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Tarrant County Poor Farm Ruins


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#1 djold1

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 04:29 PM

Scout report...

Beautiful Sunday morning and I was at loose ends mentally so I got out my old 1920's Fort Worth map looking for a "lost" destination. Fort Worth was in one of its golden moments 85+ years ago with the Stockyards booming, agriculture including cotton doing well, the railroads at their peak, new paved roads being built, the oil boom continuing and generally good overall economic conditions after WWI. 10 years until the start of the Great Depression. The north east part of Fort Worth at that time had the Helium Plant and a number of oil refineries and other oil related businesses served by the railroads. Some minor environmental thinking must have been going on since the refineries were placed on the far north east side of a city that has prevailing SW winds letting most of the fumes waft their way to the Dallas area.

For several years I had been looking for a chance to find the 1920's site of the old Tarrant County "poor" Farm as well as a cemetery that was out in the area. (See 1920 map clip)

1920 Map

With a cuppa java from JR's I headed south from Saginaw down on Bus 287 or Main street to Meacham road right by the airport and over to Sylvania which was one of the early streets showing on the map. South across the UP railroad and east on Chesser-Boyer road which must have been on the north part of the property and then south again to Kimbo Road which appears to be what was Birdville Road in the pre-Belknap era before 28th Street was opened up as a main highway.

I went back west on Kimbo almost to Sylvania and on my right (north) I came across some run down property with a For Sale sign that fit the description. The first thing I saw were several very large cows with their typical incurious facial expressions. Next was a ruined building about 100 feet away that probably was a milk house for the farm. Then in the background several hundred feet through the scrub and fallen trees a long building with a distinct entrance could be seem faintly since there was so much debris in the way.

Main building 1
Main building2

Even though I had found that the Farm was still existent at least until the 1950's, I was surprised that so much remained. I drifted west on Kimbo shooting a few pictures in the biting North wind until I ran into the rough stone columns that must have been the entrance portal to the Farm.

Old Entrance

West of the property line lies a modern Tarrant correctional facility which must have been carved from the original Farm property. I drove up a drive and picked up a couple of east looking pictures of some of the buildings across into the Farm.

Old Building

There was great temptation to hop the dilapidated fences and go scurfing around closer to the old buildings, but it was cold and I resisted. Maybe sometime.

After I got back in and warmed up I loaded up the amazing Google Earth and snapped a couple of overhead images (See pictures)

Google 1
Google 2

I was surprised to see that the roof was still on the main building....

I also goggled for more information. The only thing that showed up was the item at the link below:

http://www.rootsweb..../fieldguide.htm

TARRANT COUNTY FARM: Located at D14 on the 1945 map. Mapsco 63C. Bordered on the west by Sylvania Ave. and on the north by Premier St. and Kimbo St. on the south. Also known as the "Poor Farm" and later as the "Correction Center", it contained a small cemetery, but when the property was sold the bodies were reinterred in the Mount Olivet Cemetery. Located at H7 on the 1895 map. A school or church is shown just south of the County Poor Farm.


If anyone has any more information about the history of this place or when it opened or when it closed I would be very interested.

Pretty good Sunday morning with another historical question at least partially answered...

Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#2 TexasPacific52

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 05:40 PM

The facility to the west of this site is the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center. "Baby Booking." The facilities to the north west are County garages, storage, election center and fire marshal.

I wouldn't jump over the fence to the Farm while parked in the JDC parking lot. There are cameras and deputies about and you may have a close encounter of a police kind. You might consider entering from the other side.

#3 djold1

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 06:28 AM

TP52

I definitely wouldn't hop the fence on the west side. And I probably won't at all anyway. I have a lifelong curiosity about old places and buildings and onece in a while, but not always, I get in there and muck about..


Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#4 krob

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 12:41 PM

QUOTE(djold1 @ Dec 5 2006, 06:28 AM) View Post

TP52

I definitely wouldn't hop the fence on the west side. And I probably won't at all anyway. I have a lifelong curiosity about old places and buildings and onece in a while, but not always, I get in there and muck about..



You should go out west to Mineral Wells and see what is left of old Fort Wolters. Much of the fort still remains to this day. Most of it abandoned buildings.

I have taken several photos of what remain . .

http://www.pbase.com...59/fort_wolters

#5 djold1

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 01:04 PM

Krob...

Thanks for the tip. Sounds interesting. Unfortunately I have more destinations than I will ever have time.

I wuold still like to see some more infoormation about the Farm if anyone has any.

And I'm always interested in anyone's suggestions for places to go and things to do, especially if there's a little history involved.


Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 





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