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About the Main Street Association interviews

The purpose of the Main Street Association's Oral History Project is to collect anecdotal stories about people, buildings and residences that are of historical interest or exist in Louisville's historic Main Street district. In October 2003, the Main Street Association began a collection of oral narratives about the history of Main Street and its surrounding neighborhood. Because this was where Louisville's economic, social, political and cultural history began, MSA felt it was especially important to record the memories of business, residential and building owners or their descendants, especially those who have had access to primary sources. After a period of physical and economic decay and emphasis on suburban development, Main Street and its surrounding downtown streets have come alive again, and that makes it even more important to preserve its colorful history.

All existing interviews are stored on archival quality compact discs in the University of Louisville's Archives. Audio files and transcripts of the interviews are available through the Main Street Association's offices; they are also available in the University of Louisville's Archives and Special Collections research room, located on the lower level of Ekstrom Library.

If you would like to order a copy of an interview (audio or transcript), please contact Sarah-Jane Poindexter, co-director of the Oral History Center by email, or by telephone (502-852-6752). Audio copies cost $10 per interview.

 

Interviews

IntervieweeDateInterview Number(s)Summary informationTranscript?InterviewerLength
Baker, JoAnn, with Mary Shearer and Linda Luster Jan. 3, 2007 2007-22-14 The daughters of Joseph Shearer, a vice president of Belknap Hardware and Wholesale, share their memories of the business and its culture from the 1940s to the 1970s. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Benovitz, William Feb. 22, 2007 2007-117-3 Son of the founder of a wholesale bag business located on the north side of Main Street between 7th and 8th Streets, recalls what it was like to work on Main Street from circa 1936 until 1956. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Berry, K. Norman Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-21 Main Street Association - owner of the building at 611 W. Main St. Yes McGarrah, John 23 min.
Berry, K. Norman Jan. 24, 2008 2008-28-1 Architect who designed the renovation of a number of historic buildings on Main St., including Slugger Field, 21C and the Doe-Anderson Buidling. Describes the structures, their histories, and the challenges of updating the structures Yes Foley, Susan 61:04 min.
Biesel, Andy and Jack Guthrie Nov. 26, 2007 2008-33-1 Business owners on West Main Street and former presidents of the Main Street Association, discuss Biesel's acquisition and restoration of property at 621 W. Main Street and the revitalization of Main Street from the 1970s to the present. Yes Foley, Susan 92 min.
Boland, Jim and Gerry July 1, 2008 2008-100-1 Main Street Association: The sons of Urban V. Boland, who was one of the founders of Boland-Maloney Lumber Company, describe the founding of the business in the 800 block of East Main Street and its continuing existence there today. Yes Foley, Susan 61:02 min.
Borders, T.S. and Christine Karem July 27, 2008 2008-100-2 Main Street Association: T.S. Borders and Christine Karem Borders discuss their families' histories of being in the meat business and other businesses on West Jefferson Street in the area of the Haymarket from circa 1911 until the 1980s. Yes Foley, Susan 80:04 min.
Broecker, Brad Dec. 20, 2005 2007-22-6 Descendent of the original owners of Klarer Packing Co. describes the meatpacking business in the East Main neighborhoods and its relationship to the Stock Yards. (Bourbon Stockyards.) Yes Foley, Susan 48 min.
Broecker, Carla Sue Mar. 3, 2006 2007-22-2 Granddaughter of the original treasurer of the Fischer Packing Co. recalls the lives of several of the Fischers, her visits to the Stock Yard and to the Stock Yards Bank as a child. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Brown, Gordon Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-10 President and CEO of Home of the Innocents, located on the site of the Bourbon Stockyards. Yes Yu, Meng 27 min.
Burke, Frank W., 1920- Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-3 Former mayor of Louisville and son of an employee of Carter Dry Goods, which is now the site of the Louisville Science Center. Yes n/a 34 min.
