More than a Market

Inside Out Block 3

Photo courtesy of Louis H. Mossey III

Located a stone’s throw from the Lakeside park, Danis’s Cash Market was the physical and social center of the community. Here neighbors purchased the cuts of meat central to French-Canadian cuisine and stocked up on refreshments before heading over to watch baseball games in the park. Over the years, a hall on the second floor served the community as a school, a church, and an event space.

The second-story hall of the store was a regular gathering space for the community. Billiard hall, youth center, special event space—it welcomed all generations. During the week and in summertime, a Danis family member managed an informal youth center, where kids gathered to play the jukebox, dance, and watch movies.

In the foreground there are five older white men sitting on a bench. In the background in front of a building. The photo is black and white.

Elderly neighborhood friends kept this fence near the market warm socializing at all hours of the day. Pictured far right is Charles Hebert, Donat Danis’s father-in-law. Photo courtesy of Louis H. Mossey III.

 

For a time, it was the location of the St. John’s Club, a social and fraternal organization established in Lakeside in 1910. The Club was a chapter of the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a benefit society founded in 1899 to protect the welfare of Franco-Americans.