Route 66 in the News

Route 66 Visitor Center Recognized

2009-11-13 21:09:03

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — The Baxter Springs Route 66 Visitors’ Center was recognized Friday by the National Park Service as a place that matters.

Kaisa Barthuli, acting program manager with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, made the presentation outside the restored 1930 gas station.

Barthuli asked how many there knew the building when it was a gas station. A few raised their hands. She then asked how many thought it was a place that matters. Most raised their hands or voiced their approval.

“It is a place that matters,” Barthuli said.

She referred to the recent Ken Burns series on public television, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” She said it was full of examples where ordinary people made a difference in establishing and guiding the National Park Service.

“Here we are today continuing that legacy of partnership,” Barthuli said.

She said community volunteers put in 1,200 hours of effort to restore the building in 2007.

“It’s just extraordinary what can happen on 13 miles of road,” Barthuli said, referring to the length of Route 66 in Kansas. “Nowhere is that as clear as it is here in Kansas.”

The Baxter Springs Historical Society bought the building in 2006. Baxter Springs native Carla Jordan wrote a grant application for the project. During Friday’s program, Jordan encouraged residents to reach out to others from Baxter Springs who have succeeded to give back to their hometown.

Carolyn Pendleton, director of the Route 66 Visitors’ Center, said the project couldn’t have been done without the efforts of the Historical Society, the many volunteers and Jordan.

At the conclusion of her presentation, Kaisa Barthuli, acting program manager with the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, presented a plaque from the National Park Service to Carolyn Pendleton, director of the Baxter Springs Route 66 Visitors’ Center.

~Roger McKinney, Joplin Globe

 

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