North Capitol Street

Every photo of Capitol Street starts at Washington St.  and goes to the Kanawha River.  But there were many businesses between Washington and Smith St.   Here are just two of them.....

Boiarsky's On Capitol and Smith Streets


Boiarsky's was our neighborhood store.  They had been in operation  here  (and down the block) for at least  25 years.  The interesting thing about  Boiarsky's was that they had live chickens, geese, rabbits and other assorted animals in the back that they dressed while you waited.  I lived right behind the store, and many times as a kid I watched them slaughter the chickens, dress them, and deliver them to the customer waiting up front.  At the turn of the century, this was the way it was done in many stores,  but Boiarsky's was probably the last to offer fresh killed food right up to the 70s.  I knew the brothers who owned and ran the store very well, because at the age of 6,  I bought my first cigar from them.  It was a Swisher-Sweets,  and of course the brothers thought I was buying it for an adult family member.  I went home, locked the bathroom door and lit up.  Before I could get however,  my mom saw and smelled the smoke under the door.  Busted!   Looking to the left, you see what is the Farmers Market today.   Tragedy struck Boiarsky's in 1975.  See bottom of page.
 Photo by the great Emil Varney.

Jack Boiarsky

Jim Duncan

This photo was taken across the street about seven years before the one above.  That's Jim Duncan in the Rolls,  owner of the Anchor Tobacco Wholesale Company which is still there today.   I knew Mr Duncan for many years. The car was a promotional vehicle for a cigar company. I spent many hours in Anchor Tobacco as a kid. Bought my very first transistor radios there. (I have a picture of one of the Panasonic radios here: ). Across the street in the background starting on the left is Boiarsky's Produce.  Next door to Boiarsky's is Dan J, Popp leather goods. Used to have a model of a full sized horse out front, complete with all the trimmings that Popps made. They had been in the saddle and harness business since the late 1800s, and moved to this location after losing their store to Urban Renewal up where the Chase Bank is today. Next to that is Ringels Cafe. The daughters of the Ringel family were very bright, even winning scholarships. Next door to them is a house. That was "Rudys", an Italian who had a little beer joint in the basement. I dont ever recall it being a full time place. Seems like he opened it when he felt like it. Rudy planted a Fig tree in the backyard, which hung over the alley. We plucked the figs when ripe. Never had a fig (except in Fig Newtons) off a tree before. There was another house to to right out of the photo.   These were the very last two houses on Capitol Street.  Photo courtesy Anchor Tobacco.

The Boiarsky Murder



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