The Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, north of the central business district. This 100-acre district is a must for anyone visiting Fort Worth. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District in 1976. The old western feel community has lots to do for the whole family.
The arrival of railroads in 1876 made the area a very important livestock center. Fort Worth Union Stockyards opened for business on January 19, 1890, covering 206 acres. On February 7, the Fort Worth Dressed Meat and Packing Company was founded. This facility was operated without profit until purchased by G. W. Simpson of Boston. In an effort to produce revenue, they reached out to the Swift and Armour companies to establish packing houses. By 1886, four stockyards had been built near the railroads. Boston capitalist Greenleif W. Simpson, with a half dozen Boston and Chicago associates, incorporated the Fort Worth Stock Yards Company on March 23, 1893, and purchased the Union Stock Yards and the Fort Worth Packing Company. The Stockyards experienced early success. By 1907, the Stockyards sold a million cattle per year. The stockyards was an organized place where cattle, sheep, and hogs could be bought, sold and slaughtered. Fort Worth remained an important part of the cattle industry until the 1950s. Business suffered due to livestock auctions held closer to the where the livestock were originally produced.
The Fort Worth Stockyards now celebrates Fort Worth’s long tradition as a part of the cattle industry and was listed on the National Register as a historical district in 1976. The listing included 46 contributing buildings and one other contributing structure.
The Stockyards consist of mainly entertainment and shopping venues that capitalize on the “Cowtown” image of Fort Worth. Home to the famous boot making company M.L. Leddy’s which is located in the heart of the Stockyards and The Maverick Fine Western Wear and Saloon where customers “can ‘belly up’ to the bar, relax and have a cold beer while in the Stockyards; just like they did in the days of the big cattle drives”, as they shop around the store. The city of Fort Worth is often referred to as “Where the West Begins.” Many bars and nightclubs, including the world’s largest Honky Tonk – Billy Bob’s Texas, are located in the vicinity, and the area has a Western motif. There is also an opry and a rodeo.
The Fort Worth Stockyards are the last standing stockyards in the United States. Some volunteers still run the cattle drives through the stockyards, a practice developed in the late 19th century by the frontiersman Charles “Buffalo” Jones, who herded buffalo calves through the streets of Garden City, Kansas.
On April 1, 2011, the Fort Worth Stockyards Stables were remodeled and reopened. They are located next door to the Hyatt hotel in an original Historic Stockyards building that was built in 1912. These stables offer full care boarding, overnight boarding, hourly boarding, horse rentals on the open trails of the Trinity River and carriage rides. Boarders can ride their horses all around the Historic Stockyards.