Historic Fort Worth

A Very Brief History of Fort Worth

One hundred and fifty years ago, Major General William Jenkins Worth—the city’s namesake—and his men built Fort Worth as an outpost. It quickly became known as a cattle town, playing host to passing cattle drives and wayward cowboys.

Fort Worth is now an international city with a keen appreciation of its history. Of all Fort Worth’s neighborhood communities, nowhere is its rich history more evident than in the areas of the Near Southside, especially the Historic Fairmount neighborhood, and the neighborhoods surrounding the red bricks of Camp Bowie Boulevard, specifically Arlington Heights.

Near Southside: Historic Fairmount

Fairmount has been named one of the 10 Best Comeback Neighborhoods by Southern Living Magazine in its January 2010 issue.

The Fairmount National Historic District, just two miles from downtown, is a diverse neighborhood and contains one of the nation’s richest collections of turn of the century houses. Fairmount was platted between 1883 and 1907, and at the time was a fashionable neighborhood. As recognized by the National Register of Historic Places the neighborhood has roughly 1,016 historic buildings still intact as well as the largest concentration of houses dating from 1905 to 1920.

To learn more about the numerous renovation and historic restoration projects for Southside – http://www.fortworthsouth.org/FWS/renovation-historic-restoration.html

Lillard's Barbeque and Magnolia Service Station on Magnolia Ave, circa 1920

Martha Washington Candies at 1412 Magnolia Ave, circa 1920

Historic Arlington Heights & Camp Bowie

In 1917, as America was mobilizing for World War I, the U.S. War Department created a military camp named Camp Bowie, naming it after Captain Jim Bowie, one of the defenders of the Alamo. The camp was home to the Army’s 36th Infantry Division and encompassed more than 2,000 acres. When the war ended, the land was converted from a military camp to residential housing through the vision of urban planner George E. Kessler. In 1919, what was nine miles of unpaved street was officially named Camp Bowie Boulevard in honor of the soldiers and the original camp.

In the early 1930s, thousands of red bricks were laid along the path to provide a more durable driving surface. These red bricks are still seen and appreciated today, as is the spirit of Kessler’s vision. Ongoing beautification of the boulevard itself, along with a host of new residential and retail developments, has enabled Camp Bowie to regain its former prominence as Fort Worth’s street of dreams. Learn more about the Camp Bowie – http://www.museumplace.com/about/history/

Old Montgomery Ward on 7th St.

Camp Bowie Boulevard at Hulen St., circa 1927