Burke, Tricia and Kelly Burke July 12, 2007 2007-117-13 Present owners of Office Environment Company (formerly Office Equipment Company), give some history of the company and describe their experiences at the 4th and Main store when they were very young and what it is like to run the business today at 11th and Market. Covers the period from 1934 to present. Yes Foley, Susan 45 min.
Byrd, Janet with Hollis Hibbs Starks Aug. 22, 2006 2007-22-24 Hollis Hibbs Starks, current owner and great-grand daughter of the original owner of the Harry R. Hibbs Co., and Janet Byrd, an employee, talk about the wholesale hat business that has been on Main Street since the 1920s. Yes Foley, Susan 70 min.
Camentz, Ernst (Ernie) July 27, 2008 2008-100-3 Ernie Camentz recounts the history of Grocer's Ice Company at 609 E. Main Street from its founding until 2008. Yes Foley, Susan 111:39 min.
Cates, Harold Feb. 28, 2007 2007-117-5 Realtor and real estate investor, talks about the revitalization of Main Street and his role in the process from the mid-1970s until the present. Yes Foley, Susan 43:10 min.
Churney, Edith May 26, 2006 2007-22-15 Descendant of a family that owned Weinstein's, a family clothing store that carried new and used clothes in the 100 block of East Main St., recalls her memories of the family's living above the store, the neighborhood and their loss of the business after her grandfather became blind and the Great Depression occurred. Yes Foley, Susan 37 min.
Clarke, Kate Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-16 Resident of 323 East Market, Louisville. Yes Noah 15 min.
Clarke, Kate Mar. 20, 2008 2008-055-01 Resident of 323 E. Market tells the history of her residence and the neighborhood from when the dwelling was built in 1843 until the present. Yes Foley, Susan 59:55 min.
Cochran, Lee Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-12 Daughter of the late Archibald Cochran, who was one of the people who redeveloped Louisville's waterfront. Yes unknown 26 min.
Cook, Kristi and Don Nov. 16, 2007 2008-33-2 Owners of the Normandy Building at 101 N. 7th Street and 641 W. Main Street discuss the history of those properties. Yes Foley, Susan 27 min.
Courtenay, Whitley H. Jan. 11, 2007 2007-22-12 Whit Courtenay, a descendant of the original owners of the Fulton-Conway Co. at 805 W. Main Street and the building's current owner discusses the history of the business and the building. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Cull, Martha Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-17 Early member of the Preservation Alliance and, at the time of the interview, director of the Main Street Visitor's Center on historic West Main St. Yes Noah 18 min.
Doninger, Eric Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-11 Architect at Brown-Forman, on the history of the buildings at 626-634 West Main St. Yes n/a 22 min.
Eckhart, Frederick Mar. 19, 2007 2007-117-7 Volunteer for Main Street Association talks about his interest in the revitalization and preservation of Main Street, 1980-present. Yes Foley, Susan 46:30 min.
Frazier, Owsley Brown Sept. 12, 2007 2007-148-1 Majority stockholder of Bittner's on East Main and the founder of the Frazier International History Museum at 9th and West Main Streets, discusses the background of his ownership of Bittner's, Louisville's oldest continually-operating cabinetmaker and design firm and his founding of the Frazier International History Museum. Yes Foley, Susan 58 min.
Frederick, Mia Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-2 Owner of the building at 121 West Main St. Yes Wilson, Jennifer 25 min.
Friedberg, Edward L. Dec. 26, 2006 2007-22-17 Son of the founder of Friedberg Bros. and Falls City Tobacco at 1806 W. Main St. discusses the history and nature of the business from circa 1920 until the 1970s. Yes Foley, Susan 70 min.
Glass, Raymond June 20, 2007 2007-117-12 A descendent of the original owner of V.C. Glass Carpet Co. and current owner of the business and a former owner of Arctic Ice Co., describes doing business at 11th and Main and in the 100 block of East Main from circa 1927 until the 1990s. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Glick, Bill and Rita Dec. 16, 2005 2007-22-10 Son-in-law and daughter of the Grossmans who owned Grossman Toy Co. at 624 W. Main St. and who ran it for many years themselves, describe working on Main St. from the 1940s until the 1970s and the demise of wholesale businesses. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Goldberg, Julian Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-20 Owner and descendant of owner of building at 639 West Main St. Yes Foley, Susan 29 min.
