The Allreds: ‘Who’da thought?’
Story by Steve Nussbaum | Photos by Erika Carter
Rusty and Melinda Allred’s premier west side lot features a gorgeous cliff line with great views of Broadway and huge oak trees.
Every issue of PK Magazine features an iconic home on Possum Kingdom Lake, and this issue shines a spotlight on the incredible home of Rusty and Melinda Allred.
The couple’s 8,500-square-foot dwelling and accompanying 3,300-square-foot “man cave” were constructed in 2012 by local builder David Johnson. This unique dwelling is located on the west side of Possum Kingdom Lake and sits on an elevated lot along the rocky shoreline. The lot has access to the lake and features incredible views of Broadway and Possum Kingdom State Park.
The Allreds grew up in Stanton, Texas, and both said they came from very humble beginnings.
“We were poor,” Rusty Allred said. “Our home didn’t even have heating or air conditioning.”
Beginning in 1965, Melinda Allred and her family traveled to Possum Kingdom Lake several times a year to go camping at Possum Kingdom State Park. For her family, these were the only vacations they could afford.
She said she and Rusty Allred knew each other their whole lives but didn’t start dating until just after graduating from high school.
Melinda Allred said that she and her husband-to-be “always flirted” and added that she knew she was going to marry him all the way back in fifth grade.
For his part, Rusty Allred said he was never much of a student, recalling that one of his teachers told him that “if he didn’t straighten up, he’d be digging ditches his whole life.”
In a way, that’s exactly what happened.
Rusty Allred said that when he caught up with that teacher years later, the teacher acknowledged that he had done well, and added, “Who’d have thought?”
The couple’s path from Stanton to Possum Kingdom was constructed through many years of hard work. Both started working in the oilfield business right out of high school, as neither could afford to go to college. They started their oilfield construction business as a “side hustle” while working their day jobs: Rusty Allred as a mechanic, and Melinda Allred pumping wells. Their oilfield construction business started in 1994 with five employees, themselves included, and grew to more than 200 employees by 2013.
While building their business in West Texas, the Allreds bought a nice weekend abode, with the intention of constructing their dream home after selling their business and moving to PK full time. They were always on the lookout for properties and knew Johnson built very nice homes at Possum Kingdom.
One day the Allreds approached Johnson about building their dream home, and he suggested a visit to a lot that, according to legend, was owned at one time by members of the
The outdoor kitchen features more stone and wooden timbers with great lake views. Featured here are David Johnson, Home builder, left and Melinda and Rusty Allred, right.
Hunt family of Hunt Oil Co. fame. The original property now consists of three lots, but it once was a compound of small white cabins built on the scenic cliff line. The homes overlooked the cliff, with a swimming pool built right up next to the cliff line, and the wall of that original pool facing the cliff still stands today; it’s part of the retaining wall that surrounds the property. Legend has it that the guest list included notable celebrities such as Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby and Elizabeth Taylor.
The Allreds came away impressed after viewing the property. Rusty Allred said he remembered walking the lot, making his way to the lake and seeing the awesome view, while Melinda Allred said the distinct oak trees on the property stood out in her mind. They told Johnson that whatever construction that had to be done on the lot would have to be done around the oaks because, as Melinda Allred put it, “When you’re from Stanton, you don’t take trees for granted.”
The couple made an offer on the lot the very next day.
That same day, as they were driving to Oklahoma City, Rusty Allred turned to his wife and said, “I hope we haven’t made the dumbest mistake of our lives.”
Johnson described the couple as unique clients, adding that the Allreds were in the middle of selling their business in West Texas at the time and were very hands-off in the construction process. The only request he said Rusty Allred had was a big enough “man cave” for his motorhome, speedboat and fishing boat, while Melinda Allred’s only specifications were for the size of the slats on the wood shutters, as well as the inclusion of an ice and water dispenser on the refrigerator. All the other details for the home were left for Johnson to decide.
Johnson said the Allreds wanted the project done in months, not years, as they were ready to move to PK, so the key was making sure all the trade workers got paid weekly. Much to the chagrin of the Allreds’ banker, the couple set up a joint bank account with Johnson, and Melinda Allred made sure there always was money in the account to finish the project as quickly as possible.
