, the Executive Inn Rivermont. Everyone still misses it, and it's been gone 14 years. But, oh, the memories. Shows, parties, our satellite studio...what a blast. And coming into the shot, so to speak, you see the Executive Queen. My big regret is not riding on it more than once. But let's move down the street a bit to Pinocchio's Restaurant & Deli. My whole family loved it. I miss it to this day. And, wow, I just now noticed Riverview Pontiac. That must have been in an extinguished brain cell. Let's see...where to next? How about 4th Street and points south:
This fascinates me, because I see businesses that I do remember and ones I don't. I put the Hon Company and Short Profit Mudd's in the former category and Hollywood Window Films in the latter. No clue. Up next, we have the west side:
It's funny; I was just explaining the Big Blue Stores the other day, and now they resurface on this puzzle. There was this one on Carter Road--now a church--and the one on Byers Avenue and New Hartford Road which is now a bingo hall. And now, more from the west side:
As you navigate the various sections of this cool old puzzle, you'll notice the Wetzel's locations. If you're remembering more than just the three that are on this puzzle, keep in mind the oldest Wetzel's Supermarket--on Triplett Street--was gone before this puzzle was created. Up next...the center of town:
And there is our humble radio station, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Sparkle Brite, and Old Hickory...all where they still are today. But what about Mercy Hospital? I think I was there for the last time in the late 90s, visiting my sister. You'll also notice the Owensboro Area Museum which is now, of course, located downtown.
The only that jumps out to me here is actually something that is NOT in the puzzle, and it wouldn't have been. You see MPD, but you don't see the police department. I hadn't yet moved to its current 9th Street location. Finally, South Frederica Street and vicinity:
What strikes me about this segment of the puzzle is the absence of Towne Square North which was completed in the 80s. Also, I do not remember Tapp Motors being out there. See? This has been very helpful for me, too.
And it's also been a lot of fun looking at all these old businesses that are long gone and realizing that so much has changed in Owensboro the past three decades.
It makes me wonder...if a similar puzzle were created today, how much change would it reflect 30 years from now?