White Man’s Heaven Now Available in Paperback & E-Book Format

One of the best books to come out on Joplin history is now available in paperback and electronic book format. White Man’s Heaven, by Kimberly Harper, chronicles the 1903 Joplin lynching of Thomas Gilyard and ensuing race riot, among similar events in other Southwest Missouri cities. In addition to outstanding reviews, White Man’s Heaven recently won the Missouri Humanities Award for Distinguished Achievement in Non-Fiction.

You can now pick up White Man’s Heaven in Paperback from such places as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble online.

In addition, an e-book version is available at GooglePlay and and iTunes.

Cover of White Man's Heaven by Kimberly Harper

Currently at the Post Memorial Art Reference Library

From 1pm to 5 today, you can visit the Post Memorial Art Reference Library to see artifacts of Joplin’s past.  Ranging from a key to the Connor Hotel to an embroidered towel from the Keystone Hotel, plus a number of other items, you have the chance to get a glimpse of Joplin’s past through “fragments of people lives.”  The items come from the collection of Mark and Paula Callihan.  Additionally, also on display are a number of tornado recovery posters created to benefit Joplin charity in the months that followed last year’s catastrophe.   The Post Memorial Art Reference Library is located inside the Joplin Public Library.

Louis Curtiss and the Politics of Architectural Reputation

Today’s post is a link to an in-depth article on the architect of the Joplin Union Depot, Louis Curtiss. The article comes from the Places: the online journal of The Design Observer Group and is written by University of Missouri Professor of Architectural History and American Art, Dr. Keith Eggener. The article offers an insightful biography of Curtiss and explores how and why Curtiss and his works, such as the Joplin Union Depot, slipped into obscurity when contemporaries later became nationally renown.

You can find the article here, “Louis Curtiss and the Politics of Architectural Reputation”.

The City That Jack Built – Joplin 1902 Moving Pictures

In 1902, business interests in Joplin wanted to promote their city and did so by publishing The City That Jack Built, a photograph booklet that covered Joplin’s business, industry, and the residences that its mineral wealth had built.  Quite a while ago, we scanned in our copy of the booklet and made it available on Flickr here.  However, we thought it might be fun to present the photographs to you in the form of a video slideshow, linked below.  For more information on the photographs featured in the slideshow, check out the Flickr page and select the image to find out the name of the home, business, or industry.

 

Review of “Joplin” by Leslie Simpson

Leslie Simpson, the director of the Post Memorial Art Reference Library, writes in the epilogue of Joplin, “This book is my love letter to the city of Joplin, of which I am proud to be a citizen!”

Simpson’s latest book is a wonderful love letter to Joplin, a fine work that covers the history of the city from its establishment in 1873 to the present day. It is a lavishly illustrated postcard history of the city accompanied by detailed, informative captions. The book provides readers with an understanding of the people, places, and events that shaped Joplin into the city that it is today. Simpson does an excellent job of balancing the past and present so that readers are taken through Joplin’s early years, subsequent growth, Route 66 years, up until the time of the tornado.

The book is helpfully divided into nine sections that cover different topics such as mining, industry, residences, schools, churches, and hotels. Although one might expect that because the book is postcard history the book might be poorly researched, it is not. The captions for each illustration are insightful, well written, and historically accurate. Each illustration has been carefully chosen and offer unique glimpses into Joplin’s social, cultural, religious, and architectural history.

Sadly, Simpson’s work illustrates just how many Joplin buildings and other landmarks have been lost to the ravages of time, benign neglect, or lack of vision. Our advance copy notes that “Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Fund” so you can be assured that your money will go to a good cause. We also recommend that you might consider giving a donation the Post Memorial Art Reference Library.

Those who own Leslie Simpson’s prior works may recognize some, but not all of the images used, however all offer entertaining glimpses into Joplin’s past. For those who have and enjoyed the above mentioned Now and Then and Again, they have a great companion to Joplin.

Joplin is a well written and illustrated history of Joplin, Missouri. It is accessible to readers of most ages and is a enjoyable read for those who enjoy local history, the history of Joplin, and illustrated histories. Hopefully it will leave most readers with an even greater appreciation for the City that Jack Built.

