Vernon community host cleanup for The Pants Factory

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:38 PM CDT
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VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - Plans to restore and rebuild a piece of Vernon’s history are officially in motion.

Community members got down and dirty to clear out the city’s old pants factory.

Organizers share this building holds a lot of memories.

This factory was constructed back in 1948, and there hasn’t been a business using the property for decades, but after a year of deliberating with city officials, the project is now in its first phase.

“Yes it’s a part of Vernon history, Texas history, but really it’s a part of American history.” Organizer of the cleanup Trevor Fulkerson shared.

In the past, this building was known for stitching together pants for the Boy Scouts of America.

The plant employed more than 300 people in Wilbarger County.

”I’ve heard, “Hey my grandma worked there, I worked there, my aunt, my uncle whatever, but I love hearing those stories it’s a huge part of the community. Fulkerson revealed.

Fulkerson said the community’s support behind this project is invaluable.

“I just love how supportive everyone has been from the city to the county, and the local businesses and it’s kind of exciting to bring all of that together.”

All 80,000 square feet were once used as a shelter for the 1979 Red River Valley Tornado Outbreak, protecting more than 100 families.

Head Baseball Coach for Vernon College Devin McIntosh said having his team volunteer for the cleanup also means sharing the history of the place he calls home.

”Especially when you see in many towns around here the old buildings that have been sitting for a while, and you kind of wonder what the story is behind them. So, to play a very small part in coming here, helping with the clean up and revitalizing this building is a great opportunity for our guys.” McIntosh explained.

Fulkerson hopes restoring the building could provide a boost to the local economy.

“Really great as far as the utilization. It’s going to be perfect for who it’s perfect for, and I think it’ll be a big boom for the community, and I’m just real excited to keep putting the pieces together ”

He’s got a plan for the item that has been left behind for more than 25 years.

“I got ‘Hey, my grandma worked there, I’d just love a piece of the sewing machine or a piece of wood from the floor.’ That really fires me up and puts a smile on my face knowing I can be a part of that It was hardwood floors in there the old growth great hardwood that you can’t get anywhere today. We’re going to make some stuff out of that you know cutting boards or mementos.”

There is no set time when this project will be complete, or a set business they will take over the property at the moment.

Organizers are just happy to get started on making the building suitable for a new business.

To learn more about the building click here.