Hometown Pride Tour: Nocona remembers the Justin company history while renovating old building

NOCONA, TX (KAUZ) - Old concrete slabs, flaky old paint, and cluttered halls fill a vacant lot in downtown Nocona, but not for long.

Bob Ferguson is a member of the Nocona City Council. He said they approved the budget to renovate the old Justin building.

"What we're trying to do is save a historical building," Ferguson, said.

First, they had to stop the leaking ceiling.

"We still need to work on the front and the cap on the front, but they've got the roof fixed and it's in pretty good shape now so it should last," Ferguson said.

That will allow crews to really start working on filling the old Justin building with new life.

"It was the original Justin state of the art plant," Ferguson said.

First designed in 1917.

"A lot of people don't even realize the history that was here in Nocona," Ferguson said.

H.J. Justin started making boots on the Chisholm Trail in Spanish Fort. When the railroad was built through Nocona he brought his boots here.

"It's really significant to our town and our city," Ferguson said.

This was the second building to house the now worldwide recognized leather brand.

"I would like to either put the name on the building or somehow make it known to everybody else that this was actually the beginning of Justin Boots," Ferguson said.

100 years later the new phase of construction started.

"Every shop that has been various old-timey business have been vacant and now they're all beautiful buildings with nice architecture," Marcus Williams said.

The old Justin Building will soon be added to the list. Now that the city council has the funds the renovations are underway.

They plan to make the building a place for the community to host meetings. Outside where the factory used to be, they plan to have an open air pavilion.

"This was the actual work area for where they produced the boots out here. Unfortunately, it was too far gone when the city got it to save it so we had to take it down to the slab," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said they hope to have a farmers market take place under the pavilion. There will be public restrooms inside.

"The more things we can have in our community to support the locals the better off we are," Ferguson said.

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