Fort Worth for History Buffs: A Guide
Are you looking for an exciting historic destination? Visit Fort Worth, Texas, for a unique taste of not only the city’s history but that of the United States. Around town, you will find a wealth of fun learning opportunities for history buffs of all ages. Here are five suggestions for historical sites to visit in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Enjoy the fascinating beauty of the oldest botanic garden in Texas during any season of the year. Founded in 1934 and initially called Rock Springs Arboretum, Fort Worth Botanic Garden features more than 2,500 species of plants in its 23 specialty gardens. The most popular gardens include a four seasons garden with a meandering brook, a Japanese garden with ponds and maples, and a fragrance garden. Schedule a trip to the world-renowned Japanese Garden, where the koi-filled pools, sculptured hillsides, dramatic waterfalls, and crafted stonework create a breathtaking display of exotic conservation.
Alternatively, you might choose to explore the winding paths of tropical foliage within the conservatory. Other places to see include the public perennial trial garden, naturalized areas, butterfly exhibit, and vistas. After visiting this living museum, you’ll walk away with a renewed appreciation for nature. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is normally open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Log Cabin Village
Go back in time to experience life in the 19th century by visiting the Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. This living history museum features a variety of historic structures that have been meticulously restored and relocated to this site. Each one is furnished with authentic artifacts that provide a glimpse into the mid-1800s North Texas frontier.
The various log houses exhibit different aspects of pioneer living. Texas’ history comes to life vividly through features such as a water-powered gristmill, a blacksmith’s shop, numerous log home settings, an herb garden, and a single-room schoolhouse.
Interact with historical interpreters to learn about the lifestyle of the people who lived and settled in the area in the mid- to late-19th century. In particular, you will learn about various frontier tasks such as spinning, weaving, and candle-making. The Village is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It remains closed on Mondays.
Thistle Hill House Museum
Become one of the few to venture beyond the standard tour to Fort Worth by visiting the Thistle Hill House. It is one of the premier residential landmarks in the city and the most stirring surviving mansions from the “cattle baron” era. This historic Georgian Revival mansion that belonged to two prominent Fort Worth families has been lovingly conserved with period furnishings. Here, you will get the chance to explore the carriage house, basement, and the third floor while learning how the family and staff lived.
The residence, alleged to be haunted, has an elegant oak grand staircase and interesting details such as eight fireplaces, gas lighting, and built-in closets with intricate woodwork. During the 45-minute guided tour, you can peek into the nooks and crannies of the house as you listen to some of the historic and ghastly stories only the staff can tell. The house is usually open for individual and group tours Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.
Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
Experience a taste of the true American West by visiting this former home of cowboys, outlaws, and cattlemen. You can enjoy the district’s historic buildings, salons, shops, and restaurants day and night. Witness the Fort Worth Herd — a highly entertaining cattle drive — at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., visit the world’s first indoor arena, take in a concert and two-step at Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk, and tour the Stockyards Museum. You can even grab a beer at the White Elephant Saloon, which boasts of being the oldest bar in Fort Worth.
A trip to the district isn’t complete without witnessing the bulls and broncs versus the cowboys at the weekly Stockyards Championship Rodeo. You can also take mementos home by shopping for authentic boots, apparel, and hats at shops such as Maverick Fine Western Wear, Stockyards Station, M.L. Leddy’s, and Fincher’s White Front Western Wear. If you decide to make it a family affair, you can treat your kids to the Stockyards petting zoo, Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, or a ride on the Grapevine Heritage Railroad. Most of these attractions are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House
Constructed in 1899, this historic site was Fort Worth’s second property to be labeled a City of Fort Worth Landmark in 1980. The Ball-Eddleman-McFarland House exhibits the city’s premier example of Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture. The house, which overlooks the Trinity River, features copper finials, turrets, a porch of red sandstone and marble, gables, and a tile roof that emphasizes the late-Victorian exterior. As for the interior, you will get the opportunity to enjoy authentic ornate oak mantles, coffered ceilings, cornices, and parquet floors.
The house offers both individual and group tours Wednesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. You can also rent the house for intimate ceremonies in the cozy back and front parlors. In case of larger events, you can set up a tent on the brick patio and use the house’s elegant dining room as a buffet station. Renting the home for several hours gives you the flexibility to choose your own event professionals and enjoy the historic site to its fullest.
Get the most out of your trip to Fort Worth by visiting one or all of these five historic sites. Add even more excitement to your tours by driving a pre-owned Tucson Eco AWD 4D after viewing our Hiley Hyundai of Fort Worth inventory. What are some of your favorite historic sites around Fort Worth? Feel free to let us know what we should add to this list!
Image via Flickr by BFS Man