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Old Rock House on James Ave.


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#1 Bill Sievers

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Posted 02 July 2004 - 08:09 AM

In 1993 on one of my longer visits back to FTW, I drove by an old house on the west side James Ave. where some good firends of our family once lived. By 1993, the house had been converted into a daycare center as I recall. When I was visiting in FTW again last October (2003), I went by the place and noticed that it was totally gone. I THINK there is a church complex there now, but it looks like the immediate area has changed quite a bit with new construction etc. As a result it's hard for me to tell if the church is occupying the former location of the house or not. The lot for the house consisted essentially of two levels with the lower level being accessed off of James Ave. up a short rise through either of two driveway entrances on the north and south ends of the lot. I seem to remember either driveway entrance had short stone portals with a stone eagle perched on each one. Continuing on up the short driveway to the next level where the house was located, one would swing around to the rear of the house to a one car garage at the house's north end. The driveway area behind the house was quite large along with a patio area.

The house itself was made of brownish colored natural rock and had a large fireplace chimney in the front. The approximate location of the house was in the area on the west side of James Ave. between the southwest corner of Greenbriar park and Loop-820/I-20. As I recall it was essentially facing the entrance to Sharondale Ave. on the opposite side of James.

Does anyone know what happened to the house? When was it torn down? Did the small church complex take over the land where it was situated? I wonder what the history of this place was all about? I was pretty young at the time our friends lived there, and didn't have a sense of history about it or the surrounding area. From what I remember, it seems like it may have been a ranch house before the area was developed. As big as the house was, I suspect the ranch would have been a pretty big operation.

Thanks,
Bill

#2 Bill Sievers

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

I thought I would "re-activate" this post to see if any of the Forum members, some of whom may be new since I first posted this topic, might have some information about this old house.

It would be very interesting to learn of the history of this place such as who built it, when, etc.

Bill

#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 04:02 PM

Bill, I did not catch this thread the first time you posted it. I grew up and still live on Ryan Avenue, just a few miles north of this location. I remember the rock house very well, as we often went down James Avenue to catch what was then Loop 820.

The house did sit directly across James from the end of Sharondale. I also remembered that it was there until fairly recent times. I first went to Historicaerials.com and discovered that it was in place until the 1990's. In the 1990 photograph, it was standing, and by 2001, a new building was on the site. You are correct in that the property has a new church complex on it. The church is a Jehovah's Witness Congregation. The church purchased the property in 1995 and according to tax records, the current building was built in 1998. You are also correct in that it was a child care center before the church purchased the home.

As for the history, I don't know anything. It was always the big rock house on the hill ever since I was a kid. Maybe some others would have some historical background on the house.

#4 Bill Sievers

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:53 PM

Thanks for the info John. The family we knew that lived there moved away in 1964 when the old Fort Worth Army Depot closed. They rented the place as I recall, but I don't know from whom. It was a large house with lots of rooms all of which were big. I really do hope one or more of the Forum members will be able to shed some additional light about the place. My suspicion is that it was the ranch house for a large ranch that my have occupied the surrounding area prior to WW2.

Bill




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