My congratulations to the Carver Birthplace Association and the staff at George Washington Carver for getting the 1872 Neosho Colored School in the National Register of Historic Places. Both groups have put a lot into the school and they are still working. I know it seems like a big task, but with the persistence of everyone, it will be done.

My congratulations to the Carver Birthplace Association and the staff at George Washington Carver for getting the 1872 Neosho Colored School in the National Register of Historic Places. Both groups have put a lot into the school and they are still working. I know it seems like a big task, but with the persistence of everyone, it will be done.
Being a nationally recognized site is just an honorary thing, even though people always think it is restrictive. Being in the Register takes nothing away from the owner of a property. The owner can change it, or even tear it down, if he or she wishes. The only restriction on the site is any kind of local ordinance put on it by a local government, often administered by local people who are not necessary schooled in historic preservation.
Too often local restrictions simply add to the cost of improvements or change and, as a result, the property receives little attention from its owner. Most owners of historic properties are proud of their sites and care for them.
I am looking forward to the continued progress of the little schoolhouse in Neosho. I have followed its progress since the Carver Birthplace Association took possession in 2004. I hope that, with its national recognition, people will contribute to the restoration fund and enjoy the project as it keeps moving along.
Being in the National Register of Historic Places has some benefits, although taking advantage of some of them hamstrings an owner. One of the greatest benefits is actually being on the list. There are people who plan their travel to visit these places. The complete list is on the Register's website so you can plan a road trip and see many of these sites.
National Register sites are located in every state and cover every subject you could ever want. Everything from presidential sites to railroad sites to Black History to education to farming to military and everything in between. The National Register website says there are about 94,000 recognized sites in the United States, and almost every county in America has at least one.
With all these to choose from, I would think a person could find a few that interest them.
Although there is no sure way of knowing, the 1872 Neosho Colored School is already attracting visitors, which is a good thing in so many ways. I believe the more progress that is made on the restoration, the more visitors there will be.
So, I tip my hat to the Carver Birthplace Association and to the staff of the George Washington Carver National Monument for their mighty efforts on behalf of the little one-room school in Neosho.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.