My grandma, Barbara Bolin Evans, had fond memories of working at Mac’s Café. She used to walk from Muren to Winslow into work. My Grandpa Evans always told the story about how when he first met her she was walking to work in the winter without a coat. He said the first thing he did when they started dating was buy her a winter coat.
She was close to the Dedman and McCord families back then, who ran the cafe. She remembered John David and Mary Jane Dedman Smith as children growing up there. I asked John David to share a little history of the store with me. John David Dedman runs the Winslow Eskimo website at www.jddedman.com. He worked for years as a postal clerk in Winslow and has some good stories to share.
“At one time back in the 50’s, there was a Marathon gas station on the corner just south of the restaurant and there was a big sign out front that said “Mac’s Café”. Actually it was a tavern but they did have a fairly good food business, especially sandwiches.
The tavern burned in either 57 or 58 and was a total loss. The building was owned by Harcourt Scales and was not re-built after the fire. Someone had broken in to the tavern to steal things and torched it to cover up the break in.
Attached is a picture I had of the inside of the restaurant and I think it is dated 1952. The lady to the far left is Sarah McCord, my grandmother and I am sure the waitress is Barbara, your grandmother. I think the man drinking the beer could have been Pap Dorsey and the man sitting behind him reminds me of John Hunley. I cannot think of the names of the lady and man sitting at the bar but they were frequent guests in there.
I have this picture up on my web site at http://www.jddedman.com. The juke box is one of those old rare Seeberg record players, and then they had a bumper pool table. Later they put in a shuffle board and a TV. The kitchen was on the back left side and the door on the right was to men’s restroom, the ladies room was closer to the kitchen. One time in the mid 40’s they had slot machines that sat around the restroom door and along the wall. I remember on VE-D in 1945 after the end of the Japan war, I hit the jackpot on the 10 cent slot machine. It was not long after that the slots were taken out, and buried as it was becoming illegal to have them.”
I had shared this picture with my grandma and she agreed she was the waitress. She remembered that old plaid dress.
“ After the tavern burnt, the John Russ Insurance Agency re-built it and had their insurance office there for several years. John Russ, Herbert Russ and Basil Thompson worked there. At one time, John let us use the back part of his office for amateur radio meetings which we held every month on a Monday night for a long time. I was a licensed ham, as well as Basil, and Herb wanted to get a license but never did. Ernie Hume and his wife and son did get a ham license. “
My grandma told me that she had a picture of Pearl and the store somewhere too. We found it one day in a box in the old cupboard in her bedroom. I shared it with John who told me about the picture.
“The photo you sent me was of Pearl B. McCord and his wife, Sarah E. McCord. They were the owners of Mac’s Café which was located at the location where the Citizens State Bank (German American) now sits. Pearl was my mother’s father and at one time in the early 30’s was Postmaster at Winslow Post Office. My actual grandmother – Audie, died when my mother was only 12 years old and Pearl married Sarah a few years later and they lived in the house down from you on Center Street where Jerry and Mary Jane lived for years..
I had lived in the same house from about 1958 until 1963 when I moved to Evansville, then Mary & Jerry moved in there.
My grandfather had a large roll top desk sitting where you see them in the picture and he did his book work there and it was where he could see the bar and kitchen. After the fire, the only thing that was saved was the desk and I ended up with it myself. I had to take off the roll-top as it was damaged too much, but the rest was okay and I used it for years while I was living in Winslow. “