Rebuilding Dougherty's Past

10-13-05 - Residents of Dougherty have new hope for the town after a fire three months ago destroyed a building that established the city back in 1887.

With the lift of a beam, construction breathed new life into the 188 year old building Wednesday.

Behind it all is a local Dougherty resident.

"It meant a lot to me to be able to do it," Donnie Busby said. "That's why I got a hold of them yesterday. It meant a lot to me to come down here and do it myself."

Now they are recreating the second floor and Thursday they will start on the roof.

"I have goose bumps chills," building owner Joan Riddle said. "I'm sad, happy, remembering ... all sort of things are going through my mind."

Three months ago the town watched in horror as flames destroyed history. It has served as a drug store, a movie theatre and a post office.

Riddle has a connection to this building that runs deeper than most because her mother was Postmaster for four decades.

As the crew mends this building, they are also mending the broken hearts of Dougherty residents and keeping the town alive.

"It keeps us on the map and we don't lose our history," Dougherty resident Cheri Laux said.

"If they hadn't built it back I fell like the town would have deteriorated I really do," Dougherty resident Barbara Veal said.

As for what the building will be used for once it's rebuilt, the owner says she's still waiting for God to tell her.

The construction crew plans to finish the building by the end of next week. All the items being used to rebuild are inflammable.