The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 27, 2013

Poultry market thrived in Southtown


Last month’s column about Southtown and Price Brothers Bakery conjured up quite a few memories for folks, particularly for John Harvey, the grandson of the owner of Harvey’s Southtown Poultry Market.

Harvey grew up in Southtown as a child and called it a “distinct little community.”

“Southtown had been a Welsh settlement and, in my own time, there were still lots families with Welsh names,” he said.

“The poultry enterprise, Harvey’s Southtown Poultry Market, belonged to my grandfather and afforded Depression-era employment to my father and his younger brother and occasional work for the two older brothers,” he added.

When the Prices moved their bakery across Memorial Bridge, Harvey’s family moved into the house that had been the site of the bakery.

Harvey said he started first grade at Grant School while living in the former Prices’ Bakery house. Back then, the south end of Logan Avenue was called Railroad Street, he added.

Besides the two chain grocery stores, Oakley’s and Grab-It-Here, there were three additional smaller stores: Cal Jamison’s at the north end, Brinton’s on the south end, and in the middle of the stretch of Gilbert Street through Southtown was one more independent grocery, Frazee’s, according to Harvey.

Request for recipes

Pat Fegett of Georgetown is hoping someone has the recipes from two former local landmarks: The Cool Spot in Westville and Arnholt Bakery in Danville.

Fegett describes The Cool Spot, which used to be on Georgetown Road on the south edge of Westville, “as a nice little drive-in.”

“All the local girls worked there as car hops,” she recalled.

These days, however, the Swedish Massage business is located where The Cool Spot used to be.

“My sister said they had the best Coney dog sauce,” Fegett said.

Does anybody else remember the Coney sauce from The Cool Spot?

Fegett said she also has a hankering for two specialties from Arnholt Bakery, which closed in July 2006 after 77 years in business.

“They used to make mints. They weren’t a strong mint flavor,” Fegett recalls.

“They made them whatever color you wanted,” she said. “They must have made them by using an icing bag.

“We used to get them for graduations and weddings,” she said. “I remember getting them for, gosh, 40 years.”

Fegett’s other favorite from Arnholt’s was its date-nut cookies, which she described as a “dropped cookie,” not a rolled-out cookie.

If anybody remembers The Cool Spot or Arnholt Bakery or has old-time recipes to share, please contact me.

Carol Roehm is the education reporter. Contact her at 477-5174 or by e-mail at