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Suicide Hill


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#1 Justsaywhoa

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:55 AM

Does anybody remember anything about Ranch View Road being called Suicide Hill? Somebody drove their car down the road way too fast and ended up in the creek? Guess it happened back in the 50's or 60's.

Also, there was a story about a witch who lived in the woods near there...

Just wondering if anybody else had heard those stories... other than me...

#2 bailey

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE (Justsaywhoa @ Oct 16 2008, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anybody remember anything about Ranch View Road being called Suicide Hill? Somebody drove their car down the road way too fast and ended up in the creek? Guess it happened back in the 50's or 60's.

Also, there was a story about a witch who lived in the woods near there...

Just wondering if anybody else had heard those stories... other than me...


I grew up in the 50's and 60's and as far back as I can remember, it was known as suicide hill. As a crazy teenager, we used to have fun driving down the hill. You could very easily overdo it and end up in the creek.

#3 Justsaywhoa

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:23 AM

Glad someone else has heard of it being called that--thought maybe it was just something my parents made up!

#4 Tom

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:26 AM

I lived on Sagecrest Terrace in Overton Crest in the late 60's and spent many of my summer days pushing my Schwinn up Suicide Hill to get to Westcliff Shopping Center and then holding on for dear life on the return home.

Those were the days...

laugh.gif

#5 qedwiz

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE (Justsaywhoa @ Oct 16 2008, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anybody remember anything about Ranch View Road being called Suicide Hill? Somebody drove their car down the road way too fast and ended up in the creek? Guess it happened back in the 50's or 60's.

Also, there was a story about a witch who lived in the woods near there...

Just wondering if anybody else had heard those stories... other than me...




I don't know about the witch, but this accident did happen around 1955 or 1956. A kid named Ronnie Hewitt died when his head hit the road or curb. Bruce Hayden cracked his skull and had a steel plate inserted. The crash occurred at the bottom of the hill where Overton Road now intesects. At the time, there were few houses in the Tanglewood area.

#6 kksmith

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:54 PM


Yes, I recall Ranch View Road, where it ran from Autumn Drive or the street above that down to Overton Park East, being called suicide hill. I had a paper route which I delivered on my bike, and it included houses along Overton Park East and up on top of Ranch View, almost all the way to Westcliff Shopping Center, so I pushed my bike up that hill many times.

I was never very brave coming down, by the way. I had my brakes on pretty hard all the way down.

#7 Justsaywhoa

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for the info! I'd always wondered exactly what the story was--or if it'd even actually happened!

I used to live near there -we used to ride bikes around that area, through the woods --everybody would be WAY ahead of me! I'd be pedaling and pedaling. Never got anywhere, seemed like...
Just not much of a bike rider, I suppose. Or just had a crummy bike!






#8 qedwiz

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:43 PM

QUOTE (Justsaywhoa @ Oct 16 2008, 02:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the info! I'd always wondered exactly what the story was--or if it'd even actually happened!

I used to live near there -we used to ride bikes around that area, through the woods --everybody would be WAY ahead of me! I'd be pedaling and pedaling. Never got anywhere, seemed like...
Just not much of a bike rider, I suppose. Or just had a crummy bike!



At the time in the mid-'50s, Ranch View Road did not extend past Overton. You could go only left or right on Overton, or go straight and end up in the creek. Also, there was just one Overton Road, not the Overton (East) and Overton (West) as it exists today.

It was considered a fun ride (for some people) to go down "Suicide Hill." However, there were quite a few cars that didn't navigate the fast and sharp turn onto Overton and jumped the curb and ran into the woods and/or the creek. That was until the fatal one-car accident in 1955 or 1956.

Shortly after that, Ranch View was extended further west over the creek, and Overton Road (west) was constructed. At the time, the Tanglewood additon was north of Bellaire Drive (South), which is now West Berry Street. There were no houses close to the present intersection of Ranch View and Overton.

One who is interested may research the Fort Worth Star-Telegram archives for further details. It made the front page news. I personally knew the victims, Ronnie Hewitt and Bruce Hayden. There were a couple of other guys in that car, but I don't remember their names.



#9 fortman

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 03:25 PM

The best thing about Suicide Hill was the sledding on icy days! We would get some unvbelievable speeds going down that hill, and sometimes catch air as we flew over the bump about a third of the way down the hill. We would then pull our sleds down Overton Park East to the arguably even stteper hill on that street. The Overton East Hill was a straight drop, however, no mid-hill bump. Interestingly, many neighborhood kids swear that the Overton Park East hill was the one known as Suicide Hill, but they are mistaken! It was Ranch View, all the way.
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#10 Scalliwag

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 04:49 PM

Suicide Hill was always a blast. I moved to Crowley in 1977 when I was 16 and none of my friends there knew about that hill. At night you could turn onto Ranch View off the circle, turn off the head lights and punch it and it looked like you were about to go off a cliff!!! I don't know how many people I scared the crap out of pulling that, but it was fun! wink.gif
The road that crosses that makes it level a bit you really had to watch for because if you hit that too fast the road starts curving to the right and you could end up in a wreck real quick
I would not advise doing this at all and if you did you would definately want to drive down in the daylight first to get a feel for it. Even driving it slow with the lights off would get most passengers unglued though smile.gif

#11 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:58 PM

Thanks for the real and tragic history of Ranch View/Suicide Hill. We Westcliff-McLean-Paschal kids just assumed it was a "dare-you" nickname for a hill that was daunting for kids on their bikes.