Goldberg, Julian S. with Arthur Lerman July 13, 2006 2007-22-22 Owners and descendants of owners of Main Street wholesalers reminisce about the past 50-75 years on Main Street and the people who did business there. Yes Foley, Susan 65 min.
Goldberg, Stuart Sept. 30, 2004 2005-87-13 Owner of Baer Fabrics, 515 East Market St. Yes unknown 75 min.
Goodwin, Jim Sept. 30, 2004 2005-87-6 Owner of buildings at 125-129 South 6th Street, and 119 South 7th Street. Yes unknown 32 min.
Greenberg, Norton Setp. 30, 2004 2005-87-9 Son of owner of properties in 600 and 700 blocks of West Main St. Yes unknown 19 min.
Guthrie, Jack Sept. 30, 2004 2005-87-7 One of the original officers of the Main Street Association, and its president at the time of the interview. Yes Ashley 27 min.
Guthrie, Jack, Dell Courtney and Roann Victor Jan. 17, 2008 2008-28-2 Discuss the founding and early years of the Heritage Festivals on the Belvedere from 1971 until 1979 Yes Foley, Susan 70 min.
Hardy, Jane Aug. 8, 2008 2008-100-4 Current president and C.E.O. of Brinly-Hardy and a member of the fifth generation of the Hardy family to run the company, discusses the history of the company and its presence on Main Street. Yes Foley, Susan 46:51 min.
Hillerich, Jack Jan. 18, 2008 2008-28-3 CEO of Hillerich and Bradsby describes the long history of the family in the wood turning and sports business from its early days at 100 E. Main until the present at 800 W. Main Street (circa 1830 to the present) Yes Foley, Susan 51:05
Hollenbach, Louis J. (Todd) June 25, 2008 2008-100-6 L.J. (Todd) Hollenbach describes his life as Jefferson County Judge Executive and the revitalization of Main Street between 1970 and 1978. Yes Foley, Susan 73:51 min.
Hollenbach, Louis J. (Todd) and John Hollenbach 2008-06-20 2008-100-5 L.J. (Todd) Hollenbach and John Hollenbach describe their family's business as liquor distributors on Main Street and as local distillers, as well as other businesses that the family had from their arrival in Louisville in the mid-19th century until the latter part of the 20th century. Yes Foley, Susan 74:51 min.
Hubbuch, Glen Sept. 30, 2004 2005-87-5 Glen Hubbuch, son of and current owner of properties at 324-326 W. Main St. Yes unknown 31 min.
Imhoff, Steve Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-4 Board member of the Peterson-Dumesnil House at 301 S. Peterson. Yes unknown 13 min.
Jones, David A. Feb. 25, 2008 2008-28-4 Co-founder and retired CEO of Humana Corporation discusses the history of the company, its long presence on Main Street and the changes he has seen on Main Street in the last 35 years. Yes Foley, Susan 63:05 min.
Joseph, Alfred (Fred), III Feb. 4, 2008 2008-28-5 The grandson and great nephew of the founders of Joseph and Joseph, architects and engineers, discusses the history of the firm that was founded in 1908 and its significant projects in Louisville. Yes Foley, Susan 44:22 min.
Kelly, William P., Jr. June 14, 2007 2007-117-11 Descendent of the original owners of Office Equipment Company and retired officer of the company, relates the history of the company and what it was like to do business at 4th and Main Street from the 1920s until the 1970s. Yes Foley, Susan 72 min.
Lampton, Nana Feb. 15, 2007 2007-117-2 Daughter and granddaughter of the founders of American Life Insurance Company, recalls the history of the company on Main Street and her father's involvement in the revitalization of Main Street. Yes Foley, Susan 57 min.
