CHIPLEY - The old Chipley ice house has been laid to rest.
The building, which was built in 1913 and was originally Chipley Light and Power and the city's ice plant, was demolished Monday. According to city officials, the project started later than expected because of the the discovery of asbestos. The delay occurred partly because Department of Environmental Protection had to issue a clearance due to the asbestos, which was followed up by a led and asbestos mitigation and abatement.
It could be said the thing that made it distinctively Chipley's was also the cause for its end.
"One of the things that we're most proud of are the bricks - they were made in Chipley," Washington County Historic Society President Dorothy Odom previously said of the ice house. "It's because it was made from the bricks that were made in Chipley that it's going - because they crumble."
Several months ago, the city council approved about $10,000 to have the building demolished because it was too costly to maintain or restore the building.
However, there has been discussion about plans to do something else with the property.
At meetings leading up to the final decision to demolish the building, the city council mentioned a committee had been established to draw up a cost effective plan for an attraction at the new location. Some ideas included a walking park, a pavilion, a sitting area, and other ideas that could keep the historical integrity and usefulness of the lot. It will be up to the city council for the way forward.
According to Elaine Engram, whose father once worked for CPL, the building housed the County Public Health unit, public library, a jewelry store, Council on Aging and the city police department.
Perhaps one of its most notable uses came in 1926 when Gulf Power Company purchased Chipley Light and Power Company, which made Gulf Power become "an actual operating public utility," according to the company's website.
In the 1960's, a fire burnt the north end of the building. The historical society operated out of the building from 1986 to 2011.
"It was a building that served as our community center for the community for so long," said Odom said. "It was all things that drew the community in."
"And it would still today if it wasn't for the integrity of the building."