Daily Archives: July 11, 2019

Visiting an Historic Utah Pipe Shop in Salt Lake City – Jeanie’s Smokeshop

Blog by Steve Laug

Two weeks ago Friday I flew in to Salt Lake City, Utah and met my brother Jeff to do a bit of pipe hunting and visiting a tobacco shop. We were on our way to my Dad’s 91st Birthday the next day, June 29 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Jeff picked me up at the airport and the first stop we made was to Jeanie’s Smoke Shop. I had heard about the shop on various online forums but had never had the opportunity to visit. So I googled the location and found that it was not too far away from the airport. It was located at 156 State St, in downtown Salt Lake City. It said the shop was open from 7am until 10pm that night. We put the address into Google maps and let the voice direct us to the shop. When we had parked in a next door lot and walked to the front door this is what we saw.The shop itself was an older two story brick building with a false front on a busy Salt Lake street. It was a hot day and the shop door was open inviting folks to enter. It was a long shop with the walls lined on both sides and what looked like a smoking lounge in the back of the shop. Come on into the shop with me.When we walked in the shop I started taking photos to give an idea of the layout of the shop and the sheer volume of tobacco products they carried. The first photo shows the general look of the shop. On the right by the door was the cash register and flowing down the wall were display cases of packaged cigars and a various pipe and cigar accessories. On the wall behind them were cabinets with cigarettes, cigars and eventually about mid store tinned tobacco. On the end of the right side were the pipes that were for sale from a variety of sellers. On the opposite was a cooler with pop and water and assorted soft drinks for sale as well as a coffee pot. Next to that was a built in wall of bulk pipe tobaccos (their own blends and standard bulk blends from Stokkebye and Lane). Next to that was a case with RYO cigarette shag tobaccos. The rest of the left side wall was line with humidor cabinets with a wide variety of cigars sold either individually or by the box.I took some photos of the right side of the shop as I made way down the center aisle. The freist of these looks toward the back of the shop and the second looks back toward the front of the shop. Have a look at the case of tinned tobaccos, the wall of photos above the case and the on counter displays of pipe accessories such as Colibri Lighters. Just past the lighters there were display cases of pipes – Petersons, Chacom, Meerschaum, Dunhill as well as Stanwell and other brands too numerous to not. Looking up the left side of the shop the wall is lined with cigar humidors. The first photo shows the wall looking toward the back of the shop. The second one shows the wall looking back toward to front. I took some close up photos of the pipe area. The display cases housed both pipes and racks. The first photo shows a variety of boxed pipes of various brands. On the wall behind are humidors and hygrometers and chargers for the humidors. The second photo shows the pipes in a collection of older style pipe racks. All pipes were marked for sale. The third and fourth photo shows the final display at the back corner as well as the pipes on the wall behind the display. I took a photo of the GBD shape chart that was framed on the back wall. It was a unique piece that I had not seen before.From the corner I looked back up the pipe cases past the humidor on shelves on the wall to the cabinet on the wall where the tobacco tins were displayed. I walked up the aisle to that place in the store – really mid-way between the front and rear of the shop. It took a while to get the disinterested shopkeep to come over and open the cupboard so I could have a look and he more or less put the tins I was interested in on the counter and walked away. The selection was quite large for a shop this size. There were a lot of Cornell & Diehl blends, a few Royal Vintage and Nording Hunter Blends both made by Mclellands, some Hearth and Home blends, some Davidoff blends and few Dunhill tins. All were priced pretty high but for the ones that were no longer in production the price was still lower than can be found online. I picked up four tins of tobacco from the shop before leaving. I walked back to the front of the store with my choices of tobacco and set them on the counter by the cash register – once again no comment from the shopkeep – an older man who seemed thoroughly disinterested in engaging us as customers. I turned to the left side of the store where the bulk tobaccos and cigarette shag tobaccos were displayed. There was nothing special there – just the usual bulk blends with shop names. Most of them came from Peter Stokkebye. There were some Dunhill knock offs but nothing that called my name so I took the photos and walked away. After my ramble through the shop I took time to try and talk with the shop keeper. He was pretty disinterested in conversation. He did a bit of whining about taxes and the idiocy of the government trying to protect us but really had no interest in much. I told him about the blog and what I do here but even that he did not seem too keen about. I paid him for my tobacco purchases and headed out the door to begin the day’s pipe hunt.

