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Mr. Watson planned trip to inspect mystery sign

Mike Watson was to have made personal trip to Columbia today to ascertain the answer to the controversy instigated by Tommy Hardison, motorcycle tourist from Gradyville, KY, about what the letters showing through on the Russell & Co. Building are. Here's his letter, with apologies for the late posting. "Jim" has already sent a contrite letter for suggesting a longer name than looks possible, but, out of respect for his long, unbroken skein of no mistakes, he has been given a pass on the letter and it shan't be published nor counted against him. -CM
Comments re article 43007 JIM suggests another mystery sign interpretationMike Watson writes:
Well, Ed and Brother Jim...

I have contemplated, pondered, studied and stewed over photograph and have come to one conclusion: it appears to be too short for "Cash Only Dept Store", but must contain some wording or flourish to fill space if 'only' isn't present..

I have spent the better part of today digging through my far-too-disheveled files on Columbia businesses and institutions and have found nothing to help with this puzzle. Lerman Brothers' Department Store occupied the building from 1932 until closing business in January of 1988. Previously it had been in the Miller Hotel building, where the Post Office had been, from establishment in 1929 or 1930..

Between the time Mr. Russell had the big brick constructed and 1932, I find few references to occupants. White Cash Market came along after 1932, so I doubt this sign had anything to do with it. As I recall, Lerman's had their sign along this point on the building, black with white lettering and perhaps a border of white..

This bears further research....I'll get on it. I will be in town on Tuesday (this would have been today, March 15, 2011. We'll be awaiting the findings. -CM) and intend to do an eye-ball inspection!.

Your findings are anxiously awaited. -EW

This story was posted on 2011-03-15 20:58:14
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