Route 66 News

Boots Motel sets “Raze the Roof” volunteer days

The owners of the Boots Motel in Carthage, Mo., have set dates for “Raze the Roof” weekend, where it’s hoped enough volunteers will show up to remove the gabled roof of the historic Route 66 motel so the original flat roof can eventually be restored.

A vintage postcard of the Boots Motel, when it sported a flat roof.

From the motel’s Facebook page:

Priscilla and Debye have settled on the weekend of March 23 and 24 for the “Raze the Roof” event, with a “rain date” of March 30 and 31. We need to start recruiting a crew to take off the roof the weekend of March 23 and 24 because we have not been able to raise the additional $11,000 needed to have the roofer do it.

We need a crew of about 6 people who are willing to get up on the roof and remove the shingles, the sheathing, and the framing and secure tarps over the flat roof to protect it until the roofer can install the new roof. We also need people who are willing to stay on the ground and move all the roofing debris into a dumpster or a designated debris area (in case we don’t have enough dumpsters). We can offer the roof crew two nights’ free at the Boots (though they may have to be rain checks if we have a large group), and we will have breakfast (doughnuts) available on Sunday and lunch and supper (probably pizza and hot dogs) on Saturday and Sunday for the crew. We need a firm commitment by the end of February in order to organize the roofing crew to come in right after the roof removal.

You can help us preserve an important part of Route 66 history. Anyone who wants to volunteer for this project should call the Boots at 417-310-2989 or email us at bootsmotel(at)hotmail(dot)com.

A second Facebook post said, in part:

Our late March project to remove the pitch roof from the two Boots Motel buildings begins with the removal of the shingles and tar paper so the plywood sheathing may be removed and used elsewhere. While we really need volunteers for other tasks in this project, we realize that the shingle removal itself should be done by an experienced roofing crew on Saturday. This is something we cannot afford to contract out, so we are looking for 2, 4-man teams (one team for each building) who are experienced in doing this kind of work and have their own tools. The news media and others will be documenting this project, so if you own or work in the roofing business, we will certainly mention your contribution to this project, and perhaps provide some extra compensation.

The Boots is using just five rooms for overnight guests. If it can get the original roof repaired, it will make the property eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and be in contention for more historic preservation grants. Also, having the roof repaired would speed the renovation of the rest of the motel and eventually more than triple its capacity.

After a nearly 10-year hiatus, the Boots Motel reopened to overnight travelers in May 2012 after sisters Debye Harvey and her sister Priscilla Bledsaw bought the once-endangered property. The sisters plan to restore the landmark to its circa-1949 heyday, including a “radio in every room.”


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: