Nocona residents create special “Gathering Place”

Residents are lending their time money and energy to create something very special in their community
Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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NOCONA, Texas (KAUZ) - Some residents in Nocona are lending their time, money and energy to create something very special in their community.

If you’ve ever been to Nocona, it’s a very scenic city with trees, hills and of course Lake Nocona. but what’s even more beautiful is the bond of the people who call it home, who helped bring back a place long forgotten.

“We’re very excited that we’re going to have this opportunity to have a place to come and meet and visit and get together again, something that we’ve missed for that last 10 years,” said Janee Hill, a Nocona resident.

“We felt like it might be an opportunity for us to do something for the community and where we could have a place, a gathering place,” said Randy Hill, a resident of Nocona.

While it’s called The Gathering Place now, it was once a marina and a diner that sat vacant for 20 years.

“There was insulation falling from the ceiling, it had a lot of holes in the roof,” said Janee Hill.

Janee and Randy Hill purchased the property last November and had a vision on what they could do with the building in March.

“Randy thought I was crazy and as we just started pulling together a budget, I said I think we can make it happen,” said Janee Hill.

With a new metal roof, the Gathering Place is ready to be enjoyed by neighbors new and old that used to go to the Nocona Country Club which is now closed

“We used to have dances, large dances once a month,” said. “Everybody came, it was a great way and this is large enough for a dance,” said Pat Vanness, a resident of Nocona.

Tucked away in the quietness of Lake Nocona, that special place has found a new home once again in just four weeks. While it’s just the beginning, it’s taken a whole community to get there.

“I think the first Saturday we had six people show up the next Saturday we had 12 the next Saturday we had 18 and so it’s gradually gaining momentum,” said Randy Hill.

“We are truly blessed that they’ve chosen this community,” said Vanness.

“Ultimately, we want to have roll-up garage doors, we want to have picnic tables, just again more things that can bring people together,” said Janee Hill.

Janee Hill and her neighbors were decorating and adding finishing touches on Friday for the first of many community events.

A fundraiser at the Gathering Place is happening on Saturday to help raise money for the Nocona Hills Volunteer Fire Department.

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