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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Fort Worth

Fort Worth




Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly 300 square miles (780 km2) in Tarrant, Denton, and Wise counties, serving as the seat for Tarrant County.

The city was established in 1849 as an Army outpost on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River. Today Fort Worth still embraces its Western heritage and traditional architecture and design. USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is the first ship of the United States Navy named after the city.

The history of Fort Worth, is closely intertwined with the history of northern Texas and the history of the Texan frontier. From its early history as an outpost and a barrier against Native American threats, to its later days as a booming cattle town, to modern times as a corporate center, the city has changed dramatically, although it still preserves much of its heritage in its modern culture.

In January 1849, U.S. Army General William Jenkins Worth, an admired veteran of the Mexican-American War, proposed building ten forts to mark where the west Texas frontier began from Eagle Pass to the confluence of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. Worth died on 7 May 1849 from cholera and General William S. Harney assumed Worth's position and ordered Major Ripley A. Arnold to find a new fort site near the confluence of the West and Clear Forks. On 6 June 1849, Arnold established a post on the banks of the Trinity and named it Camp Worth in honor of the recently passed General. In August 1849, Arnold moved the camp to a north-facing bluff that overlooked the mouth of the Clear Fork. The US War Department officially granted the name "Fort Worth" to the post on 14 November 1849.

Pioneers began to settle in the area around Fort Worth even though Native Americans were still a considerable threat. In the process of relocating the camp to the bluff, Arnold found George "Press" Farmer living there and allowed him to open the first sutler's store. When a new line of forts was built further west, the U.S. Army evacuated Fort Worth on 17 September 1853. The settlers decided that with no one there to argue with them, they could take unopposed possession of the fort site. 

In 1855, a battle over the placement of the county seat erupted. Since 1849 the county seat had been Birdville, but in 1855 Fort Worth citizens decided that the honor of county seat belonged to their town. After a long fight, Fort Worth gained the title in 1860 and construction began on a stone county courthouse. After a delay due to the Civil War, the courthouse was completed in the 1870s.

Fort Worth had slaves in its antebellum period. In 1860, Tarrant County had 5,170 whites and 850 slaves. When the question came to secede from the Union, most citizens were for secession, and Tarrant County voted for disunion with the North. The effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction nearly wiped Fort Worth off the map during the 1860s. The city's population dropped as low as 175 and food, supply, and money shortages burdened the citizens. As the War's effects began to fade, so did the city's hardships, and it gradually began to revive itself into the 1870s. 

Fort Worth went from a sleepy outpost to a bustling town when it became a stop along the legendary Chisholm Trail, the dusty path on which millions of head of cattle were driven north to market. Fort Worth became the center of the cattle drives, and later, the ranching industry. Its location on the Old Chisholm Trail helped establish Fort Worth as a trading and cattle center and earned it the nickname "Cowtown".  Fort Worth had a knack for separating cattlemen from their money. Cowboys took full advantage of their last brush with civilization before the long drive on the Chisholm Trail from Fort Worth up north to Kansas. They stocked up on provisions from local merchants, visited the colorful saloons for a bit of gambling and carousing, then galloped northward with their cattle only to whoop it up again on their way back. 

The town soon became home to Hell's Half Acre, the biggest collection of bars, dance halls and bawdy houses south of Dodge City, Kansas (the northern terminus of the Chisholm Trail), giving Fort Worth the nickname of "The Paris of the Plains". Crime was rampant, and certain sections of town were off-limits for proper citizens. Shootings, knifings, muggings and brawls became a nightly occurrence. Cowboys were joined by a motley assortment of buffalo hunters, gunmen, adventurers, and crooks. As the importance of Fort Worth as a crossroads and cowtown grew, so did Hell's Half Acre.

A major reform campaign in the late 1880s was brought on by Mayor Broiles and County Attorney R. L. Carlock after two events. In the first of these, on February 8, 1887, Luke Short and Jim Courtright had a shootout on Main Street that left Courtright dead and Short the "King of Fort Worth Gamblers." Although the fight did not occur in the Acre, it focused public attention on the city's underworld. A few weeks later, a poor prostitute known only by the name of Sally was found murdered and nailed to an outhouse door in the Acre.

These two events, combined with the first prohibition campaign in Texas, helped to shut down the Acre's worst excesses in 1889. More than any other factor, urban growth began to improve the image of the Acre, as new businesses and homes moved into the south end of town.


