Saturday, July 23, 2011

Would the REAL Johnny's Texaco please stand up.....with further additions and a new tidbit...

 Even at Hot Rods and Jalopies mistakes can happen, but only if the information given is incorrect.  Well, here we have an example.  In this following post it was stated that this first photo was Barry Ketterings service station later to become Johnny Zatti's station on May Street in Fort William(you Thunder Bay).
click here then come back -     It  was Barry Kettering's Station back in '61, but it was actually in Rice Lake Wisconsin where Barry had initially moved.  This current updated information is thanks to the sharp investigation by my friend Al Yahn and backed up by Don Zatti and his aunt Rene Kettering(Barry's Wife).  The next photo taken from a 1960's CLE racing program is the real Johnny's Texaco that was on May Street in Fort William.  I hope this clarifies any questions about the original photo :-) ...that is a sideways smile.  Thanks Al, Don and Rene.

The Real Johnny's Texaco 520 N. May Street Fort William

Here is a nice photo of the actual Club 17 Tavern from an old post card submitted by Jim Jorgenson awhile back and was misplaced, but found and added to this post.  The small picture here is how the property looks now at the corner of Valhalla Inn Drive and Arthur Street.  The original post can be found at this link.  Click here then come back

One more addition to this post also submitted by Jim Jorgenson is the original Double G Pizza place.  The photo is from the late 1950s and was located at 470 High Street in Port Arthur at the intersection of Memorial Ave and High Street.  They had the best Pizza's in town.  The Double G building later burned to the ground.  The structure next door to the Double G was Pang's Chinese Restaurant as noted in a 1962 local phone book, later, an Italian Restaurant and the final number of years ended up as a strip bar with the last name being "Private I's Show Bar".  The Double G building used to be located next to the current A&W Restaurant on Memorial Ave.  The Pang's/Strip bar building was next door to the north and was torn down this past year and is now an empty lot.  Double G was the Pizza of choice for many years even when they moved to their later locations at 143 E. Frederica Street in Fort William and on 285 Bay Street in Port Arthur(as noted in a 1962 phone book).  Now, there are 2 empty lots at the address.  Thanks to Al Pomanti and Bill Exell for the corrections here! 
This is how the Pangs/Private I's building looked shortly before it was demolished.

Thanks to Jim Jorgenson for copies of the advertising post cards of Club 17 and Double G.
Be sure to click on all photos once and twice for x-large!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The St. Louis Hotel - by special request........

These first two pictures, one from the horse and buggy days and the other from the early 1930's show where the St. Louis Hotel was....on the corner of Victoria Ave and North St.  It was an icon of the hotel and dining business for many years and the building was actually 113 years old.  During that time it went through many changes in its architectural look, mainly the removal(or change) to the mansard style roof on the 3rd floor as seen in the first photo, and later the squaring off of the first floor windows.  The brick was also painted a number of colours through the years, the final colour being a creamy yellow as shown in the 3rd photo.

This is how the old place looked days before its demolition.
This is how the property looked shortly after demolition.

This is a Victoria Ave. view of the property as it looks today.  The Royal Theatre was just next door and next to the Royal was the Commerce Bank.  Both those buildings stand today but the Commerce Bank is just a facade and completely empty behind.
 Here is a menu pad from the famed "Little Red Room", and a menu cover from the Beacon Room.  My parents frequented the restaurant there in the 1950's and was consided one of the best places to eat here at the Lakehead cities of Fort William and Port Arthur.  A page from the Beacon Room bar shows a shot of Rye for 44 cents, Rum at 45 cents and cocktails between 65 cents and one dollar.

Here are a couple of match book covers from The Little Red Room showing two different phone numbers and both being pre 1960.  The entrance for the bar and restaurant was off North Street.
I can't believe that it was demolished 6 years ago time flies. 
To read the article from the paper, you will have to click on each half to read the left then right column.  Be sure to click twice on all photos and clippings to enlarge them.

Typically our city tears down historic buildings before the so-called bleeding hearts can complain enough to save them.  It has happened many times in the past and many others are noted in this website.  As noted in the above article, historic buildings are tourist attractions but here in Thunder Bay, they just tear them down.  Just drive around our city and see the new construction that has taken place in just one year, over the top of many of our historic structures. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Barry and Johnny.......

Here is an interesting tidbit.  You will notice in the 1961 B&W photo that above the door on this service station it says none other than Barry Kettering as the proprietor.  Incorrect data in information received about this story.....corrected in the blog post link below. - (This building was located at 520 North May Street.  The interesting information is that this station was soon to become Johnny's Texaco which belonged to Johnny Zatti.)  Barry and Johnny were brothers-in-law.  The address on google today shows this empty lot which is just to the north of Thunder Country Diving and Rollie's Cigar Shop on May Street.  New Data corrects the above information click here to see the story....

Here are a couple of matchbook covers from Johnny's Texaco both from the same era as the B&W photo above. The MA in front of the first matchbook cover stood for Mayfair, later to become 6-2 in front of all 5 digit numbers. The second cover here was from 1960 just before the Mayfair thing started.

This is a typical ad that you would see in the local newspapers in the late 1950's.  What great entertainment was offered for a dollar for adults and 50 cents for kids.

Here is Barry as he looked after winning the 1958 Championship

Johnny as he appeared in a Newspaper ad in the mid 50's

Here's a nice photo of Johnny in front of his Texaco Station showing that Stock Car Racing wasn't his only sport!!

Barry - When he was driving his #47 car.....the #57 and the famed Red/White paint job came in the same year as his number...1957.

Johnny and (I'm not sure) his son?  Is it you Don?
Thanks to Don Zatti and Rene Kettering for some of these clips and photos.  Click on the following link to read more about Johnny's service archived in this blog site, then come back.
More interesting things about Barry Kettering to on all picture once or twice to enlarge.  Thanks for visiting........Dave