Landrum, Baylor Jr. Nov. 15, 2007 2008-33-3 Retired insurance company exectuive discusses the history of Main Street, the development of downtown Louisville, and the importance of an involved citizenry. Yes Foley, Susan 56 min.
Lerman, Arthur Mar. 12, 2006 2007-22-21 Son and nephew of the original owners and eventually a co-owner of Lerman's Wholesale Dry Goods at 522-524 W. Main St. recalls the history of his family and their presence there. Yes Foley, Susan 45 min.
Linker, Robert Apr. 21, 2008 2008-55-2 Former owner of and descendant of the founder of Linker Cigar Company, gives an interesting description of the business and the culture of the American tobacco business from the early 20th century until the early 1980s. Yes Foley, Susan 58:52 min.
Lussky, Fairleigh Jan. 30, 2008 2008-28-6 An owner of Progress Paint Co. and a descendant of the original owners, recalls Progress Paint's long presence at 9th and West Main and gives some history of the paint industry in Louisville. Yes Foley, Susan 76:57 min.
Mattei, Theresa Jan. 19, 2006 2007-22-4 One of the original employees of the Louisville Science Center that is located in the Carter Dry Goods building and its current education director describes the evolution of the Science Center and its role in the redevelopment of Main St. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Meyer, Arthur (Artie) Griffin Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-24 Grandson and son of owner of the Jos. T. Griffin Co. at 704-706 W. Main St. Yes Foley, Patricia 36 min.
Mike, Eli Jan. 6, 2009 2010-106-001 Discusses the Haymarket area. Yes Foley, Susan 46 min.
Moseley, Mary and Russell McClure Sept. 30, 2004 2005-87-8 Main Street Association Yes unknown 30 min.
Moseley, Mary with Russell McClure Jan. 12, 2007 2007-22-11 Daughter and business associate of Al J Schneider discuss Al Schneider and his role in the revitalization of Main Street. Yes Foley, Susan 68 min.
Motter, Mildred Pohl Feb. 21, 2008 2008-28-7 Oldest living descendent of the Pohl family, owners of Pohl Iron Works, which was 140 years old at the time of the interview and had been on Main Street for 70 years, tells about her family and the business. Yes Foley, Susan 52:14 min.
Mueller, Carl Apr. 30, 2007 2007-117-4 The owner of Cardinal Insulation describes the business on Market Street, 7th Street and West Main Street from the 1950s to the present. Yes Foley, Susan 38 min.
Nash, Ida Sissy Maney Thompson and Meme Sweets Runyan Apr. 17, 2007 2007-117-9 Nash and Runyan discuss moving the Junior League headquarters to 627 W. Main in the 1970s and the establishment of the Riverfields office at 7th and Main. Yes Foley, Susan 57 min.
Prizant, Bruce Apr. 23, 2007 2007-117-6 Son and nephew of the owners of the Hildebrand Company talks about his family's businesses in the 700 and 1100 blocks of West Main from 1943 until the 1970s. Yes Foley, Susan 22 min.
Ramsey, James Oct. 26, 2007 2007-148-2 President of the University of Louisville discusses the university's presence on and involvement in the resurrection of Main Street (includes the Frazier Museum, Cressman Center, Muhammad Ali Center, Science Center and the U of L arena). Yes Foley, Susan 37 min.
Roberts, Barksdale Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-1 Fundraiser for the establishment of the Louisville Science Center. Yes Wilson, Jennifer 23 min.
Roberts, Barksdale Oct. 6, 2005 2007-22-1 A founder of the Main Street Association and one of the original supporters of the Louisville Science Center recalls the state of Main Street in the 1960s and how it has been resurrected. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Rosenbaum, Ben Nov. 27, 2006 2007-22-20 Ben Rosenbaum III, great-grandson of the founder of Isaac Rosenbaum and Sons, a wool and hide business at Floyd and Market Streets that was founded circa 1900, recalls family memories of the business in its heyday and its eventual demise. Yes Foley, Susan 45 min.
