For Ladies and Gentlemen

Published:May 10, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

Stonewall Jackson Cafe by Ralph W. Holsinger (undated; ca. 1927). Although the image is undated (and the located noted only as “Lexington?”), the poster in the bottom left corner of the window provides a clue. It advertises a traveling show, Love-in-a-Mist, starring Madge Kennedy and Sidney Blackmer, which will appear on Friday, January 7. That puts the year as 1927, and sure enough, Love-in-a-Mist played Spartanburg, South Carolina, a few weeks later, as this review suggests. Other things that happened on Friday, January 7, 1927:

  • The first transatlantic telephone call was made between New York and London;
  • Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of television, filed his first patent; and
  • The Harlem Globetrotters played their first game.

As for whether the cafe was in Lexington, and aside from the obvious Lexington-Jackson connection, this ad card notes that the Lexington cafe specialized in Virginia ham, which, judging by the meat window there, seems likely for this place, too. Look inside and you’ll notice the ghost of a woman (she moved while the camera shutters were open) and a Confederate battle flag with an image of Stonewall Jackson below. (Holsinger Studio Collection, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia)