To Live and Love in an Old Ice House; Borger’s Historic Hidden Jewel
For such a small town, Borger, Texas is full of surprises.
Spilled into the hilly scrubland north of Amarillo, the town of 13,000 is steeped in rowdy history. But beyond the wild tales of bootleggers and moonshine that have long since returned to dust, there are pieces of a Borger's history that are still standing--and sometimes hiding in plain sight.
Take, for example, the Old Ice House at 625 Whittenburg. Not to be confused with the historic ice house that is a prominent fixture on Main Street, the Ice House on Whittenburg is tucked away from the plain view of traffic.
"The realtors told me that the El Reno Ice House on Main street were the main offices," said Kaci Walden, who now lives in the converted factory. "But this--this was the factory. This was where everything happened."
Built in 1927 amid the early boomtown days of Borger, deliveries were made by horse and wagon. The original structure was made of sheet metal and only bricked in 1940.
The Old Ice House as it stands today is the love child of Glenda and Tom Brownlee. The couple purchased the home in December 1991 when it was still very much an outdated industrial factory.
The couple quickly went to work, tearing out old structures, replacing, and updating. Their mission was to make the home their own. According to Glenda, they had approached the Texas Historical Commission about receiving a grant for the remodel.
"If we did that, they would have the last say," said Glenda, who now lives directly across the street from her former home. "Tommy said no. It's our home, we're going to do what we love.'"
It's our home, we're going to do what we love.
And inside the old ice house on Whittenburg, it is clear as present day that Tommy and Glenda's labor was one of pure love. The structure itself still tells the tale of it former factory days while housing all the accoutrements of a modern place one can call home.
While Glenda has now moved across the street, she has kept a warm and watchful eye on her old ice house through the years. When Kaci Walden moved in two years ago, she instantly took to the young mother, who in turn has devoted herself to the care and upkeep of her ice house.
Take a look at what an old factory an be transformed into, you'll love what's in store.