Sales, Elise May 1, 2006 2007-22-26 Granddaughter of Joseph Henry Grauman who had a wholesale dry goods business near 9th and W. Main Street recalls the history of the business from circa 1885 to circa 1965. Yes Foley, Susan 40 min.
Sales, Raymond May 1, 2006 2007-22-19 Descendant of Main Street businessmen recalls stories and histories of businesses on Main St., including the original Galt House, from the 1870s until the 1980s. (The site of the Humana office building / Belknap Hardware / original Galt House.) Yes Foley, Susan 50 min.
Scherer, Phil Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-22 Developer of Preston Pointe at Preston and Main Street. Billy Goat Strut. Yes McGarrah, John 30 min.
Schmidt, Paul J. Mar. 3, 2008 2008-28-8 President of Bridges-Smith Paint Co. at 118-123 E. Main Street describes the history of his company, the second oldest paint company in Louisville, and of the paint industry in Louisville. Yes Foley, Susan 52:44 min.
Schoch, Jack Mar. 3, 2008 2008-8-9 Former owner of C.J. Schoch Heating Supply Co., Inc. that was at 123 W. Main Street from 1934 until 2007 describes his family and the business that they had on W. Main for 73 years. Yes Foley, Susan 56:29 min.
Schulten, Bob May 11, 2006 2007-22-25 The son of the last owner of Schulten Shoe Wholesaler recalls his memories of the business as a child, the building at 530 W. Main St. that still bears the family name, and his father's loss of the business during the Great Depression and the consequences of that loss. Yes Foley, Susan 45 min.
Shapira, Anne May 9, 2006 2007-22-16 Widow of one of the founders of Heaven Hill Distilleries, Shapira recalls the family history and evolution of their business from the dry goods business to the distillery business, which were located at 657 W. Main and 528 W. Main respectively. The period covered is from circa 1913 to the present. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Shapira, Harry J. Mar. 22, 2006 2007-22-7 President of Heaven Hill Distilleries, gives a history of his family's presence on Main Street from when they opened a dry goods wholesale warehouse at 657 W. Main St. circa 1930 until they acquired the property at 528 W. Main St. that is currently Heaven Hill's headquarters. Yes Foley, Susan 30 min.
Shavinsky, Don Apr. 3, 2008 2008-055-03 Former owner of a wholesale warehouse for a chain of "dollar" stores at 607-609 W. Main, describes the business and the causes of its closing. Yes Foley, Susan 48:27 min.
Sherman, Paul and Joanne Pfeiffer Mar. 7, 2007 2007-117-14 Paul Sherman, son and grandson of the owners of a men's clothing manufacturer and wholesaler (Sherman and Sons), recalls doing business in the Snead Building (Glassworks) at 9th and Market from circa 1900 until the 1950s. Yes Foley, Susan 27 min.
Shircliffe, Raymond A. Oct. 5, 2005 2007-22-9 A descendant of the owners of a Bourbon Stockyards commission firm and a retired U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector at the Stockyards, recalls memories of working at the Stock Yards from 1936 as a twelve-year-old in the summers until he retired as a USDA inspector in 1980. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Small, V. Benson, Jr. (Ben) May 18, 2007 2007-117-10 A 38-year designer at Bittner's gives a history of Bittner's and discusses the 38 years that he has been with the firm. Yes Foley, Susan 66 min.
Smith, Marvin Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-19 Grandson of deceased owners of wholesale businesses at 641 W. Main Street and on W. Market Street describes what it was like to do business on Main and Market from the mid-1940s until 1985. Yes Foley, Susan 29 min.
Speer, Alexander Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-14 Former executive director of Actor's Theatre at 316 W. Main Street. Yes n/a 21 min.
Speer, Alexander Feb. 28, 2008 2008-28-10 Retired Executive Director of Actor's Theatre of Louisville discusses the history of the theatre, its national prominence and his personal memories. Yes Foley, Susan 55:17 min.
Spielberg, Alec Nov. 29, 2005 2007-22-8 Owner of Kentucky Mirror and Plate Glass and son-in-law of Dave Gradman, one of the original family owners, describes the business and Main St. from the 1930s to the present. Yes Foley, Susan 40 min.
Starks, Hollis Hibbs with Janet Byrd August 22, 2006 2007-22-24 Current owner and great-grand daughter of the original owner of the Harry R. Hibbs Co., and Janet Byrd, and employee, talk about the wholesale hat business that has been on Main Street since the 1920s. Yes Foley, Susan 70 minutes
Tasman, Jerry with Martha Tasman Frockt June 9, 2006 2007-22-18 Jerry Tasman and Martha Tasman Frockt, the son and widow of B. Tasman who was a partner in a family wool and hide business, give an excellent description of the history and operation of that business from the 1940s to the 1908s. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Topcik, Evelyn with Stan Fleck Jan. 5, 2007 2007-22-13 Grandchildren of the owners of Dan Cohen stores at Shelby and Market Streets, discuss the nature of the stores, culture and people of the neighborhood from the 1920s to the present. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Troutman, Harry Mar. 20, 2006 2007-22-3 Former CEO of Stock Yards Bank, describes his career there and the general history of the bank from circa 1905-1989. Yes Foley, Susan 60 min.
Vine, Herbert Dec. 7, 2005 2007-22-5 The son of the owner of a wholesale grocery business at 720 W. Main St. gives a description of the business on Main St. in the 1950s. Yes Foley, Susan 30 min.
Vories, Martha B. and Rose Ann Stacy Aug. 29, 2007 2007-117-1 Great-nieces of the original owners of Muth's Candies at 631 E. Market, describe the beginnings and life of the candy company that will turn 87 years old in 2008 and that has always been on East Market Street. Yes Foley, Susan 63 min.
Webb, J. Edw. Oct. 1, 2004 2005-87-25 Former executive director of the Frazier International History Museum. Yes Foley, Susan 18 min.
Weller, Dick and Cynthia Jan. 23, 2008 2008-28-11 Former owners and descendeants of the original owners of Burwinkle-Hendershot Co. describe the history of the company and of the buildings that they have occupied at 125-127 W. Main Street for 65 years. Yes Foley, Susan 57:06
Wells, Crawford and Wayne June 30, 2008 2008-100-008 Nephew and son, respectively, of Peyton Wells, Sr., who was the founder of Peyton’s Incorporated, discuss the family wholesale and distributing business in the 700 block of West Main from the 1930s to the 1970s. Yes Foley, Susan 53 min.
Werst, John J., III Jan. 14, 2008 2008-28-12 Current owner of Plumbers Supply at E. Main and Wenzel Streets discussses his family's ownership of that business at that location from the 1920s until the present. Yes Foley, Susan 29:04 min.
Wesley, E. Harris & Carolyn Oct. 2, 2004 2005-87-18 Owners of properties at 213 W. Market and 445 W. Market talk about the histories of their businesses. Yes Wilson, Jennifer 19 min.
Willenbrink, Dick Apr. 27, 2007 2007-117-8 Grandson and son of the owners of Sutcliffe's and a partner himself until the business was sold, discusses their presence on 4th Street, 7th Street and Main Street from circa 1910 until 1967. Yes Foley, Susan 50 min.
Williams, Bill March 13, 3008 2008-28-13 Retired vice-president of Hillerich and Bradsby, gives a colorful background history of the company from the late 19th century until the present. Yes Foley, Susan 71:55 min.
Wirth, Charles and Daniel Swintosky Aug. 6, 2008 2008-100-7 Charles Wirth, owner, and Daniel Swintosky, president of Marine Electric, a 100-year-old company at the corner of First and Main Streets, discuss the history of the company and the nature of the business. Yes Foley, Susan 62:09 min.
Zegart, Arnold Sept. 24, 2008 2008-103-1 Former son-in-law of one of the owners and a descendant of the original owner of L. Kasdan and Son (later to be known as L. Kasdan and J.K. Company) at 613 W. Main, describes the building before its current renovation and some of the family history as wholesalers on Main Street. Yes Foley, Susan 29:42 min.
 

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