Marine Historical Society


Welcome to the Barber Shop Trades page of Marine Historical Society.


Chucks Barber Shop

Through the years of Chuck Meier serving as a barber, he had a lot of young men come to work with him and he was a good mentor so they liked Chuck. Another barber was Corny Gerke but I didn't know him.

The barber shop was located in the center of town which was 146 North Duncan. It served as a gathering place for Marine for all the boys and men and it was a prosperous business corner too as there were other business transactions conducted there. Chuck was a congenial fellow and he served his customers well. He had their personalized china shaving mugs tucked away on a little shelf and when a client came for his daily shave, Chuck would reach in and get his mug and have it ready for him. Some of the mugs had names on them - just the last names. Then the companies got smart so they decided they would put pictures on the shaving mugs so there might be a farmer or a fireman or a sailor. The mugs became a little more attractive. The shaving mugs are really hot items now and they are worth money. Chuck had hot towels, razor straps, straight razors - he had everything he needed in an old-fashioned barber shop and he was busy.

I can go back as far as 1917 when Chuck was offering laundry service and men could bring in their collars, their shirts, etc. A ledger from November 1917, tells us that on a typical laundry day 189 collars were washed and that included one vest, nine shirts, four handkerchiefs and two coats. And now for a secret that should not leave the room - on that 1917 list, there was a notation that George Wentz, Cleo's grandpa, had brought 22 collars to have his wash done that day - 22 collars in one day.

In the old-time barber shop, the Marine building was equipped with three barber chairs. There were benches that men could sit on while waiting for services - usually not long. Chuck had a bench in front of the building and in the summertime, you could sit out there and wait. In the wintertime, you would come in and wait as he had a bench along the windows and you could sit there and wait - no fancy chairs, nothing fancy at all - just old-fashion benches.

There were young barbers glad to get a job working with Chuck. Some of his helpers were John Weber, Jinx Turner, Harold Spindler, and Corny Gerke. They all worked in the 1920s.

For short periods of time, Chuck would rent out the little room on the north of the building for some businessman who just needed a little space. An attorney rented it for a little while and a county tax collector rented for a little while. He always had somebody wanting his little corner space as it was a little business corner for them.

This little building was a busy place but for most of us, it served mainly as a barber shop. Vivid in our memories is Chuck at work in his little corner building giving one of his friends a shave and haircut for 35 cents.

Lets not forget that every Halloween there was a buggy put on top of the barber shop.

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