Joplin, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing
Available at Hastings and through the publisher at www.arcadiapublishing.com

New Joplin History Book Honors the Past & Helps Rebuild the Future

Leslie Simpson, Director of the Post-Memorial Art Reference Library, has a new book coming out on Joplin history, appropriately titled, Joplin. The book is a history of Joplin as told “in hundreds of vintage images” and will be launched at an event at Hastings on September 24, this Saturday, at 10:00 AM. Profits from the first printing will go exclusively to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Fund.   Once we get a hold of a copy, we’ll be posting a review.  Until then, please find the press release below concerning the event below!

New Joplin History Book Honors the Past &
Helps Rebuild the Future

Longtime Joplin resident Leslie Simpson is the author of a new history
book that tells the story of Joplin’s past in hundreds of vintage images.
Joplin, the newest addition in Arcadia Publishing’s Postcard History series,
will be available on Saturday, September 24 exclusively at the Hastings
store in Joplin.

Covering a span of more than 130 years, Joplin traces all aspects of the
city’s history through vintage postcard images. Author Leslie Simpson
describes the book as “My love letter to the city of Joplin!”

Local history publisher Arcadia Publishing and multimedia retailer
Hastings Entertainment, Inc. will donate proceeds from the first printing of
the book to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce Business Recovery Fund.

The CEO’s from both companies have been personally involved in the
project and hope the initiative will support Joplin’s ongoing business
recovery efforts.

“When a tragedy like this happens, no matter how far away it is, your
first instinct is to want to find a way to help,” said Arcadia Publishing
president and CEO Richard Joseph. “I’m glad we could do this,” he
said.

Hastings Entertainment CEO John Marmaduke shared, “We are
pleased to have this book available at a time when locals truly need
something to be excited about.”

Joplin will be exclusively available at Hastings through October 2011.
Non-local residents can order online at www.goHastings.com, from the
publisher at www.arcadiapublishing.com, or by calling (888)-313-2665.

###
About Arcadia Publishing
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Books celebrate the
places and faces that give America its spirit and life. Distinctive sepia covers, local authors, and vintage images
present a curbside look and street level understanding of a town’s bygone times. Find your place in history at
www.arcadiapublishing.com.

About Hastings
Founded in 1968, Hastings Entertainment, Inc. is a leading multimedia entertainment retailer that combines the
sale of new and used books, videos, video games and CDs, and trends and consumer electronics merchandise,
with the rental of videos and video games in a superstore format. www.goHastings.com

Book proceeds to benefit Joplin local businesses

Author Leslie Simpson has
lived in Joplin for the past 32
years. She helped establish
Main Street Joplin and the
Joplin Historic Preservation
Commission.
Joplin

Postcard History Series
Price: $21.99
128 pages/ softcover
Available: September 24, 2011

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Arcadia: Mrs. PJ Norlander, Director of Marketing
843.853.2070 x160 pjnorlander@arcadiapublishing.com

EVENT INQUIRIES

Hastings:
Phone: 417-659-9828

Joplin Book Launch Event
Saturday, September 24, 2011
10:00 a.m.

Host

PUBLIC IS WELCOME
Come share your own stories.
Meet the author.
Take a walk back in time.

Who:
Hastings will host the author, Chamber of Commerce members,
community leaders, the publishing company, and any and all residents who
wish to attend.

What:
A special launch event celebrating the publication of a new local history
book, Joplin, by Leslie Simpson.

When:
Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
10:00 a.m.
Welcome, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony,
Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Presentation
10:30 a.m.
Author Book Signing

Book

Where:
Hastings located at 526 South Range Line Road.

Why:
Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Joplin Chamber
of Commerce Business Recovery Fund.

Beneficiary

Directions and event information can be found online at

www.arcadiapublishing.com/Joplin.

A Prince Among Men: Oliver S. Picher

The following story is taken from Bud Belden’s memoir “Pioneering Days.” His father, Charles Belden, founded Belden Electric Company and wired many Joplin homes for electricity.

“When engaged in wiring the residence of O.S. Picher the boys discovered a case of Scotch Whiskey. Being alone in the house they placed a bottle on the kitchen table where all could wet their whistle as they passed by. Unexpectedly Mr. Picher returned about 4 P.M. and immediately work centered in the basement and in the attic. But when any of the malcreants did appear, Mr. Picher no doubt noticed their unusually bright and shining eyes as they peered at him from dirty faces. Being an observant man, Mr. Picher noticed this condition was general among all members of the crew.

Then his suspicions were confirmed for some of the boys started talking and removed all doubt. As the boys were preparing to get away hastily, Mr. Picher must have had an idea, for he stopped them and said, “You fellows look tired, you’ve been working hard all day. How about taking a little drink with me before you go?”

