Stockyard Station, Fort Worth
This is a great way to entertain family, friends, and the kids at the Stockyards. It is fun to take a old fashion carriage or stagecoach around the Stockyards. It is very educational and it is a great way to learn your way around here too.
Prices may vary from the different businesses.
This one has:
Tips are accepted and appreciated.
The plaque reads:
The Fort Worth Stock Yard Company's wooden horse and mule barns on this site were destroyed by fire on March 14, 1911, opening day of the Feeders and Breeders show (later Southwestern Exposition & Fat Stock Show). The show opened as planned, with former President Theodore Roosevelt giving the opening address. The company announced plans to replace the destroyed barns immediately with new concrete and steel fireproof buildings. Construction was completed in March 1912 and the new barns measuring 540'x350' had a capacity for 3000 animals. With a price tag of $300,000, the buildings were described as among the finest stables in the world.
Activity here increased considerably in 1914, at the outbreak of World War I. Horses and mules were needed in great supply by European armies, and agents were sent in droves to Fort Worth to buy stock, spending an $11 million. During that time, Fort Worth was designated the largest horse and mule market in the world.
The wide space between the buildings has over the years spawned the nickname "Mule Alley". In recent years the barns have been used for various cultural activities and annual events.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.
This is not a very glamerous riverwalk and I do not think too many visit this forgotten part of the Stockyards. Part of the river runs along North Main and then flows underneath Exchange Ave. In fact, the Exchange Hotel sits right on top of it and the Rodeo Exchange Building sits right next to it. It was clean except for some areas under the bridge you can see where it leaks from the road from above through the cement. I did not feel unsafe, but it was during the afternoon. I would not come down here at night though unless your in a big group. I was greeted by a couple of gentlemen sitting on the bench by the stairs off of North Main Street. They tipped their pretend hat and say hello Maam and be careful, which was nice. Yet, I made sure they didn't follow me down there.
Along the walls of the tunnes have murals and it was quite a pleasant walk. Some of stream is clogged in areas from trash. Yet, for the most part the river was still flowing and it was fun to discover and explore.
The old stockyards have been turned into shops and restaurants and running through the middle are the train tracks for the Tarantula Train and the Stockyards train station. The atmosphere is really great and there is still a faint smell of livestock in the air which lends to the whole atmosphere of the area. There are a few restaurants and about a dozen or so shops including a wine shop selling only Texas wines where you can sample and have a chat to Corban.
If you're looking for something outrageously Texan, here is your place to shop. There is also a Candy store selling barrels of assorted candy by the pound.
Stockyard Station shops are located in the old Stockyard pens. When this building was used in the early 1900's, animals were kept here and moved through walkways or tunnels to the packing plant.
A collection of 25 shops sale jewelry, souvenirs, candy, ice cream, clothing, Western gear, toys, wine, music CD's etc.
A Cowboy Chapel is set up for traveling cowboys visiting the area on the rodeo circuit. The vintage railroad depot is located in this area.
Our guide pointed out a pampered little kitty resting on a velvet pillow in a jewelry shop here. Her name is Opal and she makes sure the Stockyards remain her territory. She'll tolerate no other cat's paws on the premises. When we saw her cozied up on her pillow, we thought she looked harmless enough...but trespassing CATS beware! (See picture #2).
Hours for the Stockyards Shops are Mon.-Thurs. 10am-7pm; Fri. & Sat. 10 am-8pm; Sun. 12noon-6 pm. Restaurants are open daily.
Parking's closer to the visitor's center, $5 for a couple of hours.
Unique and charming, of course touristy with all the souvenir shops.
Depending on how you wanna 'have a taste' of Texas, I chose to have some Blue Bell ice-cream, which can be bought from some of the shops here.
There are benches outside these shops in case the guys aren't too interested in visiting the shops. If you're using a wheelchair, the path (made of bricks/ stones) in here's bumpy. And because this place is enclosed, it gets quite stuffy especially during the summer. Texas heat. What can you say?
More details, of course can be found on their website.
My fellow pressed penny afficionados will be pleased to hear that there is a pressed penny machine inside Stockyards Station. It has four different dies. I chose the one with the head of a longhorn steer that says Fort Worth, Texas on it.
Right after the Tarantula train pulls in there is a farcical gunfight that occurs in Stockyards Station. Several historical interpreters act out a W.C. Fields-esque skit involving a train robbery, a marshall and his numbskull of a deputy. Highly entertaining, and popular as you will gather from the crowds in the picture. It's definitely worth taking a moment to join in the fun. When they're not in the gunfight you can also get your picture taken with the historical interpreters in costume.
Passengers board & disembark the Tarantula Train in the Stockyards Station. The train runs from Grapevine to Ft Worth and return once a day.
There are restrooms just down the side of the station.