- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

NEOSHO, Mo. (AP) - A significant landmark in the history of education of black students is in its final stages before being added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic preservation consultant Deb Sheals presented the George Washington Carver schoolhouse to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation last week. The site was approved and recommended for advancement to the final stage, the Joplin Globe (https://bit.ly/2kLmkPB ) reported.

The National Park Service is expected to approve the designation within the next 12 weeks in Washington, D.C.

“It’s really a very rare distinction,” Carver National Monument Superintendent Jim Heaney said. “It really gives that resource the recognition it deserves.”

Missouri passed legislation in 1865 requiring districts to provide schools for children regardless of race, but included a provision for segregated schools.



The public school was the first dedicated school for black students in Neosho. Prominent scientist and inventor George Washington Carver attended the school for two years.

“This is the second step of his life,” Carver Birthplace Association business manager Ann McCormick said. “He went on to be an educator, so this is really the first step of that part of his life.”

National Monument management assistant Lana Henry said the effort is saving a “historic treasure” that can used to teach people about disparities in education and racial inequality. She said that while getting the site on the register is the next step, the overall goal is to rehabilitate the school.

“Now it’s just a fundraising effort for the CBA to get that accomplished,” she said.

Rehabilitation work includes fixing the foundation, installing era-appropriate windows and designing the school’s interior.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com

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