Fort Worth's rough-and-tumble history as a frontier town, dusty and lawless, home to the brave and the brawling, the soldier, the frontiersman, the outlaw. has defined what the city is today. Cowboys and Culture isn't just a tagline, it's a way of life for the citizens and provides a completely unique guest experience. Nowhere else can you find the western heritage that is so quintessentially Texas, beautifully preserved and honored through the Stockyards National Historic District and Sundance Square in Downtown.

In contrast it's frontier past, the city now has a reputation for being safe and friendly and makes it a perfect getaway for families. The Fort Worth Zoo is a top five zoo in the nation and a national draw, and the proximity to major league attractions like Texas Motor Speedway, Rangers Ballpark, Cowboys Stadium and Six Flags makes it the perfect place to stay.

When the sun goes down, Fort Worth really comes alive. In downtown, Sundance Square provides sidewalks filled with people on the town, enjoying the many Fort Worth nightlife opportunities such as nightclubs, restaurants, movies and live theaters. In the Stockyards District, there's always plenty of fun brewing in the Western-style saloons. And Billy Bob's Texas, voted country music's club of the year a whopping 11 times, hosts the biggest names in the business every weekend, and has live bull-riding shows on Friday and Saturday night. Merle Haggard set a world record here when he bought the entire club a round of drinks. Life as a country-music fan is not complete unless you've visited the "World's Largest Honky-Tonk," where legends are made. Fort Worth nightlife also has a proud musical tradition. Across the city, you'll find national and local acts performing in a wide variety of venues — from roadhouses to refined concert halls.

Fort Worth is also a simply super place to shop. The city offers something for every taste and budget, making it one of the Southwest's finest destinations for shopping. With national department stores, one-of-a-kind boutiques, upscale shops and antique stores offering everything from authentic Western gear to the latest fashions, Fort Worth shopping has it all. The city is also home to some of the best malls in North Texas.

Sundance Square


                                                        Fort Worth’s Top 5:
       
  1. The Tarrant County Courthouse, part of the Tarrant County government campus, was designed by the architecture firm of Frederick C. Gunn & Louis Curtiss and built by the Probst Construction Company of Chicago, 1893-1895. This pink Texas granite building, in Renaissance Revival style, closely resembles the Texas State Capitol with the exception of the clock tower. The cost was $408,840 USD and citizens considered it such a public extravagance that a new County Commissioners' Court was elected in 1894. The Tarrant County Courthouse currently houses the Tarrant County clerk's office, probate and county courts at law, a law library, and the Tarrant County facilities management department.
  2. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is located on 1600 Gendy Street, in the city's Cultural District. It was opened in 1945 as the Fort Worth Children's Museum and moved to its current location in 1954. In 1968, the museum adopted its current name. Attractions at the museum include the Noble Planetarium and the Omni Theater, with a Star's Cafe and A Shop Too! Gift Shop, in addition to both traveling and permanent science and history exhibits. In the fall of 2007, the museum was closed for renovations. The entire museum was moved into a new building at the same site in 2009. The new building, was designed by architects Legorreta + Legorreta with Gideon Toal and consists of 166,000 square feet. The total maximum occupancy is 3,369 individuals. The museum's grand opening after renovations was on Friday, November 20, 2009.
  3. Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House Built in 1899, Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House is Fort Worth's premier example of Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture. Turrets, gables, copper finials, a slate tile roof and a porch of red sandstone and marble highlight the late-Victorian exterior. The interior includes original ornate oak mantles, cornices, coffered ceilings, paneling and parquet floors. The house is available for individual and group tours.
  4. Log Cabin Village.  Experience the sights, sounds and smells of 19th-century Texas! Nestled on three acres, Log Cabin Village consists of nine historic structures dating back to the mid-1800s. Texas history comes to life through the authentic log homes and artifacts, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, smokehouse, water-powered gristmill and herb garden. Interact with historical interpreters as they demonstrate various frontier chores like candle making, spinning and weaving.
  5. Sundance Square is the name of an area in downtown Fort Worth. Named after the Sundance Kid in western folklore, it is a popular place for nightlife and entertainment in Fort Worth and for tourists visiting the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The area includes numerous hotels, restaurants, condos, lofts, shops, museums, bars, clubs, movie theatres, performing arts, concerts and festivals throughout the year. The former downtown Woolworth's Building, as well as Burk Burnett Building], are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A mural on one building commemorates the Fort Worth segment of the Chisholm Trail cattle drives of 1867-1875.




References: http://www.fortworth.com
                 http://fortworthtexas.gov/


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