Kim Mailes, a long time citizen of Neosho, can easily be found these next three weeks. He will be part of a volunteer group working to restore the 1872 Neosho Colored School on Young Street here in Neosho.

Kim Mailes, a long time citizen of Neosho, can easily be found these next three weeks. He will be part of a volunteer group working to restore the 1872 Neosho Colored School on Young Street here in Neosho.
This is the second year that Mailes has been involved in historic restoration, and it all began when he read an article in the New York Times about a historic ranch in the Rocky Mountains. That's where he learned about HistoriCorps, a non-profit group that sponsors such projects as the historic ranch.
The newspaper article told about a ranch in Colorado which was to be restored by volunteers and made into a library devoted to the American West. Mailes thought this was a way to have fun and do good work all at the same time. He signed up for the Rocky Mountain adventure, but the fun didn't end in the Rockies. Mailes soon learned of a HistoriCorps project in Missouri and became a volunteer helping restore the Greer Roller Mill on the Eleven Point River in Miller County, Mo.
The work is very hard Mailes said, "Both projects required hard physical labor. During the Greer Mill project, my crew jacked a three-story, four thousand square foot, one hundred-year-old structure off the foundation eight inches and then removed the rotted sill and replaced it with fresh-milled, 12-foot long sections of 22" X 18" white oak."
On the ranch project in Colorado, Mailes' crew installed a period-correct cedar shingle roof on the bunkhouse. "There's quite an art to carefully picking each shingle and weaving it into a water tight roof, just like the settlers did in the 1800s" Mailes said.
This summer, Mailes is forgoing additional work on the Colorado ranch and the Missouri mill to devote his time to the school project here in Neosho.
"After becoming involved, I realized that HistoriCorps and the Carver project fit together perfectly," Mailes said.
So he set about working to bring the Carver board and HistoriCorps together.
"I have believed in the Carver School House restoration project since its beginning. It just seems right for twenty-first century citizens of Neosho to step up and honor and preserve the legacy of Dr. Carver, along with all African Americans in our town who eagerly sought education after the Civil War."
Mailes is excited about the local project.
"There's something about the camaraderie of coming together with ten or twelve other volunteers from all across the United States to work on a historic structure worth saving. We will have volunteers from Chicago, New Jersey, Colorado, Texas and other places working on the school," Mailes said. "I will be on site each day during the three weeks, working side-by-side with others, Being a hometown boy, I hope my connections and local knowledge can expedite the work."
Mailes is thankful for the full cooperation of city officials. "City manager Troy Royer has gone out of his way to make this event a success. Parks Director Amy Moritz has reserved the city RV park for the exclusive use of the volunteers. Mike Franks and the Chamber of Commerce has provided extensive support," Mailes said.
It will definitely be an interesting three weeks in Neosho, just ask Kim Mailes and he will tell you all about it.