Sunday, December 11, 2016

Then and Now

I don't know about you, but I love Before and Afters, almost as much as I adore Then and Now articles. You know, where they do a side by side of what an area looked like, say 100 yrs. ago, and the way it looks now. I won't bore you with a lot of history of an area on the west side of Fort Worth, Texas, since I am aware that some of you like very little wordage (if that is a word), and aren't as crazy about history as I am... This is the evolution of a now vacant lot of land; what is left of a large space on a very desirable bluff.
It is a rather large lot,
and it is for sale. If you are wondering what was here before. I will be happy to tell you.
Way back when...before the later part of the nineteenth century, there was probably a farm or ranch on this property (after all this is Texas),

but in 1890 a young English real estate developer built a luxurious resort on this very spot.. He was hoping to attract home buyers to the surrounding lots that he was also developing.. It had all of the newest inventions, including electric lights, etc.etc.Sadly, it was lost to a fire in 1894.

Along came a group of local developers who decided Ft. Worth needed a country club. Yep, they put it right on that same lot.There was a new sport in Scotland, called golf, and they were hoping it would catch on on this side of the Atlantic....even in Texas.

This is a rare map of how the nine hole course was laid out.
Members of this new Country Club (built in 1903), soon decided that they wanted an eighteen hole golf course...and there was also a rumor about a dispute as to whether women should be allowed to play....Anyway, a new eighteen hole golf course was built not a half a mile away in 1911,

but what to do with such a large clubhouse with 36 rooms? Well, a successful businessman made it into a home for his wife and two step daughters.

Fast forward to the early 1940's. Yet another very successful business man bought the old club house, and the seven acres,that were left on the bluff, and constructed this beautiful place. He was able to reuse a lot of the lumber from the old club, not only for this house, but also for his ranch in south Texas.... This home would remain on the property until around 2002, when it was purchased from the family's estate, and demolished. Developers sectioned off and sold four lots on the edge of the bluff, where beautiful homes now sit, and the remaining lot is the one pictured above for sale. A wealthy couple purchased said lot and there was a huge party celebrating the ground breaking of what was to be their new mansion.There was even mention of an elephant being present at the party. ...but alas, a divorce happened and nothing was ever built.

I was going to end this by suggesting that you might want to purchase this famous lot for your dream home, but driving by today...I noticed that the sign now says SOLD. I guess you know by now, that I am going to show you what springs up.

I have done a lot of research for this article although, with the exception of the first two, the photographs are not mine. If anyone objects to their use or has a dispute regarding my facts. I will be happy to remove this article.


  1. Now, do you know what that lot sold for, Janie? Hopefully, the new couple has better luck than the last owners! Fun to think of all the changes down the years. I know where I live was once all wilderness.

  2. That is a nice story about the houses there. I loved that first house that looked so impressive. Sad it burnt down.

  3. Good heavens Janey, so much history on this block of land and you know what! I just knew you were going to say it has now been subdivided.. it's the way all large previous one owner blocks are going. Had to smile at the 'disput about women playing golf' ☺ men can be so funny sometimes you just have to laugh!