By Mike Dwyer
The Joplin Historic Preservation Commission voted Tuesday to designate Dale’s Ole 66 Barber Shop a historic landmark.
The barber shop, at Utica Street and Euclid Avenue in the Royal Heights neighborhood of north Joplin, serves as a reminder of Route 66’s history in town at a time when many are moving to preserve the road’s past, said Dale Holly, the building’s owner.
“I think because of their reviving 66 Highway — and this is Old 66 Highway down through here — we have a lot of travelers from all over,” Holly said. “I just think it would be nice to have something for the designation here in town.”
The commission voted unanimously to give the shop the designation. The city will put up a sign outside the shop denoting its status. Any further changes planned for the building must be approved by the commission.
The shop has been vacant for about a year since a tenant moved out, Holly said, but business partners Stana Walker and Tammy Martin plan to reopen it in early March as a full-service salon.
Walker said the pair plans to do business as Dale’s Ole 66 Barber Shop out of respect for history and admiration for Holly.
“I remember when he was on TV a few years back,” she said. “It was so cool that I wanted to work there. Well, now I get to. He’s a very nice man. We just like to honor him and keep it as close to what he had as possible.
“I just think it’s really neat that it’s been there for so long. We just like to keep it going.”
Holly said the building was built in 1928 or 1929 as a service station for Shamrock — what he called “a cut-rate brand” offered by Phillips Oil Co. He said there was a streetcar stop across the street, and two or three cabins were behind the shop.
“It used to be this neighborhood out here was a summer camp out here, more or less,” Holly said.
The service station closed and the pumps were removed in 1959, Holly said. He bought it in 1962 and turned it into the barber shop that he operated until about three years ago, when he retired.
Holly said an original 10- by 20-foot section of the building still stands, and he built another 10- by 20-foot section onto it.
“As far as the front part, it’s still the original design,” he said.
In other business, the commission:
n Approved changes to the exterior of a strip of storefronts at 527, 529 and 531 S. Main St.
n Decided to place an item on the agenda for its March 27 meeting about forming a subcommittee that would work on recognizing Joplin’s ties to Route 66.
Rod Harsh, with route66tvonline.com, had presented concerns to the commission that Joplin does not do enough to celebrate its place on Route 66 and raised the idea of marking the route more clearly with Route 66 signs.
By Mike Dwyer
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