"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day Memories

McDevitt's Men Shop at Peebles Corner (Enquirer Archives 1931)
A post today on my Facebook page was from one of my favorite cousins, Kevin Keefe. I guess it appeared because today is St. Patrick's Day and the article was about the store my grandfather and his Irish brothers owned, McDevitt's Men Shop.

I remember as a precocious three year old getting up on a stool to "run" the cash register. After hitting a few keys, I turned to look at my grandpa and great uncle's beaming faces, I declared to them it was time I take over the store as I was up to running it. My dad worked there every Saturday when I was a kid, helping my grandfather and his brothers try to heal an ailing wound. The store had become a dinosaur by 1968, when they finally closed it. 

It wasn't always that way. Started by my great grandfather, it was a marvel at the turn of the century and made the original owner a millionaire twice over. He started the store in 1897 and had made a million by the year 1900. He decided to sell the store and move to Oregon to be closer to his brother, who was a priest. My grandfather was just a little boy then and he always spoke about the biggest flowers in the world being from Oregon. But after a few years, the family moved back and his father reopened the store and made it a great success. 

They were even asked to go in to the first mall in Cincinnati, but the brothers thought malls were probably a passing fancy and passed on the deal. By 1968, the neighborhood could no longer handle a fine men's clothing store and our family store closed. Will's Pawn Shop relocated there in 1977 and closed their doors at that location in 2005.

Peebles Corner before McDevitt's Men Shop was located there

I found an earlier photo from before our family store was built. Note that the cable car wires are not there yet. I have some bittersweet and wonderful memories of our McDevitt family life around this intersection. The family Catholic Church was right down the street and I remember the day my dad's cousin had his 25th anniversary as a priest. By then he was a monsignor and had come back from Rome. I remember he liked the red wine and pasta he ate while visiting the Vatican.

Many of our family members are now scattered far and wide, but a good part still remain in Cincinnati or close by. Thanks for sharing this article with us, Kevin. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! It was a good day to walk down memory lane. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember the store well. Those are great memories So sad to see what has happened to that area.