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  • Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District Fort Worth Stockyard National Historic District Fort Worth, Texas
    The stockyards of Fort Worth has become the history book of the incredible livestock business that thrived for many decades in Texas, and each chapter is shown by the bricks and mortar buildings that still stand along with the people, corrals and music that is still alive and well in the Stockyards of today. These yards have held all kinds of people, like cattlemen, bankers, bartenders and cowboys, butchers, skinners, bookkeepers, horse traders, harlots, harness makers, mule dealers and hog dealers, all striving to make a living that would leave them time to enjoy their particular type of lifestyle. Starting just after the end of the Civil War, and continuing until the years after the second World War, this livestock business was an enormous part of the city and state's economy; affecting just about everyone's lives. The testimonials of those living and working there now is just the faintest reflection of the hardy spirit of these folks, that came here for whatever reasons and stayed to help the business grow, evolve and finally thrive, in a world that has embraced technology with both arms and all their minds, becoming almost oblivious to anything that resembles good honest hard work. It is something that God has asked us all to do, use our hands for constructive purposes, for His work and for the building up of each other. It is sad and unfortunate that the leaders of tomorrow are buried in computers, cell phones, wiis, game boxes and all the rest of the techno gadgets that have taken over their minds. Perhaps, that is their destiny, but it certainly isn't ours, or those of us that love the open ranges, the wide open skies, rivers, valleys, mountains and streams that criss cross our beautiful country. The history of the stockyards is long and hard, just as all the endeavors that helped to build this area and our entire country. Those driving cattle up the Chisholm Trail to the railheads, where they would be loaded on cars to travel to other parts of the country for use in homes, restaurants, hotels and the like, Fort Worth would be the final stopover for supplies and rest before heading into the Indian territory just above the Red River. Between 1866 and 1890, over 4 million cows were driven through the Fort Worth area, eventually becoming called "Cowtown" and the disreputable entertainment district that was some blocks from the courthouse and soon to become known as "hell's half acre". The railroad came here in 1876 and the city soon became the principal shipping station for the cattle. Soon, plans for the Union Stockyards construction appeared in 1887, and these were two and a half miles from the courthouse going into full operation in 1889. Since the company didn't have the money to purchase enough cattle to bring in local ranchers, their president Mike Hurley asked a rich Boston capitalist, Greenlief Simpson to come to the city, hoping that he would invest enough in the stockyards to make this possible. He came just after a big rain, a railroad strike and the pens full, which was quite unusual, but it all came together to help him decide that he should invest in this exciting new venture. Simpson contacted other wealthy men like himself, one, a Boston neighbor, was Louisville V. Niles, whose main business was meatpacking; and in 1893, he bought the stockyards for just over $133,000 and changed the name to the Fort Worth Stockyards Company. It wasn't too long before they realized that it would be better to keep the beef here and raise local packing plants that could process the meat here and then ship it by rail to other parts of the country. Soon, Armour & Co. and Swift & Co. had plants built near the stockyards. As the years passed and the businesses grew, the area became known as the Wall Street of the West.

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  • Amon Carter MuseumAmon Carter Museum Fort Worth, Texas
    Amon G. Carter was a legendary figure in the state's history, and for the biggest part of his life the leading citizen and champion; with his will making it possible for the museum to become a wonderful part of the city that would be devoted to American art. Amon stated that "as a youth, I was denied the advantages which go with the possession of money" in his will, "I am endeavoring to give to those who have not had such advantages, but who aspire to the higher and finer attributes of life, those opportunities which were denied to me". The museum was started to hold his marvelous collection of sculptures and paintings by Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington; to collect, save and showcase the best of American art, as well as creating an educational outlet with exhibits, programs and publications that were and are dedicated to the study and appreciation of American art. Some of the wonderful exhibitions being shown now include; Freedom Now: Tamarind Lithography Workshop, which contains prints from the 1960s that explored the global call for social and political justice, and shows how just a handful of artisans addressed these important themes through their allegory, satire, irony and stark realism; Edward S. Curtis: the North American Indian, which entails his early 1900 ambitious desire to document the American Indian cultures that were spread out across this great land. During the following three decades, Edward took over 40,000 photographs and other collected information that covered over 80 tribes that spanned the Inuit people of the far northern regions to the Hopi Indians of the southwest. Another collection is the Masterworks of American Photography: Popular Culture that was Carter's last photography exhibition. Also is the American Moderns of Paper: Masterworks from the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art that contains the best of pastels, drawings and watercolors from the top avant-garde American artists of their time in the early 20th century including Stuart Davis, Georgia O'Keefe, Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper, which are all part of a rare collection that is seldom shown and is held in the nation's oldest public art museum. The final exhibit is Constructive Spirit: Abstract art in South and North America, 1920-1950s.

January 1, 2011