In 1872, George Washington Carver built a schoolhouse in Neosho, Missouri. It was an educational institution for 20 years and was where Mr. Carver himself began his formal education that led him to be the historical figure he is today.
Almost 150 years later, the building is being restored with a little help from volunteers.
“The Historicorps looks for projects that untrained volunteers can step in and work on and we’re lucky this week we have some really hard workers with experience.” says Historicorps crew leader Charlotte Helmer.
Historicorps is a Denver-based organization that saves and sustains historic places through partnerships that encourage public involvement. A local resident who has volunteered with the group before, reached out to them about fixing up the old school house and things got put into motion.
“Knowing this project then becoming affiliated with Historicorps allowed me very quickly to see this was a match made in heaven and so I put the two together and now we see the project, the results,” says Historicorps Liaison Kim Mailes.
“The scope of the project was right, the location was interesting. there were so many people who were willing to support the project like the National Parks Service and Kim Mailes,the city of Nesho, all the pieces came together,” says Helmer.
And already the building sitting at 639 Young Street is on it’s way to standing tall for many years to come.
“You can tell stories about the history of a place over and over and it’s not the same as seeing it in person,” says Helmer.
“You know, there are a lot of things we can’t do about the wrongs that were done during reconstruction in the Jim Crow Era, but we can be kind to history and remember it properly,” says Mailes.
The restoration will take place over three sessions throughout the next few weeks. session one will be over on Sunday, June 19th. They do still need volunteers for session 2 and session 3.
Anyone interested in volunteering or the project in general can find more information by clicking here.