Parks and Recreation Image


Juneau-Douglas City Museum


Bavard, Nick and Mary

by John Bavard
UID=736


My father, Nick Bavard, was born in Nafplion, Greece, in 1898. He came to the United States in 1909, worked in copper mines in Utah and laying railroad tracks in Oregon. Nick came to Juneau in 1916, to join his Uncle, Steve Largos, and his brother, Mike Bavard, in the grocery business. Their store was the California Grocery on South Franklin Street where the Marine View Apartments now stand.

My mother, Mary Louise Connor Bavard was born in Everett, Washington, and came to Juneau with her mother and brother, Emmett Connor, when she was in the sixth grade. She graduated from Juneau High School in 1916. Some of her classmates included Sim and Hazel MacKinnon and Waino Hendrickson.

Nick and Mary were married in 1924, and had two children, John and Katherine (now Traeger). Nick and Mary owned and operated the California Grocery and Meat Market for a good many years. They owned 10 acres at Indian Cove where they had a large vegetable garden and sold the fresh vegetables in their store. Nick and Mary resided in one of the apartments over the store on South Franklin Street but every Sunday they journeyed to Indian Cove on a one lane gravel road. They had to haul their water until Nick and Allen Shattuck built a dam on the hillside across the road in the late 30ís. Nick and Mary loved to entertain their many friends at the farm house and always had a large group for Sunday dinner. During WWII, they invited groups of military men to join them for their dinners.

Nick and Mary retired to Arizona in the early 60ís to ease Maryís severe arthritis. Mary died in 1974, in Arizona and Nick moved back to Juneau to be with his family. He lived here until 1984, when he died at the age of 92.

John was born in Juneau in 1925, and attended Juneau schools and graduated from Juneau High School in 1943. He joined the Merchant Marines and served in the Pacific during WWII. He graduated from Officers School in Alameda, California, in 1946, and after one year at San Jose State College he returned to Juneau and became a partner with his father in the grocery business until the Korean War when he served in the Army from 1950-1952. After his discharge from the service he returned to work at the store. He then married Evelyn and they had two sons, Mike and Steve and they now have five grandchildren and three great
grandchildren all living in Alaska.

Evelyn Bavard, an RN, worked at St. Annís Hospital in the early 50ís, then with Dr. Bill Whitehead at the Juneau Clinic where the Emporium Mall is now located. John was a member of the Juneau Volunteer Fire Department from 1948 until 1969. In those years, they had some major fires including the Juneau Sawmill, Juneau Cold Storage, Salmon Creek Country Club and the McKinley Building on Seward Street.