Looking back: 1215 Washington Street

Published 11:06 am Sunday, March 24, 2024

1215 Washington Street, on the east side of the street between China and Clay streets, was built prior to 1869 and at that time was occupied by Louis Hoff- man’s Gun and Hardware Store.

By January 1872, McManus, Fitzpatrick and Company operated its grocery, commission merchant business, and wholesale liquor store here. In April of that year, the company provided space for a man to sell masquerade costumes as it was announced in the Vicksburg Daily Times.

“Don’t fail to secure tickets and costumes early for the grand fancy dress and masquerade ball on Wednesday night. Mons. Groux has arrived and can be found at No. 134 Washington Street with a full supply of costumes. We can assure everyone that the ball will be unequaled by anything of the kind ever given before in this city. The zeal and energy with which the members of the Silver Cornet Band are laboring to render the event pleasant and satisfactory to all, entitled them to the patronage of every lover of the dance. Tickets are $3.”

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In October 1873, N. Cammillo had replaced McManus and advertised his Oyster Saloon and Restaurant. He was followed by People’s Grocery in September 1877, providing “a complete assortment of the edibles of life with prices defying competitors.” Louis Hoffman again used the building for hard- ware in 1878, in addition to his buildings on Clay Street.

By 1886, Mary Bertoni operated her fruit and confectionery in the building, remaining until July 1888 when the Vicksburg Evening Post reported that the building was “being papered and otherwise fitted up for Messrs. Hude and Swords who will
remove there in the next few days from the Palace Saloon and will spread a splendid free lunch for their patrons on Saturday.”

Hude and Swords was a saloon and billiard room.

In 1891, Hess, Siegel and Co. moved into the building and opened their wholesale tobacco and liquor house. On March 14, 1893, Nauen and Bazsinsky, a Gent’s Furnishings and Hat Establishment, opened in the building after the owner had “put in a new iron front with plate glass show windows and a skylight.”

Also in the building was King and Co., wholesale and retail drugs and toilet articles with prescriptions “care- fully filled day or night.” In December of that year, Henry Bazsinsky bought out his partner and continued his operation until about 1897. Others to use the building for short periods of time were M. Feld and Co., selling graniteware and cutlery; Miss Bazsinsky’s Millinery Parlors; and S. Gold, selling general merchandise and repairing umbrellas.

In about 1902, G. Medici and Co. Fruit Store occupied the building, remaining there until about 1910 when it became the dry goods store of Eli Jabour and the offices of Moses Beer’s wholesale liquor business. In 1915, it was the wholesale grocery of Hanes and Hood and then in 1924, Elias Abraham’s Dry Goods store. In 1929, the first floor was vacant, but Dr. J. W. Edwards, a dentist, and L. M. Owen, a physician, had offices on the second floor. In 1935, Farris Dry Goods Store occupied the first floor and doctors Edwards and Owen were still on the second floor. Farris was still in the building in the late 1970s and the building was demolished after numerous attempts to save it in the early 1980s. A vacant lot remains today.

Nancy Bell, Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation.