Deteriorating Landmark Gets a Lift

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS - It's the oldest house in town and it's falling apart, but a new plan from the city of Andrews is hoping to not only restore the 110 year old piece of history, but move it across town. NewsWest 9 sat down with the two sisters who grew up there.

It's a journey back home. On Thursday, Barbara walked back into her childhood memories, through her bedroom and out to the porch where she used to play.

"The south porch was the gathering spot," Andrews Native, Barbara Tom Jowell, said. "There were a couple beds out there and you slept out there in the summertime."

But what's special about the home may not be seen past the loose boards and deteriorating fixtures. They say, it's Andrews oldest house built back in 1900.

"When mother and daddy came here, all that was in town was the post office," Lowell said. "That was it."

And while it may be empty on the inside, it's full of memories for two Andrews sisters.

"You had a chuck wagon that you'd feed them at noon, and if not, mother or Billie Tom did all the cooking to feed the cowboys at noon," she said. "It was fun. Those were the best memories in the world."

"We used to have a great time, it was fun but it was a lot of work," Billie Tom, who lived in the ranch house said. "It was enjoyable. Everybody helped."

Exxon Mobile now owns the land, but they didn't want to just do-away with the oldest house in town. So the city council decided to pick it up off its foundation and move it into town where they'll restore it and turn it into a museum.

"I was excited!" Tom said. "I could hardly stand to go out there because you know anything that's not occupied just deteriorates so quickly and it really upset me. I was just delighted when I heard there was an interest in doing that."

The city council hopes to move the house to it's new location this coming October. Right now, they're narrowing in on a spot for the ranch house and budgeting about $20,000 for the move.

"We'll let people know when it's going to move down Broadway which is one of our major thorough fairs so they can see history being moved across town," Andrews City Manager, Glen Hackler, said. "I think it's going to be an exciting time and I think thousands of people will line the streets to see the home being moved."

A move that will not only preserve a piece of history, but a bond between two sisters.

"It was a happy house," Tom said.