THE IRON HORSE TRAIL

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The Iron Horse Trail leads from the south parking lots of Fort Worth's Stockyards to trails along the Trinity River. The Iron Horse Trail begins as a walking tour through the History of Forth Worth, told via large plaques attached to huge boulders, landscaped with cactus and other natural plants. The thumbnails on the left show you what the trail looks like. The hyperlinks in the text on the right open up windows so you can read what is on many of the plaques. When you are done reading you will likely know more about Fort Worth than many natives. And you will have the answer to the question that has long puzzled many, that being how is it that Fort Worth, so far east, is known as "Where the West Begins".

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A Spanish Explorer named Moscoso was the first European presence in the area of a three-branched river named Trinity.

General Edwin H. Tarrant, the namesake of Tarrant County, fought in the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 and in the 1841 Battle of Village Creek in current day Arlington. General Tarrant is buried in Pioneer Rest Cemetery on a bluff overlooking the location of these memorials.

General Williams Jenkins Worth had a fort named after him. He helped rebuild the Alamo and died in San Antonio without ever making it to Fort Worth. General Worth is buried near Times Square in New York City under a 51 foot tall monument. The tallest tombstone in the country. Very fitting for a Texan. But in New York?

Fort Worth defended the new settlers from the sometimes hostile Indians, mainly Comanche's, a very powerful tribe with very good leaders.

Indian campfires could be seen by the early settlers dotting the horizon at night.

In the 1870's the Indians were still quite feisty, defending what they thought was their territory against those who they thought were invaders.

Texas has along history of tough justice. Before lethal injections hanging was the method of choice.

A battle in which whiskey played a role helped determine who won the competition between Fort Worth and Birdville as to which would be the dominant city in Tarrant County. You probably have not heard of Birdville so you can probably guess which city won.

After the Civil War demand for beef exploded, altering the history of Fort Worth forever.

In the 1870s a Fort Worth visionary named B.B. Paddock imagined a system of rail lines to serve the growing beef market. When he drew this on a map someone remarked that it looked like a Tarantula, a name which has stuck to this day. The Tarantula Train still goes from the Stockyards to Grapevine twice a day.

By the 1870s Fort Worth was a major starting point for travelers heading into the western frontier. You could board the world's longest stage line. A 1500 mile journey to Yuma.

Hell's Half Acre was Fort Worth's 'Entertainment District', long before the arrival of a Cultural District. Butch and Sundance spent time here, enough time that the heart of downtown Fort Worth is called Sundance Square.

By the turn of the century the Stockyards zone began its first steps towards becoming the entertaining tourist attraction it is today. The first Stock Show took place in 1896. In 1902 the Livestock Exchange Building opened. And the world's first indoor rodeo took place in the new Cowtown Coliseum.

Fort Worth has come a long ways from its frontier past. But unlike many places, you can still see the past in Fort Worth, much is preserved, much is as it was.

Hope you enjoyed your in depth Fort Worth history lesson....

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