The last company making ball gloves in the United States is moving, but just down the road!
As we first told you Wednesday, the Nokona Ballglove Company is moving back to the Old Nocona Boot Factory.
The Nokona Ballglove Company has made hand-made leather sporting goods for the last 82 years, right in the heart of Nocona.
From 1927 to 2006, it sat on Walnut Street. Then, a fire forced the company to move to the Old Nocona Boot Factory for two years, before moving to the current location off Clay Street, but now they’re ready to make the old boot factory their permanent home.
“We are very happy that we’ll be joining them out there, and again creating an experience and a very diverse group of things going on in that building,” said Nokona Executive Director Rob Storey. “Bringing that building back to life, because it’s such a iconic part of Nocona and everyone in Nocona is proud of that building. So, we’re happy to get it back to life and put it back to use.”
Working under the late Bob Storey, his son Bobby grew up in the factory. A way of life that was passed down to his son Rob, who says he’s excited for the change.
“We’re still going to make the best gloves that we can, but we’re probably going to have a nicer place for our employers to work,” Storey said. “And again, the folks that come to see us, literally thousands every year, I think they’re going to appreciate it even more because they’re going to be able to expand our tours and our museum facilities and really make it an experience to come out here.”
And Storey said that experience is all thanks to the Morgans, the new owners of the boot factory.
“We are so excited to have the Nokona Ballgloves coming to and to be a part of this historic building and to kind of bring together a history of leather goods and leather making,” said Leigha Morgan. “Even though, the boots aren’t made here anymore, we can still celebrate the history.”
Nocona boots are just a few things that will be housed in the old boot factory. In July, Nocona Beer and Brewery will open it’s doors on the West wing of the building, while their outreach ministry, Hope 29:11, will continue to serve in the back.
And as far as the Nokona gloves, Storey said they have a blank slate to build the factory of their dreams.
The Nokona Ballglove Company hopes to be in the boot factory by August.