#12 sonny 2

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 06:42 PM

QUOTE (qedwiz @ Oct 16 2008, 11:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Justsaywhoa @ Oct 16 2008, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does anybody remember anything about Ranch View Road being called Suicide Hill? Somebody drove their car down the road way too fast and ended up in the creek? Guess it happened back in the 50's or 60's.

Also, there was a story about a witch who lived in the woods near there...

Just wondering if anybody else had heard those stories... other than me...




I don't know about the witch, but this accident did happen around 1955 or 1956. A kid named Ronnie Hewitt died when his head hit the road or curb. Bruce Hayden cracked his skull and had a steel plate inserted. The crash occurred at the bottom of the hill where Overton Road now intesects. At the time, there were few houses in the Tanglewood area.

gedwiz....Did you know Bruces' older brother Doug? I've been trying to find him for years. Any info would be appreciated.

#13 sonny 2

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 08:49 PM

Also...I heard just today that Bruce Hayden passed away last year.

#14 austlar

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 02:02 AM

When we were in the 8th or 9th grade I remember that we got our hands on a bowling ball (probably swiped from the Wedgewood Bowl) and rolled it down the hill from all the way up near Encanto Dr. I seem to remember that it veered off into a driveway near Overton and banged up under a parked car. We beat a hasty retreat.

Ah, those were the days circa '59 or '60. It is hard to believe that junior high kids could legally drive back then at the age of 14. All you had to do was take a drivers education class, and you were good to go.

#15 John T Roberts

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Posted 22 October 2008 - 09:41 PM

I have always heard it called Suicide Hill. It's good to learn the history of the name. Before I went on the Leakey Death Ride this last weekend, I used Ranch View from Bellaire Drive South in Overton Woods all the way to the east end of the street at Bellaire Circle as hill training on the bicycle. Riding up both of those hills is pretty tough. Suicide Hill has a 17% grade and the western end of the street has a 13% grade.

#16 Giraffe

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 10:21 PM

QUOTE (austlar @ Oct 19 2008, 02:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When we were in the 8th or 9th grade I remember that we got our hands on a bowling ball (probably swiped from the Wedgewood Bowl) and rolled it down the hill from all the way up near Encanto Dr. I seem to remember that it veered off into a driveway near Overton and banged up under a parked car. We beat a hasty retreat.



Some years ago my father was cleaning out the flower beds and found a bowling ball resting against the fence behind the rose bushes. No idea where it came from or how long it had been there. Only thing we could think of was that someone had tossed it out of a passing car, or it had fallen out of someone's vehicle and rolled all the way down the hill and finally came to rest in the yard. (I jokingly called it "the meteorite from planet Brunswick.") Since no one in our family bowls, we had no idea what to do with it. Dad ultimately threw it into a neighbor's yard in the middle of the night and let him worry about it.

#17 austlar

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 01:35 AM

You have got to be kidding? Where was your father's house? I seem to remember the ball veering off into a driveway on the left hand side of Ranch View just before Overton. Ranch View stopped at Overton back in those days. It would be quite a coincidence. This all took place circa 1960/61.

#18 sonny 2

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 06:24 AM

G.....Did you ever find a manhole cover in your yard? I remember in '57 or '58 someone rolling one down that hill and it going up that driveway to the left.

#19 fortworthman

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 03:17 PM

I remember about 1960 - 1962 driving down either Bellaire Dr. or Ranch View Rd in my parents car. Seems that they were both steep roads. By the time I crossed Overton Park Dr. I had tuned in the car radio with some romantic song like Jonny Mathis' "Misty" or Paul Anka's "Put Your Head on My Sholder"; spit my gum out the window; arm around my girl, pulling her closer to me; as I begin the slow drive up the other side to "The Hill". There were only a few houses there in those days. Many of us drove over the curb to a vacant field over looking the Fort Worth city lights as far as the eyes could see at night. It was absolutley beautiful and romantic. Lot of smooching happend on "The Hill".

I remember the suicide hill story as being true. There also was one about a ghost and of course the one about "The Hook". Creepy stories made your date snuggle a little closer so she could feel protected. Of couse the guy, being the hero, would never take advantage of the situation unless, of course, there was a medical emergency.

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