I have to say to you that if you find yourself in Salt Lake City, Utah I would recommend that you stop by the shop and have a visit. It is one of the few remaining old time tobacco shops. Don’t expect a lot of enthusiasm from the gents that work there if they are the old timers because you will not get it. However if a young guy is managing the shop when you stop he is a great guy to talk with and I only wish that he had not had the day off when I stopped by. They have a good selection of new pipes but no really good deals, a few estate pipes that are overpriced in my opinion and some good tinned tobaccos that have some age on them but also have a high price. The bulk selection is pretty decent but also pretty common place. Their cigar stock is very good and seems to come from well managed stock. If nothing else give the shop a visit to see what probably an amazing old pipe shop in it’s heyday before all of the government regulations and taxes made it a bit of a museum instead of a shop. Thanks for giving the blog a read!

A long awaited pipe hunt in Salt Lake City & Surrounding Communities

Blog by Steve Laug

In May, in talking with my wife, Irene it was decided that I would travel to Idaho Falls from Vancouver Canada for my Father’s 91st Birthday at the end of June. I began to search for flights that were both affordable and would not require a lot of transfers to other airports and planes to get to Idaho. The prices were crazy and all included significant layovers on the way there and back. I talked with Irene and pretty much decided this trip was not going to happen this year. I was a bit sad as every visit could well be the last one with age and distance. I went to bed and woke up with a plan. I decided to check on the cost of a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah (about a 3 hour drive from Idaho Falls). The price was literally a third of the cost of everything else I had checked. I called my brother Jeff to see if he would be willing to drive there and pick me up. As we talked we decided to take some time include a pipe hunt! I booked the earliest flight I could which gave me a whole day in Salt Lake and another day to drive through the neighbouring communities back to Idaho Falls – all the while stopping by antique shops and malls scavenging for pipes. We hung up and I booked the ticket. It was set for June 28th which was perfect all the way around. The wait for the date to arrive seemed to take forever.

The morning of the flight arrived and I was on the way! The flight was a short 1 hour and 40 minutes and I was on the ground. Jeff picked me up and he had a plan of attack for the pipe hunt. We decided to visit Jeanie’s Smoke Shop first as it was close to the airport. From there were would visit the antique shops in Salt Lake City and Ogden that day. The following day we would visit Brigham City and Logan. We also would visit small communities between the major stops noted above. We were off on the hunt. I have written about Jeanie’s in a previous blog (include the link here). So I will focus only on the antique shops. We found the Salt Lake shops empty of any pipes that caught our interest and manned by sales staff that had no desire to help us out in our hunt. In fact they were almost offended that we would expect them to have such “filthy” items as estate tobacco pipes. It was like they were saying, “You are in Utah after all and we don’t do such things.” What is funny is that in all the shops we visited we came away from SLC with just one pipe – little Dublin with a red, white and blue band and stamped St Claude, France. We laughed and continued our hunt.

We finished the last of the shops and malls in Salt Lake and headed to Ogden. There was a great shop there that Jeff had previously found some great pipes at. So we set off to see if there were more. The shop was called “The Estate Sale Antiques” and it advertises itself as Ogden’s best antique mall. The Estate Sale Antique Mall was nearly 6,000 square feet in size filled with some of the finest and most unusual antique and collectible items anywhere. The owners Lance and Becky are both life long collectors with a wide variety of knowledge including advertising items, coins, bottles, country store antiques, toys, western memorabilia and jewelry.Lance greeted Jeff like a long lost friend and we were made to feel very welcome in the store. In Googling the shop here is what I found and I have to concur with the description: “Estate Sale Antiques brings together a fantastic group of antique vendors under one roof in the heart of Ogden. With convenient accessibility and plenty of parking, The Estate Sale is a must-see stop on any antique shopping quest in Ogden or even from Salt Lake City!”  The next photos are from theire website and give a pretty good idea of the size and diverse contents of the shop. It was a great place to visit and contained two floors of treasures. Jeff lead me to a corner near the cash register and not far from the front door where he knew there were pipes (It is shown in the second photo above). In fact not only were there ones that he had looked over previously but there were also new pipes as well. We found 8 pipes that we wanted including some real beauties and some old timers. We also found a walnut pipe rest made specifically for holding a gourd calabash pipe and a PipNet pipe reaming set.

