The Haltom Clock
As we walked around Ft. Worth's Sundance Square, we came across this interesting clock outside Haltom's Jewelry store. I snapped the picture, then did a little research once we arrived back home.
Haltom's was established in 1893 on Sixth and Main streets. In the early 1900's, they added a Howard clock to the outside of the shop. This clock originally had an eight-day wind mechanism, which was done once a week on a Saturday.
After WWII, Haltoms replaced the old mechanism with a new electric one. In order to locate it at their new address (317 Main street) in 1988, Ft. Worth officials had to grant a special dispensation so that it could be moved here. I think it certainly adds a distinctive look to the street corner!
This unique clock was refurbished in 2006 and given an atomic mechanism, which uses radio waves to keep perfect time.
- Family Travel
The Annual Rodeo and Stock Show
Once a year Ft. Worth hosts the annual Stock Show and Rodeo, which draws rodeo stars and wannabes from all over the world. This three week mega-event was hosted by the Will Rogers Coliseum--it was our first rodeo competition of this magnitude.
A fine display of horsemanship opened the event and the evening began with bucking broncos (see pic#2), then calf roping, barrel racing, bull riding, wagon races and a few comedic moments with clowns and trick animals.
I have discovered a love for rodeos, which began with my first one at the Ft. Worth Coliseum several months earlier--they're 'edge of your seat' exciting!
Outside the coliseum carnival rides were set up for the kiddies(see pic #3). Souvenir booths were selling wares inside and outside (see pic#4). There are several large parking lots nearby, charging from $7-$10.
- Family Travel
For those of you that aren't from around here, I want to introduce you to a case study in animal physics. With the introduction of a small strap cinched up toward the private region of a bull, you can actually create enough energy for that bull to leap straight up in the air, sometimes up to 3-4 feet. Add on a cowboy who is irritating this bull by sitting on its back, and the art of Bull Riding is shown. Now I am not a professional photographer, but I did get a couple good pictures of this activity, and I hope you enjoy it!
A 19th Century Drover in the 21st Century
The six drovers in 19th century gear have to ensure that the longhorns stay together -- and off the sidewalks. The diverse group of drovers are picked for their horsemanship and people skills. They have to be able to answer questions about the cattle drives from spectators or the media. Some of the drovers reflect the contributions of blacks and Hispanics to the cattle industry - about 30 percent of the 18th-century drovers were minorities.
The job does pay a little better today. In the 19th century, wranglers earned about $20 per week. The Fort Worth drovers make about $13 per hour, plus benefits.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Fort Worth celebrates its cowboy and Western heritage in style with many activities for the inner cowboy. Outside the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame during the free museum weekend was this cowboy who was showing off his prowess with the lasso. He not only had the ability to keep the lasso spinning in front of him, but he could also play hopscotch jumping into and out of the spinning rope. You can find quite a few of these antics being played in front of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and also in the Historic Stockyards district.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Drinking Beer - Give me a Shiner.
If you want to blend in with the locals in Fort Worth, you are best served not asking for a martini, probably not going to learn much when asking about the house red, or even getting anywhere asking for a microbrew from Belgium.
When you walk up to a bar in Fort Worth, your best bet is to say, I'll have a Shiner. Shiner is not your typical around the country beer like Bud or Miller light, it is from the Shiner Brewery in a small Texas town outside Houston. You will instantly engrain yourself as a local when you order one of these great tasting brews.
Definitely enjoy it on draft, preferably in a cold mug as shown here.
- Beer Tasting
- Road Trip
Near the rodeo in the Stockyards District is a statue of W.M. "Bill" Pickett who originated the rodeo event of bulldogging or steer wrestling. His unique style was to leap from the horse, catch the steer by the horns and sink his teeth into the steer's lip-ouch!
He died of injuries, not from a steer, but from being kicked in the head by a wild horse. He was the 1st black cowboy inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Stockyards Wedding Chapel
This chapel is in the Fort Worth's Stockyards National Historical District, and they say they can accommodate from 2 to 100 guests. They actually have TWO wedding chapels - the Hitchin' Post which can take up to 10 guests and the Double Diamond which is the larger one. They also have a new reception area, and rooms for the bride and groom to dress in. Their website says:
"Then, for the perfect ending, make your exit in one of the fabulous antique horse-drawn carriages or mount matching steeds or, even, longhorn steers to ride off into the matrimonial sunset:"
I thought a wedding chapel in the Stockyards shopping and restaurant area was a little odd, but I guess if this is the ambience you want for your wedding, this would be the place.
- Luxury Travel
- Horse Riding
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Parking in Downtown
There are several parking garages/lots in the downtown area and parking is free after 5.pm and on weekends.
4th & Main Street, Chisholm Trail
4th & Houston, Gateway Lot
4th & Throckmorton, Sundance Square Garage 3
Calhoun & 3rd, City Center Garage 2
Calhoun & 3rd, City Center Lot
Calhoun & 2nd City Center Garage 1
3rd & Main St, ½ Flying Saucer Lot
Parking Meters : Parking on meters is free after 6 p.m. weekdays and on Saturdays, Sundays and the following holidays and free to those with disabled veteran license plates or a handicap permit. Meters have either a two-hour time limit or a ten-hour time limit. The two-hour meters are located in areas where parking demand is higher and the need for parking turnover is greater. Meter rates vary from .75 to .20 an hour in the downtown area.
Mayfest is held over 4 days around the end of April/beginning of May. The eventis a multi-event and outdoor community festival which raises funds for the community as well as tries to promote an awareness of the parks, streams and valleys in Ft Worth. The event is held on the banks of the Trinity River in Trinity Park on the east side of University Drive (north of I-30).
I first saw these girls on TV. on either the Texas Country Report series or on the Today Show. I was delighted to see them performing in the stockyards for the festival. While again, I say, this is not my sort of music usually, its great to see young performers enjoying their music. These fiddling sisters from Burleson, Texas often play their western swing, vintage country and tradition - often in 3 part harmony. They are Hulda 13, Sophia 16 and Grace 18 (2004). Their interest in the music came after going to a local fiddling contest and all 3 decided to get into it. They have each won Texas State Fiddling championships. The highlight of the girls' young careers to-date was an invitation by Ricky Skaggs to perform as his guests at the 78th birthday celebration of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. These girls are just so talented.
The Chuck Wagon Camp
When the parade is over, the wagons make their way to the front lawn of the Coliseum and park in the designated flagged areas for each. I was shocked to see them all digging up these huge holes in front of these wagons. Well it seems, this is all part of the festival and it is a contest. These people have to live/cook like the cowboy did back in the 1880’s – this is serious stuff.
Getting the Fire Going
The holes that they are digging are for the camp fire and cooking. There are rules and regulations to all this as well. The crew must consist of one cook and two helpers. (Crews can consist of four members but no more than four). They all must furnish their own wood and all food must be prepared on site and cooked over a wood fire. The Fort Worth Fire Department requires rocks or stones around the fire pit which also have to be brought along with the wagons.
The Cooking Ingredients Rules
1. No spices used other than those available during trail driving era, which were salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
2. Biscuits and pastry can be sourdough or plain.
3. The use of prepared sauces and mixes is not allowed.
4. Food will be judged in four categories: beans, bread, dessert and meat.
5. No plastic or stainless steel utensils.
6. Meat and beans for competition will be provided.
This isn’t all just done for fun, there is a prize involved. The first place overall winner of the chuck wagon cooking competition is invited to participate in the Chuck Wagon Gathering at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on Memorial Day Weekend. The first place winner also gets a cash prize of $1500. Second gets $750. Then there is the food category. First place gets $250, second place $200 and third $150.
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