USA 2015
~THE STOCKYARDS, FORT WORTH,TX~

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

I had heard of The Stockyards in Fort Worth, but had left it out of my itinerary. But the Texans we shared our tabel with at the Ray Wylie Hubbard gig in Roscoe insisted I should reconsider! This was a main feature of what Texas was all about.
So we went and were glad we got good advise!

 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Howdy Partner!

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
The Fort Worth Stockyards is a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, north of the central business district.
The 98-acre (40 ha) district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District
in 1976. They are a former livestock market which operated under various owners from 1866. [Wikipedia]

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Twice a day these longhorns are 'driven' through the streets. Those horns are mighty impressive!

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Markings cattle were branded with.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
The cattle drives had a distinct strategy and position each was to be in. That never occurred to me, watching 'Rawhide'!

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Some interesting history here.

 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
A fine Texas dining tradition: the bar-b-q!

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Back in the old days...

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
The area is so large there was a tramline doing the rounds. This is now a shopping- and restaurant area.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Ft. Worth Stockyards horse and mule barns.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Nicely decorated and plenty of customers

 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Perhaps bull riding isn't for everybody..? Obviously that bull has his own thoughts on all this.
 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Wasn't there a fierce warrior and opponent Quanah in Giraud's Lt.Blueberry comic strips?

 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
I considered this one of the finest venues to visit here at The Stockyards.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
A lengthy display, I recall at least four rows, of small cabinets like this one, each with a champion celebrated.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Never underestimate a clown! They play an important role in rodeo's. Pity I did not see any rodeo activity
here at The Stockyards; perhaps I overlooked something (as I drove off I saw two large tents...?)

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Willie Nelson is not to be missed, a true champion!

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
The Chuck Wagon.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
On the typical cattle drive there were 1.000 head of cattle, 15 cowboys, 100 horses and a chuck wagon with
the cook and help or helpers. Pay was poor for the cowboys, for a month work they earned around 10 dollars so
most did not sign up for a second cattle drive. With the hard ship and dangers it wasn't a popular job, I think.

 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Well now, I can relate to that one! The wagon to carry all the equipment has been replaced in these times by a... rucksack!

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
The Chisholm Trail

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Chisholm Trail was the major route out of Texas for livestock.
Although it was used only from 1867 to 1884, the longhorn cattle driven north along it provided a steady source of income that helped the impoverished state recover from the Civil War. Youthful trail hands on mustangs gave a Texas flavor to the entire range cattle industry of the Great Plains and made the cowboy an enduring folk hero.

When the Civil War ended, the state's only potential assets were its countless longhorns, for which no market was available—Missouri and Kansas had closed their borders to Texas cattle in the 1850s because of the deadly Texas fever they carried. In the East was a growing demand for beef, and many men, among them Joseph G. McCoy of Illinois, sought ways of supplying it with Texas cattle. In the spring of 1867 he persuaded Kansas Pacific officials to lay a siding at the hamlet of Abilene, Kansas, on the edge of the quarantine area. He began building pens and loading facilities.

The first herd to follow the future Chisholm Trail to Abilene belonged to O. W. Wheeler and his partners, who in 1867 bought 2,400 steers in San Antonio. They planned to winter them on the plains, then trail them on to California. At the North Canadian River in Indian Territory they saw wagon tracks and followed them. The tracks were made by Scot-Cherokee Jesse Chisholm, who in 1864 began hauling trade goods to Indian camps about 220 miles south of his post near modern Wichita.
At first the route was merely referred to as the Trail, the Kansas Trail, the Abilene Trail, or McCoy's Trail. Though it was originally applied only to the trail north of the Red River, Texas cowmen soon gave Chisholm's name to the entire trail from the Rio Grande to central Kansas. The earliest known references to the Chisholm Trail in print were in the Kansas Daily Commonwealth of May 27 and October 11, 1870.

The herds followed the old Shawnee Trail by way of San Antonio, Austin, and Waco, where the trails split. The Chisholm Trail continued on to Fort Worth, then passed east of Decatur to the crossing at Red River Station. From Fort Worth to Newton, Kansas, U.S. Highway 81 follows the Chisholm Trail.
Between 1871, when Abilene ceased to be a cattle market, and 1884 the trail might end at Ellsworth, Junction City, Newton, Wichita, or Caldwell. The Western Trail by way of Fort Griffin and Doan's Store ended at Dodge City.
The cattle did not follow a clearly defined trail except at river crossings; when dozens of herds were moving north it was necessary to spread them out to find grass. The animals were allowed to graze along for ten or twelve miles a day and never pushed except to reach water; cattle that ate and drank their fill were unlikely to stampede.
When conditions were favorable longhorns actually gained weight on the trail.
After trailing techniques were perfected, a trail boss, ten cowboys, a cook, and a horse wrangler could trail 2,500 cattle three months for sixty to seventy-five cents a head. This was far cheaper than shipping by rail.
From: TSHA - Texas State Historical Association

 

 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
 

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Billy Bob's Texas promotes itself as 'The World's Largest Honky Tonk', with 127,000 square feet (12,000 m²).
Billy Bob's opened 01Apr1981 to national attention with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers as the first performers.
Other artists who appeared that first week were Waylon Jennings, Janie Fricke and Willie Nelson. Many have followed.
[Wikipedia + billybobstexas.com]

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Along with big-time concerts, BBT has live bull riding every Friday and Saturday night! There has never been a
mechanical bull in Billy Bob's, but you will find some of the best up-and-coming riders in the country.
These pro bull riders compete for cash prizes each weekend at 9pm and 10pm. Admission for each show is just $3.00.
(Ticket price is 2 dollars p.p. when nothing is going on and one, like we did, just wanted a look around and do lunch).

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX
Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Stoney LaRue, Jessi Colter, Bob Dylan - some great names have played here.

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

The Stockyards, Ft.Worth,TX

 



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