Sunday, September 11, 2016

J. H. Waldeck Vienna Bakery & Confectionery

The annual Canterbury Manor subdivision sale was this weekend (always the weekend after Labor Day).  I've been going for at least 15 years and I always find something interesting. This year was no exception. I was at one sale and about leave after having bought a couple books when I noticed a box of old photographs. Looking through the photos, I found a few that piqued my interest.

The photos measured 6x8 inches and featured the employees of a bakery. I bought the photos for $1 each.

I scanned the photos at 600 dpi so I could zoom in.

The sign reads "John H. Waldeck Vienna Bakery & Confectionery. The number of the street address "3500" was painted at either end.

The bakery name and street number were also painted on the windows. I'm not sure if this is family or employess or both. Two of the girls in this close up along with the girl standing on the other side are wearing identical dresses, so perhaps they worked the counter and wore uniforms. I noticed a boy photo-bombing the shot looking out the window to their right. I guess he didn't rate to appear officially in the photo so thought he'd show them.

I was surprised to see a rather unlady-like pose for the girl above with her arms folded, almost defiant. How did they get that dog to hold still?  It appears they also sold cigars.  I couldn't find any information on Bente's Faust brand.

It might be a play of shadows, but there could be another dog looking out the window at the other dog.

The sharpened image of the faded photo revealed a sign on the cart that indicates they may also have made or sold ice cream. It appears to say "J.H. Waldeck Confectionery and Ice Cream Depot". I'm assuming that's John H. Waldeck himself. I'm not sure if he's the same person that appears in the interior shots.

Whoever he his, clearly he's the head baker to the young boy helpers.

I Googled the name of the bakery and found one reference from 1907 that put their bakery at 3201 South Grand here in St. Louis. Aside from being the wrong street number, I couldn't find any building resembling theirs. There was an address on the back of the first photo for the photographer "St. Louis Photo. & Art Novelty Co." at 3506 S. Jefferson Avenue, also here in St. Louis. When I Googled that address, I found the bakery right next door. 

A side by side comparison.

It's a sad boarded up shell of its former self. If you care to look around:

It's nice to see the cobblestone is still in place.

I posted the photos to a St. Louis History Facebook group. So far there's been a lot of discussion, but no definite leads on any living ancestors.  I'd like to return the photos to a relative.

A member of the St. Louis History Facebook group who has access to found the family on the 1900 census living at this address.  Apparently, the family lived over the bakery.

Based on the birth years, I would put the photo right around the same year and identify them as follows.

From left to right:
Minna Waldeck, John's wife age 38. Marshe (Marsha?) daughter age 12, Estelle daughter age 6, Minnie daughter age 8, Frieda Bohne, Sister-in-law age 22, and Gertrud daughter age 10.

I went to the current site of the building and took this before/after shot.  I think it turned out pretty good.

I was able to locate a distant relative on  Apparently, there are no direct descendants.  I did return the photos to the relative.

I also heard from the current owner of the building.  They were rehabbing the building into a coffee shop/confectionary.  The Google streetview as of 2019 shows it hasn't changed.


  1. Cool - you did a lot of research here.

  2. Yes, sad that the building is all boarded up. It was probably once a great neighborhood.

    1. Yes, there are lot of great old buildings in St. Louis in areas that no one wants to rehab. Materials get stolen, vandalized, etc.

  3. Wow another great post Tom! I love how you dig in and find all of the info. Old photograph's hold so much history.

    1. Thanks, Bob. Glad you enjoyed. Like I send, I sometimes (always) get obsesses with finding out what I can about things like this.


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