The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 11, 2013

After historic building burns, owners uncertain about plans

CARTHAGE, Mo. — After watching a historic building that housed his family home and business burn just over a week ago, Ronnie Stiles said he and his wife are not yet ready to start thinking about the future of the property — now an empty lot on the south side of the Carthage square.

“At this point, we don’t have a clue,” Stiles said Tuesday. “It all happened so fast, and it was such a shock.”

The June 1 blaze destroyed the Sassy Spoon Restaurant and Day Spa on the main floor of the structure, and the upper floor that Stiles and his wife, Crystal, had restored as their home.

Fire crews from Carthage, Joplin, Webb City and Carterville battled the blaze and confined it to the single building, sparing McBride’s Antique Store, which is just to the west.

The Grant Street lot containing the structure has been cleared, and Stiles said he and his wife have no immediate plans for the property.

“We’re still looking for a home for us,” he said. “Right now, I’m more concerned for the people who worked at the restaurant and salon that lost their income.”

Stiles said he and his wife had owned the building for nine years and worked for a year on its renovation. He said they managed to salvage an iron corner post and some cast-iron columns that had been manufactured by the Carthage Foundry, which at one time had been owned by Larry Ross, his sons’ grandfather.

The building was constructed in the 1860s after earlier buildings on the square were burned during the Civil War.

Judy Goff, president of Carthage Historic Preservation, said she is saddened by the loss — for the Stiles family and for Carthage’s history.

“They had done everything to help the square be vibrant, in terms of restoring their building with their own business and other businesses there,” she said. “They had done such a good job; it was a beautiful place.”

Goff said she expects there will be a lot of interest in the future of the property “from a historic preservation and business standpoint.”

The preservation group has not talked as a group about the fire and its aftermath, she said. Ronnie Stiles serves on the board of directors.

“We are glad they are safe, but we’re sorry for what they lost, and what Carthage lost,” Goff said. “Right now, I think they need time to sort out their thoughts.”

Stiles said he told Carthage officials that he wants to meet with city and historic preservation officials to talk about the property.

Tom Short, city administrator, said he has heard a lot of discussions about potential uses for the property.

“We’re waiting to hear from them; there’s no deadline,” he said. “The property is cleared, and they got that done as quickly as they could.”

Since the square is part of a historic district, any building on the property would have to receive approval from the city’s Planning, Zoning and Historic Preservation Commission. Crystal Stiles serves on that board, Short said.

Ronnie Stiles said he is grateful to the firemen who battled the blaze, and to friends, family and his church for the support the couple have received.

“We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers,” he said. “Right now, we’re trying to recover.”

History

IT’S NOT THE FIRST TIME that a fire has left a hole on the Carthage square. The historic Garland Building on the east side of the square was destroyed in a fire on May 31, 1988. The space later was filled by a new Carthage City Hall.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 071314stmarysmove.jpg More than 100 volunteers turn out to move school to its new permanent home

    Staff and students of St. Mary’s Elementary School have been through a lot of changes together since their old school at 505 W. 25th St. was destroyed in the 2011 Joplin tornado. Second-grade teacher Bette Schoeberl said the temporary quarters were cramped and that it was sometimes hard to move around. On Saturday, Schoeberl and other staff members moved into their new school building.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fronts to bring cooler weather

    If you can make it through this warm weekend, you’re due for a break. With highs in the mid-90s Saturday and Sunday, and a heat index pushing close to triple digits, the weekend will be warm, but cool weather is on the way, according to Jay Colucci, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Station in Springfield.

    July 12, 2014

  • Public invited to informational meeting at Prairie State Park

    An informational meeting for Prairie State Park in Barton County is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at the park’s Regal Tallgrass Prairie Nature Center.

    July 11, 2014

  • Baxter Springs named Kansas Emergency Medical Service of the Year

    Baxter Springs Emergency Medical Service was recognized recently as the 2014 Kansas Emergency Medical Service of the Year by the Kansas EMT Association.

    July 11, 2014

  • 070114 St Mary's cross 3.jpg Crucifix returns after three-year absence

    The original crucifix at St. Mary’s Catholic Church has come home. It had hung behind the altar since 1968, until the 2011 tornado destroyed the church and nearly everything in it, along with the nearby rectory, school, parish center and more.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • r071014newbiz5.jpg Study examines costs of starting businesses in area towns

    When Firehouse Pottery opened in Joplin this spring, it was just one of the hundreds of new businesses that launch in the Four-State Area each year. Charity Hawkins, a Joplin native, said she and her husband “wanted to do something that would be great” for their hometown and decided to open a business that catered to both youths and adults. But starting a new business is a high-risk gamble.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Accent pillows overwhelm bedroom

    I’m surrounded by mush. Not fried mush, which I think is one of the greatest breakfast foods ever invented as long as it’s prepared correctly.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Lumpy’s takes BBQ on the road

    You don’t have to travel too far to find a barbecue place. They’re spread out. If you want barbecue in the north part of Joplin, you can visit Woody’s Smokehouse in the village of Airport Drive. If you want something downtown, there’s Sawmill BBQ in the 600 block of South Main Street. Near Seventh Street and Range Line Road is Billy Sims Barbecue.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • 071114 Mustang1_72.jpg Mustangs roll into Joplin for Mother Road Weekend

    Amanda Massey, of Joplin, gasped when she saw the 1968 fastback Mustang. “This is gorgeous — simply gorgeous,’’ she said. “I have always wanted an old Mustang.’’ With family members in tow, Massey had an opportunity Friday to examine a herd of wild and colorful Mustangs that muscled its way onto Main Street in downtown Joplin for the Mustang Mother Road Weekend.

    July 11, 2014 3 Photos

  • Local libraries target early childhood literacy with state program

    Local libraries are reporting great success so far this summer with the Racing to Read program, an early childhood literacy initiative from the state. The program, established by Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, is designed to help strengthen and expand the quality and availability of library services to address early literacy needs in Missouri.

    July 11, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Although the president of the United States is limited to two terms in office, members of Congress have no term limits. Would you support term limits for U.S. representatives and senators?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter