Historic home acquires new property
White-Pool House Museum board members purchased additional property to beautify and expand the services of the oldest structure in Ector County.
The museum is a Texas Archaeological Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historical Places, their website states.
Mike Pool, a White-Pool House Museum board member and relative of the property’s 1923 owner, Oso Pool, said that the property and original ranch house has a past that extends further back than Odessa’s oil boom history.
“There’s a lot of heritage in it and it’s an outstanding place for Odessa history,” Pool said.
Chairman of the White-Pool House Museum board, Christine Holcomb, said demolition began Monday and they are expected to complete their project by the end of the week, which involves tearing down a small building at 407 S. Grant Ave.
“We need some space for parking at the museum and not only that,” Holcomb said, “this strip along Grant Avenue has been an eyesore for many years.”
Pool said that by acquiring the new Grant Avenue property, the White-Pool House has its hand in the current revitalization of downtown Odessa as well.
Holcomb said the White-Pool property was once an “amazing place with orchards and gardens,” on 640 acres of land, and she looks forward to continuing to transform it into a piece that really welcomes people to Odessa.
“It use to be that place on the hill, it was the first real residence here in Odessa (built in 1887) and it sits on the highest natural point,” Holcomb said.
The museum has received extra attention and updates for the past few years to accommodate the needs of the public. A Victorian gazebo and bridal room were added for those renting the venue space, they replaced their windmill tower and almost 50 trees were planted to create what Holcomb describes as a “small forest” on the lot in the upcoming years. Holcomb said that the museum has seen a spike in visitors reaching almost 10,000 people annually, which she attributes primarily to the increase in weekly venue bookings.
“It’s about getting people here and to care about this landmark,” Holcomb said. “We’re starting to say here we are and people are starting to take a second look.”
Bobbie Duncan, White-Pool House Museum board member, said that the museum’s significance in Odessa might be underplayed because not all citizens understand the history behind it.
“We have to preserve the history of the city, it’s very important,” Duncan said. “White-Pool House is the perfect place for people to know how the city began.”
Duncan said that they have partnered with the Texas Scholars Program to allow local high school students the opportunity to volunteer at the property while appreciating the history behind it.
“Who knows, maybe someday they will be the ones helping us to maintain it,” Duncan said.