The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

March 28, 2013

Roofing project under way at historic Carthage motel

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The pounding on the roof of the Boots Motel in Carthage was a welcome distraction Thursday for Debye Harvey, one of the owners of the historic landmark.

Crews this week started tearing off the gabled roof to return the motel building to its original flat roof. Work also is under way to restore the sign and neon lighting on the building, also designed to take it back to the 1940s look that made it a Route 66 icon.

Harvey said restoring the original roofline will allow her to apply to get the property designated on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Once this is done, I’ll write the application,” said Harvey, who is a historic preservation consultant.

She and her sister, Priscilla Bledsaw, bought the Boots nearly two years ago, when it was put up for auction after years of being used as rental property. They have restored five rooms at the back of the property and last summer started opening them to Route 66 travelers who wanted the 1940s experience, when lodging amenities included “a radio in every room.”

The roofing project, under way on the front part of the building, is being partially funded by a grant from the National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. The $12,000 grant is paying for half the project costs, with the remainder coming from the owners, some donations, and money that came as part of a preservation award from the Route 66 Association of Missouri.

Harvey said the National Park Service had extended the deadline for the project, which the owners hope will be complete in three weeks, depending on the weather.

“They’ll also be opening holes in the parapet walls to take it back to its original look,” she said.

The original sign is being restored to identify the property as Boots Court, and neon that originally outlined the building will be returned, though Harvey said the owners do not know how much of the original material will be usable.

“The room windows had sort of a scrollwork design in neon around them,” she said. “And the canvas awnings will be refabricated and reinstalled. We’re hoping we can use the same Carthage company that did the originals.”

The motel didn’t have many guests over the winter, but business is picking up, Harvey said.

“We already have more reservations right now than we did for all the last three months, and we’re fully booked for the first two nights of the Route 66 festival” set for Aug. 1-3 in Joplin, she said.

Work also has started on restoring rooms in the main part of the building, but that will go more slowly than the five rooms at the back, which took nine months.

“Those rooms are in a lot worse shape because moisture collected behind the paneling, and those walls will have to be replastered,” Harvey said. “There were eight rooms originally. We plan to restore six, starting with No. 6,” which she described as “Clark Gable’s other room.”

Based on eyewitness accounts, the actor stayed at the Boots twice, also staying in No. 10, which is among the rooms opened last spring.

“We’ve been told of a lot of other famous people, but we’ve not been able to track down those accounts,” Harvey said.

Professional crew

DEBYE HARVEY said all the roofing work is being handled by professional crews after a snowstorm forced the cancellation of an event at which volunteers were to help.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041514recycledfashion.jpg Joplin High School students to model ‘recycled’ dresses at fashion show

    Audrey Kaman will walk the runway later this week wearing a dress she designed herself — made out of 250 doilies. “I’d say it’s a fun dress,” the Joplin High School sophomore said. “It’s not really elegant because it’s short, but it’s cute.”

    April 15, 2014 4 Photos

  • Shooter in Joplin murder sentenced to life in prison

    The teen convicted of being the triggerman in the murder of Jacob Wages was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. At a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Circuit Judge Gayle Crane followed a jury’s recommendations in assessing Daniel D. Hartman, 18, two life sentences on convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and 15 years on a conviction for burglary.

    April 15, 2014

  • Interchange construction work near Carterville to create safer off-ramp

    As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures. The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.

    April 15, 2014

  • Schreiber Foods schedules Carthage plant expansion

    Plans to expand a Schreiber Foods plant to eventually add 160 new jobs have been endorsed by a Carthage committee working with the company. Andrew Tobish, director of combinations for Schreiber, which is based in Green Bay, Wis., confirmed the project, which he said would be complete by late spring or early summer in 2015.

    April 15, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Three things coming your way in Wednesday’s paper.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local Jews offer reactions to Overland Park shooting

    Jews in Joplin and throughout the region are struggling to come to terms with Sunday’s shooting at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement complex in suburban Kansas City, resulting in three deaths. The suspect has been identified as Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora.

    April 14, 2014

  • Suspect in Kansas shooting has long history as white supremacist

    Frazier Glenn Cross drew the ire of Joplin residents in 2006 when several hundred copies of his white supremacist newspaper were landing on lawns in the city. The White Patriot Leader spouted the usual Cross diatribe. A race war was imminent. The “newspaper for white Americans,” as it billed itself, ranted against an invasion of the country by illegal Hispanic immigrants, the proliferation of black culture, and a purported takeover of the government, banks and the media by Jews.

    April 14, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mike Seibert elected new mayor of Joplin

    Joplin’s new mayor pledged Monday night that the city will operate with more transparency and that work toward redevelopment will be the City Council’s priority. Mike Seibert, who withstood a challenge by another incumbent councilman in last Tuesday’s election to be the Zone 4 councilman, was elected mayor by a unanimous vote of the panel Monday night.

    April 14, 2014

  • 3 To Get Ready

    Members of the new Joplin City Council, in the wake of the April 8 election and turmoil that roiled to the surface last August, will elect a mayor and mayor pro tem. Read all of the details.

    April 14, 2014


In an effort to curb prostitution, St. Louis police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. Postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date. Do you think this is a good approach?

A. Yes.
N. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge