What used to be

A bed and breakfast on Jackson Street in the capital city was the home of a city pioneer and a distinguished confederate officer in the Civil War. It was a mansion with a tunnel leading to the bluff behind it.

Folklore says it was part of the Underground Railroad in the years before the Civil War, but it was built in 1866 - a year after the war ended.

History buff Steve Veile's firm, Communique, owns the building, Cliff Manor. Communique's offices are in the historic area along Capitol Avenue.

"Capitol Avenue was the place to be in the late 1800's in particular," said Veile. "This is where the captains of industry had their homes. A lot of these homes, like the one that I work in, were built with inmate labor, so it's an interesting place."

Just down the street is what at one time was the warden's house for the old State Penitentiary - it's now updated as a law office and now up for auction.

But most structures in the capital city don't have such a distinguished history.

Blackwell's Garage served the neighborhood for years as a grocery store, Kroger, then Schulte's. The library annex was the A&P Grocery for years.

The city used to have lots of gas stations. A business at Dix and West Main was known for years as Johnny's Sinclair. A daycare facility used to be an office for an opthamalogist, but before that it was a gas station.

A time traveler from the past looking for the Taco Bell on Missouri Boulevard would find the Sub Shop there instead.

The new Oscar's Diner recently re-opened after a devastating fire. The original Oscar's, though, was a steakhouse that's now the Naught-Naught Insurance building.

The Missouri Baptist Convention used to be a hotel. The bar was eliminated. The Baptists moved from what now houses the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce.

And some buildings run full circle - the Furniture Factory Outlet store was earlier an office for natural resources, but before that it was a furniture store.

Thousands of people go by the parking garage everyday and few of them know that at one time, it was the only movie theater in town.

These days, the building houses vehicles instead of movie fans. They took out the screen, the back wall and the seats, but the original slope of the Capital Theater is intact.

As history goes, much of it is pretty recent, but it's nice to have the information to hang onto as the years go by.

"If you scratch below the surface, you'll find a heck of a lot more," said Veile.