Fort Worth is known as the city of cowboys and culture. It’s the 12th largest city in the United States and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Texas. According to many historians, Fort Worth is where the West began, and the Fort Worth Stockyards is the embodiment of that Western heritage. Author J’Nell Pate and photographer Carolyn Brown have written a beautiful and well-researched book about the legendary western location entitled The Historic Fort Worth Stockyards.
Pate’s engaging text and Brown’s extraordinary photographs take readers on a journey through the early days when the area was settled, the cattle drives that saw thousands of head of livestock going up the trail through what was then little more than a frontier outpost, and the rising tide of industry that accompanied the arrival of the railroads. Vibrant pictures of vacant meatpacking plants, lonesome railroad tracks, the Livestock Exchange Building, and the Cowtown Coliseum bring the history of the area into pristine focus and demonstrate just how big the cattle business was at that location from the 1890s to the 1940s.
The Historic Fort Worth Stockyards contains chapters on the changes in the livestock industry because of the Depression and two World Wars, and how the yard survived the devastating events. With the passing of the cattle boom in the 1950s, it appeared the Stockyard area would cease to be, but merchants rallied to attract shoppers to visit the stores, restaurants, and hotels there. Pate and Brown’s book includes a look at how business and community activists revitalized the yard and the role the rodeo played in reinvigorating tourism.
The Historic Fort Worth Stockyards is the definitive tome for anyone wanting to know anything about this important Texas district.