We settled out bill and went for a visit to the town of Layton where we found one more pipe. It was an interesting Italian made pipe with a rusticated finish that had been sandblasted over the rustication. It had an oval shank and an unusual shape. The shop was managed by a group of very friendly seniors (meaning a bit older than my 65 years). We enjoyed the stop even if all we took away was one pipe. There were lots of others there but nothing that caught our collective eyes and called out for restoration. We called it a day and headed back to Salt Lake City for dinner at the Red Iguana – a restaurant that is famous for its Mole dishes.We had a great meal and waddled to our hotel. I spread out the haul on the desk top and took some photos. It was a good day pipe hunting. I included the day’s haul along with the tins of tobacco I had picked up at Jeanie’s Smoke Shop for the photo. These included a tin of Dunhill Flake, Capstan Blue, Dunhill Durbar and a tin of Royal Vintage Latakia No. 1 made by Mclellands. The pipes included from left to right – a Rossi Rubino, Schoenleber billiard, Irwin by GBD Canadian, a no name Meerschaum Apple, 2 Duncan Aerosphere Billiards with pearlized stems, a Kaywoodie Relief Grain 18S, an Ansells of Washington DC Prince, a St Claude Americana Dublin, and an Italian Made unique.Not a bad haul for the day.The next morning we got up early and after a good breakfast at the hotel continued the pipe hunt. We drove to Brigham City and went to several shops. There was an interesting mall in an old Residential School that was well laid out. Despite the horrendous history of the treatment of aboriginal peoples the place had been cleaned up and redeemed. There were aboriginals working in the shop and it seemed to be a great place to work. We found one pipe in the cabinet toward the front of the shop. The first photo shows the layout of the shop. Jeff found the meerschaum in the display case in the centre of the photo. The second photo shows the pipe that Jeff picked up – a nicely carved lion’s head meerschaum that was in the original box and in pretty decent condition. We left the shop with pipe, put it in our bag of finds and headed to our next stop in Logan, Utah. Logan is a nice looking town with wide boulevards and several antique shops. Other than finding an old Medico Brylon pipe we almost came away empty handed. However we went into a large Antique Mall on the main street and talked with the seated clerk. He did not seem interested in helping much until we got talking about pipes and I gave him a source for tobacco. He said they did no have any pipes in the shop and then I happened to see a pipe case over his shoulder. I asked about it and he said he thought it was empty. I reached for it and low and behold it was not empty after all. Inside was strange looking pipe like nothing I had ever seen before. The inside of the cover had a sticker that read Oriental Frischen Socket Pipe. I turned it over in my hands and found that the pipe had a screw in meerschaum bowl that was threaded into the base. The base appeared to be made of Bakelite and the stem seemed to be cast into the shank of the pipe. We made and offer and added one last pipe to our collection.We went back to the car and headed to a final shop that had no pipes. We were a bit hungry so we decided to visit a cheese factory nearby. We bought some cheese curds to snack on and something to drink. The pipe hunt came to an end and we headed for Idaho Falls. It was a great time pipe hunting with my brother. It has been a long time since I took a trip for the sole purpose of stopping at every antique shop on the journey and sleuthing through their stock for the hidden or not so hidden pipe treasure. I thank my brother for taking time out of his “busy” retirement to come and pick me up and take me to some of his favourite hunting spots. We had a ball. Thanks for giving this a read.