Spiva Park Collection
Spiva Park, located at the intersection of 4th & Main, contains sculptures, reflecting pools, and samples of minerals from Matt Vickery who was curator of the Tri-State Mineral Museum in 1966. Spiva Park is located where the House of Lords originally stood.
George A. Spiva donated the park to the city of Joplin and held the dedication ceremony on July 7, 1966. Christy Cragin, Spiva's eleven-year-old granddaughter, unveiled the park's marble statue of a hard-rock lead and zinc miner. Raymon Sharp, a descendant of an early Joplin mining family, posed for the statue wearing overalls and a cap with a carbide lamp. At his feet lie the tools of his trade-a shovel and pick and his lunch pail. Sculptor Piccini Stefano chiseled the 1,000-pound statue in his studio in Carrara, Italy, then shipped it to Joplin.
Because "The Miner" statue paid homage to Joplin's mining roots, it was therefore fitting to embellish the space with other trappings of Joplin's mining history. Matt Vickery, the curator of the Tri-State Mineral Museum in 1966, donated twenty different mineral samples from his collection, the largest a 700-pound chunk of lead and zinc ore.
In July 2022, the Joplin Historical Society and Joplin History and Mineral Museum cleaned and updated the samples. A new sign about the minerals will be installed in late fall 2022.