NOCONA - The Old Nocona Boot Factory building is reopening and the new owners will once again be selling the famous Nocona boots.
Like many others familiar with the history of Nocona boots, Leigha Morgan often wished the Old Boot Factory could reopen someday, but never thought she would be involved in doing it. But hearing travelers and tourists keep asking about where they could buy the boots, she thought reopening would be great for the town.
"You talk to farmers and bull riders, and they love Nocona boots," said Morgan. "There's nothing that fits like a Nocona boot."
So with so many people wanting a good fit, and the empty building being a perfect fit for a new business, Morgan said she and her husband decided it was time to give the old building a new lease on life as a retail outlet.
She contacted Justin Boot Company, which merged with Nocona in 1981, and then moved the Nocona production to El Paso in 1999. And the factory Enid Justin opened in 1925 closed its doors.
"Where I am today standing in this boot store is just, it's a miracle because it's redemption," said Morgan. "We never thought.. I made one phone call to Justin Brands and all of a sudden I'm talking to the salesman. And all of a sudden, we're ordering boots. And now we're in the boot business. We didn't know what we were going to do with this store, and it all just kind of fell into place."
Morgan is an Air Force Vet from Crowley, who had family in Nocona. She said she also grew up working in her uncle's boot shops.
"I really do desire to bring a two-fold redemption. One, to my family, the Morgans and the Morgan name. And then two, to Nocona, Nocona, Texas and to really celebrate the boot making and the leather good and the people who have put in blood, sweat, and tears into Nocona and what is it today. And what it's known for."
And that's something Morgan said she hopes to bring back, but she said they have had some opposition from city leaders.
"We've had some opposition from the city, concerns that the building wasn't safe and talks about shutting our event down. So, we have desperately tried to make everything up to code and safe for the community."
And now they are finishing up the final touches on the Nocona Boot Shop.
"It's been a four to five month ordeal and now that we're here, there's a few things that need to be done still in the main part of the factory. But overall, we're very close. We're very happy that we have this opportunity to give the community back their factory. Give the community back a very historic and nostalgic place back to the community."
The grand opening is tomorrow evening at 5 at the Old Nocona Boot Factory. There is no charge for admission, but they say donations of clothes and food to their outreach ministry, Hope 29:11, are appreciated.
At 7 pm there will be craft beer tasting, a car show, food vendors and a live concert with Dan Johnson.
We reached out to Nocona city officials about the concerns about possible code violations, and were told they have no information on that.
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