Now there was a regular fellow. Sure, the day was finished, they would be glad to. O.S. then assembled them not in the kitchen but in the dining room and served them in manner grand. Iced ginger ale in tall gold rimmed glasses with White Horse Scotch Whiskey. They were a sorry lot weaving around in dirty overalls but they sang the praises of Mr. Picher loud and long.

He was to them a Prince among men and so remained until one day Dad received his check for the work done. From the bill [Picher] had deducted fifty dollars with the notation in large letters, For WHITE HORSE.”

Joplin Metro Magazine: Issue 4 Volume 2

This month’s issue of the Joplin Metro Magazine has a number of Joplin history related articles.  First is a profile of Hannah Simpson, who is selling postcards printed with images of familiar iconic and historic signs of Joplin to benefit the Trees for Joplin Fund.  Next in the issue is the cover story, photographs of a number of Joplin landmarks relating to nearly every decade of Joplin’s history with brief histories.  The topics range from the Inn at Reddings Mill to Junge Field, as well as such familiar buildings as the Scottish Rite Cathedral.  Lastly, the issue wraps up its Joplin-centric history with a piece on the Mo-Kan Dragway.

For those interested, the Joplin Metro Magazine can be found about town, published by the Globe, and online here.

The National Register and Joplin

In the most recent copy of Preservation magazine, a publication of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a good article on the National Register of Historic Places.

The article outlines how the process to place a building or landmark onto the Register works, as well what benefits such a placement can provide or cannot. Below is a summary of the process laid out:

Step One: Anyone can nominate a place to be registered. To do so, one fills out a form (located here) and submits it to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). In Missouri, the SHPO is located within the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Also, through the law which created the SHPO in Missouri, the nominations are reviewed by the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – a council of individuals appointed by the governor that meets four times a year.

Step Two: The SHPO reviews the nomination. In that process, if it believes the nomination worthy, it will contact the owners of the landmarks, places, or buildings to inform them of the nomination. If the owner objects, then the nomination is ended. No owner (or majority of owners in a situation where multiples properties are involved) can be forced to have their property placed on the Register. However, benefits can be had if one’s property is registered!

First, being on the register opens up the property to receive grants or funding, some that are exclusive to registered properties. Second, the property then can become eligible for tax credits to fund restorations or renovations. Third, the owners get to receive the honor of having their property recognized as something of special importance to our nation’s and or the community’s history.

Step Three: The SHPO submits the nomination to the National Register for consideratation. The National Register and the SHPO both review nominees for the same criteria, significance and integrity. Significance on the local or national level, and within that category, either historically or architecturally (or both). With regard to integrity, Preservation states it best:

“The issue of integrity involves determining whether the features that contribute to the property’s significance—its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, and the like—remain largely intact. A house may be notable because it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, but has Wright’s original design been radically altered through years of remodeling? Similarly, a building may be significant because a history-making event took place there, but has it been moved from the site where the event occurred? If the answer to either question is “yes,” the property’s integrity could be considered destroyed or compromised, potentially making it ineligible for Register listing.”

If the property appears to meet the above criteria, then it has a good chance of being accepted. However, a property usually needs to be at least 50 years old. Another aspect of a property being on the Register is that it does not restrict the owner from doing anything with their property (including tearing it down – as the Connor and other Joplin properties that made the register ended up suffering). The only restrictions are those which local or state laws or regulations might place on such historic properties.

Joplin is home to more than a few registered places and landmarks, most recently the Historic Districts located along Main Street and such buildings as the Olivia, Carnegie Library, and the Union Depot. For more buildings and places, just check out this link. The forms are wonderful sources for the history of a place, building, or landmark, as well photographs or illustrations.

Sources: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Preservation magazine.

Joplin History in Volume 1, Issue 11

In the most recent issue of the Joplin Metro Magazine, Issue 11, the pickings are regrettably slim for pieces of Joplin history.  The lengthy article on the Joplin Police Department has some information on the history of the department, including a list of officers who have fallen in the line of duty.  The murder of one officer on the list, Officer Theodore Leslie, sparked the lynching of Thomas Gilyard.  For more details on that murder and the lynching, pick up a copy of White Man’s Heaven, by Kimberly Harper. You can learn more about the Joplin Police Department on Historic Joplin here. Copies of the Joplin Metro Magazine can be found around Joplin in businesses, including the lobby of the Joplin Globe building.