"Blind" Boone Statue
Visit Blind Boone Park in Warrensburg, Missouri; the park built by volunteers!
The Blind Boone House sits at 10 N. Fourth St. where J. W. "Blind" Boone lived beginning in 1889 with his wife. The home will be open to the public from 2-4 p.m. Sunday for the first time since the renovations began in 2001.
September 15, 2016
COLUMBIA — The ivory keys on the 1904 piano were black with soot. It took 4 gallons of wood-cleaning solution to remove the dirt.
As old as the piano is, Kristopher De Tar, a part-time piano rebuilder, questioned even starting the project.
The ivory on the keys had to be milled down and replaced with a plastic covering. It was the oldest piano keyboard De Tar ever worked on.
“I had to give it some TLC,” De Tar said. “It took longer than normal to do a good job.”
The inside of the piano was a similar story.
“I almost said, ‘It can’t be fixed,’” Steven Fair, an independent piano technician and a member of the Piano Technicians Guild, said. Fair’s job was to make sure the piano could be playable. He worked on the moving parts, tuning, replacing strings, and raising the pitch, he said.
The piano was one of Boone's practice pianos. A photograph inside the house shows the piano in the background with Boone sitting at his Chickering grand piano, now at the Walters Boone County Museum, said Clyde Ruffin, president of the John William "Blind" Boone Heritage Foundation.
The Haines Brothers piano needed a total restoration before it could be the focus of the John William “Blind" Boone Home, 10 N. Fourth St., that will open to the public from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday for the first time since renovations that date to 2001.
The event will start in the gardens where the Boone County Historical Society will present a plaque marking the house as historic. The Sharp End Heritage Committee will also recognize the house as part of the African American Heritage trail, Ruffin said. It will be the second site on this trail in Columbia.
There will also be special entertainment and light refreshments, Ruffin said.