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Photo Adventure – Fort Worth Stockyards

Photo Adventure – Fort Worth Stockyards

I won’t lie.  I’m more than a little passionate about Fort Worth.  It has been my home for a combined 25 years, and it is and will always be my hometown.  Our family could live anywhere in the United States, and we choose to live in Fort Worth.  It seems like the city is undergoing a bit of a revival (especially in the Near Northside, Trinity, and Sundance Square areas) with the goal of getting a little hipper.

But the area that has the most charm for me, and the one we return to the most often, is the Fort Worth Stockyards.  The Stockyards are chock full of history and the western feel you expect from Fort Worth.  For almost a hundred and fifty years it has been the lifeblood of the city. Even though we’ve moved away from our humble cowtown roots the area is what makes Fort Worth truly unique.  Fingers crossed we never lose the western spirit of the historic Stockyards, no matter how hip the rest of the city gets.

A little fast history on the Fort Worth Stockyards, courtesy of Wikipedia :

The arrival of railroads in 1876 made the area a very important livestock center. Fort Worth Union Stockyards opened for business on January 19, 1890, covering 206 acres… By 1886 four stockyards had been built near the railroads…The Stockyards experienced early success. By 1907, the Stockyards sold a million cattle per year. The stockyards was an organized place where cattle, sheep, and hogs could be bought, sold and slaughtered.

There is no ambiguity. From the overhead signs to the brick roads, you know when you are in the Stockyards.

bronze statue bull wrestling stockyards fort worth

Bronze bulldogging statue of Bill Pickett, the first African-American cowboy inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Large Spur Statue Fort Worth Stockyards

The street art in the Stockyards won’t let you forget that everything is bigger in Texas.

fort worth stockyards mural

My family loves to explore the Stockyards – and we do it often!

Chisholm Trail marker Stockyards Fort Worth

Fort Worth was the last “civilized” stop on the Chisholm Trail for cowboys to part with their money.

Three flags flying over the Stockyards – including the original seven star flag of the Confederacy.

Don’t forget to look down as you mosey along. The Texas Trail of Fame is a great historical tribute

The only museum in the Stockyard to charge an admission is the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The Stockyards Museum in the Livestock Exchange Building is free, but does ask for a $2 donation for adults.

The Stockyards Museum is a hidden historical gem, and well worth your time.

Texas rodeo cowboy hall of fame

Scores of great Texas rodeo cowboys and girls are honored in the Cowtown Coliseum building.

The Stockyard has great shops to browse around. You’ll probably leave with new treasures.

But don’t get the wrong impression, the Stockyards are still about the Longhorn.

fort worth stockyards cattle drive

Twice daily, cattle drovers drive Texas Longhorn steers down Exchange Street.

cattle drover talking to children in the fort worth stockyards

The drovers are very friendly, knowledgeable, and do a fantastic job of engaging visiting children.

The drovers for the Fort Worth Herd ride beautiful horses.

fort worth herd brand

The horses are all owned by the Fort Worth Herd and carry the Fort Worth brand.

Between drives, they rest in wooden corrals beyond the parking lots.

It is lots of fun to identify the different members of the Fort Worth Herd!

Lots of hallways to walk down and explore in the station area.

armour swift packing plant

On the edge of the Stockyards is a great (but off limits) urban ruin – the old Armour-Swift Packing Plant.

Used as a filming location for the TV show Prison Break, the plant burned 40 years ago yet still stands.

Just another small reminder of the rich history of the Stockyards and the animals that helped forge Fort Worth.

fort worth stockyards risky's steakhouse

Don’t worry… if the humans among you are thirsty (or hungry) there are myriad places to eat great grub.

fort worth stockyards mural

Y’all come back to the Fort Worth Stockyards… ya hear?

The photos in this feature are from multiple visits to the Fort Worth Stockyards.  The most recent visit was in conjunction with the Visit Fort Worth #fortworthfun trip.  All of the photos depict places you can visit in the area for free.  I received no compensation for this post, nor could the CVB impact my opinion of Fort Worth – even if they tried 🙂

  1. Lisa Goodmurphy 28 March, 2013

    I followed along on your Fort Worth Fun adventure and am now intrigued by the Stockyards! We spent a day in Texas before boarding a cruise in Galveston at Christmas and my 9 year old was disappointed that we couldn’t stay longer because she wanted a cowgirl hat – I think she’d like the Stockyards!

    • Amy 28 March, 2013

      Oh, yes. She would love the Stockyards. Really, it is what you expect from Texas. I would come in the summer on a weekend. They do recreations of gunfights as well as the cattle drive. I think she’d love that 🙂

  2. Danielle (Bubs on the Move) 29 March, 2013

    I’ve been to the Stockyards but missed the cattle drive. That was pre-kids though – I’d love to take my little ones there some day.

  3. eileen at FamiliesGo! 29 March, 2013

    I didn’t know what to make of the “stockyard” headline, but this looks fun and very colorful.

  4. Sonja 29 March, 2013

    I think I would love the real cowboy feel of this town!

  5. Kate @ Wild Tales of... 29 March, 2013

    Love seeing someone so passionate about their hometown! I’ve yet to visit Fort Worth other than just passing through, but your post along with all the other fortworthfun I’ve seen around the web these days makes me want to plan a trip! Loved checking out your photo adventure.

  6. MIchelle @ Having Fun in the Texas Sun 30 March, 2013

    Great pictures of the stockyards! It’s such a fun place to visit, and full of history!

  7. Kissing Texas Longhorns at Copper Breaks State Park - Everything Everywhere Family Travel 8 April, 2013

    […] state herd of Longhorn.  Not to be confused with The Herd, the Fort Worth longhorns that do the Stockyard Cattle Drives daily, the official state herd is broken up between Abilene State Park, Fort Griffin State Park, […]

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    […] Cowboys, longhorn steers and horses sell the feeling of the Wild West.  Don’t forget everything is bigger here. […]

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  23. Rebecca 5 March, 2018

    Definitely planning to visit the stockyards on spring break. We can’t wait for a long weekend in Dallas Fort Worth. Great photos!