Once the plans were approved, construction on the home wrapped up after just nine months.
Rusty Allred had said he wanted the coolest house on the lake, and that’s what Johnson delivered. To this day, the Allred and Johnson families remain great friends.
At the front of the Allreds’ property is the aforementioned “man cave,” with the main house set at the back of the property along the cliff line. The main house, patios and guest quarters measure more than 8,500 square feet under roof.
The main house, which can be described as “rustic elegance,” is what one might expect when hearing that description, with a large open living room, dining room and kitchen space. The space has towering ceilings and huge beams throughout, anchored by a large stone fireplace at one end and a gourmet kitchen at the other.
To the left of this space is the master bedroom, with high ceilings and incredible wood beams, as well as two guest bedrooms, each with its own lake view and en suite bathroom.
A breezeway on the side of the property leads to a large guest house designed for the couple’s son, Dex, his wife, Hollie, and their two daughters: Paisyn, age 12, and Falynn, age 9. This elegant space has a living room, kitchen, master bedroom and a “bunk room” for the girls.
Melinda Allred said she didn’t want the guest house when Johnson first suggested it, but she now admits that it was a great idea.
On the other side of the kitchen is one of the most unusual rooms of the house. It’s the bar space, which is filled with memorabilia the couple have collected over the years. The most obvious items are the horse racing awards, pictures and trophies that adorn the walls and detail an important facet of the Allreds’ lives.
Another unique collectible on display is a map with little plane pins on it. The map represents all the locations the Allreds have landed in their private King Air on many of their trips.
Yet another collectible proudly displayed in the couple’s bar space is a simple ceramic Texas flag plate that was given to the Allreds after a chance meeting with a group of handicapped adults in San Antonio. While eating dinner at a high-end Italian restaurant, the couple noticed a nearby table of about 10 handicapped adults having dinner with their caretakers. Rusty Allred told the waiter that he wanted to pay for the group’s dinner, but what he didn’t know is that the entire group wrapped around the corner of the restaurant and included about 45 people. Those diners were from a group home, and they only got to take a limited number of excursions every year.
When the Allreds picked up the tab for their dinner that night, it allowed those group home members to take an additional trip that year, so the Texas plate was sent to the couple as a thank-you gift.
Off the main living space is the outdoor area, which is surrounded by a large outdoor kitchen and another add-on suggested by Johnson: the pool. Initially, Rusty Allred didn’t see the need for a pool, since the lake was right out the couple’s back door, but he now admits that the pool was a good decision. The lake, and the home’s dramatic dock, are accessible down a small path.
More horse racing awards and pictures can be found in the “man cave” at the top of the property. It’s a huge finished space that houses the couple’s boats and other lake toys, but there’s still plenty of room both for entertaining and a full-sized golf simulator, too. The space is so large that the Allreds also have a large jump-around blow-up structure that can be used by their grandchildren.
Those who walk around the space can’t help but notice the large number of family pictures the Allreds also have on display. Their PK home is the epicenter of all their family get-togethers, and their two granddaughters are their pride and joy, so they love having them visit at the lake.
When the Allreds aren’t playing hosts for family events at their Possum Kingdom home, they often can be found traveling to various horse races. The importance of horse racing is reflected throughout the Allreds’ home, even though they don’t currently own any racehorses. Since 2008 they’ve owned several horses that have won 53 separate races, and their most prolific winning equine was a filly named Fernweh, which was bred just east of Graford. Fernweh has won more than $1.6 million in career earnings and at one time was considered the fastest filly in the world.
The Allreds say their lives has been blessed, but those blessings were the result of years of hard work. Nowadays they can enjoy their ultimate PK lifestyle in a home that not only is luxurious, but also built for friends and family to relax and enjoy all that PK has to offer. From their humble beginnings, the Allreds would be the first to say, “Who’d have thought?”
The original property was thought to have been home to legendary Texas oil family, Hunt Oil Company.
It was the majestic oak trees that first sold The Allreds on the PK lot. Melinda Allred says, “When you’re from Stanton, TX, you don’t take trees for granted.