Keepsakes from old Hemphill ISD gym really make the cut

After demolishing the Hemphill high school gym built in 1936, they came up with the idea to use bricks and wood from the historic building to create knives.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:17 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 8:20 PM CDT
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HEMPHILL, Texas (KTRE) - Hemphill ISD found a unique way to hold on to history.

After demolishing the Hemphill high school gym built in 1936, they came up with the idea to use bricks and wood from the historic building to create knives.

Hemphill ISD has anxiously been waiting for these historic knives to be delivered after waiting for them for around eight months.

The district contacted Marvin Mott with TKC Knives to help them preserve Hemphill history.

“They were in the process of tearing down an old gymnasium here that was built in the ‘30′s, and I drove up and we gathered some of the brick and wood from the project and we took it back in and we went through our processes, and we began to build and make the knives,” Mott said.

The school district decided they would offer each organization the opportunity to sell the knives as a fundraiser.

They have sold 600 knives to people in the community who wanted to keep a piece of the historic building.

The knives are made of bricks and wood from the building, but also have the school’s name and mascot engraved on the blade.

“You aren’t just building a knife, you are building a piece of history, and we do a certificate of authenticity with it, that has a picture of the building that it came out of and a little story on the backside of it that talks about the history of the building and where it came from and where it was built it’s a lot of fun to do these,” Mott said.

President of the school board Kim Scales says people were upset the gym was being torn down. But they are enjoying the knife and the history behind it even after the long wait.

“I’ve not heard a negative thing about it, even after the wait; we’ve had a good response and people say ‘oh these are beautiful and worth the wait,’” Scales said,

Scales also says that the history of the wood used in the knives goes beyond being in the gym.

“An old lumber industry, that was the originally Temple lumber industry, started here in east Mayfield and this community and this building, the original gym was built out of some of that wood from back in the ‘30′s. Which is estimated started to grow back in the 1700′s. So that is a part of history that was huge back in the day here in Hemphill that’s gone as well,” Scales said.

The school is taking orders now for a second batch of knives.

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