JOPLIN, MO.—The City of Joplin is moving on to the next phase in uncovering and preserving the history of East Town — commonly known to many as “The Original Joplin.”

Thursday night, the Historic Preservation Commission announced the hiring of a consultant to conduct a survey on the East Town neighborhood, commonly known to locals as the “Original Joplin.” The consultant firm hired is Keenoy Preservation, a company based out of St. Louis that has experience conducting surveys nearly identical to the East Town project, including in Columbus, MO. 

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The survey will kick off Phase II of the project, which focuses on the portion of the neighborhood south of Broadway. When surveying, consultants will evaluate more than 260 categories of historic resources within neighborhood, including the type of architecture of each building, original property owners, and if historic, the prominent features of the building that are still recognizable. 

However, the commission believes that Joplin’s history goes further beyond mere street signs and storefronts, so along with surveying buildings, the consultants will also dive deeper into the soul of East Town by inviting residents to share their own history of the neighborhood.

Organizers say that along with protecting the known history of the area, this community-wide “research project” will reveal the unknown history as well.