Trade card, circa 1882 – 1883, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Price: $15.00 Size: 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 5/8″
Acme Bar and Oyster Saloon. 9 and 11 Royal Street, Open at All Hours. J. M. Shannon, Proprietor.
“All are welcome to my shrine,
Call day or night, or any time,
My address is nine and eleven,
Embark for Royal street, then you are in Heaven.”
I’ve been away from posting new items a ridiculously long time, too much of the regular job rolling around upstairs and the laundry and dishes and gardening, etc. threatening to overtake, as usual. Or, at least that’s how it’s seemed. But back now, so here’s a leprechaun in a cabbage patch for St. Patrick’s Day, put out by J. M. Shannon, proprietor of the Acme Bar and Oyster Saloon. Oysters were big back in the day! My own great-grandmother, Sarah Durning, worked for a short time at the W. H. Dewey Ice Cream and Oyster House in Detroit, so we believe, from a city directory entry in 1880. Anyway, that’s nothing to do with J. M. Shannon’s Acme, but just mentioning, because Sarah was of Irish descent, like Shannon must have been. Notice how the first letters of the verse above spells ACME. Clever!
So, where was the Acme Bar and Oyster Saloon? New Orleans and that’s a fact. There’s an Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter, present-day, established 1910, and one would think there might be a connection, at least as inspiration, since as we found out from newspaper clippings, the 19th-century Acme business had been a popular one of pretty long-standing, though it had changed ownership multiple times.
Appearing in the St. Tammany Farmer, April 21, 1883:
Below, two clippings from Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List. July 5, and July 12, 1882:
John M. Shannon, prior steward of the Pickwick Club
John Shannon, along with Peter McGrath to be more precise
Prior to Shannon in 1882-’83 we find the Acme Saloon, aka Acme Oyster Bay and Saloon under Gerome M. Borges, proprietor, circa 1876 – 1878, per city directories. This gem of an ad below is clipped from The New Orleans Daily Democrat, February 13, 1877:
Appearing in the Louisiana Review, September 11, 1889, the Acme was owned by Henry Langhetee:
By at least October 1893, the Acme had changed ownership again, this time to James McGowan, well-known in the New Orleans, according to the clipping below:
Sources: “Acme Bar.” St. Tammany Farmer, April 21, 1883. Saturday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).
“The Acme.” Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List. July 5, 1882. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).
“The prestige….” Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List. July 12, 1882. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).
L. Sourds & Co.’s New Orleans City Directory, 1878. Page 97. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
“Citizens and Strangers!” The New Orleans Daily Democrat, February 13, 1877. Tuesday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).
“The Acme bar, oyster saloon and restaurant.” Louisiana Review, September 11, 1889. Wednesday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).
“The Acme, 9 and 11 Royal Street.” The Times-Picayune, October 2, 1893. Monday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).