In 1992, Fort Worth community leaders began brainstorming ways to revive the city’s declining economy. Visionaries Holt Hickman and Lyda Hill had an idea.
Through investment and hard work, Holt and Lyda spearheaded the development of Stockyards Station Market, known today simply as Stockyards Station. Nestled in the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards on East Exchange Avenue, the 85,000 square-foot development opened to the public on December 11, 1992.
Located in renovated hog and sheep pens once home to more than 83 million animals, Stockyards Station was made up of 20 stores featuring antiques, leather goods, furniture, restaurants and galleries.
Through a great friendship with Bill Davis, owner of the Fort Worth & Western Railroad, visitors were able to catch the Tarantula Steam Train-named after the map which depicted spider-like tracks-and ride along the Chisholm Trail following the Trinity River. Today, you can still enjoy a trip along the Trinity or take the train along the historic Cotton Belt Route to Grapevine in newly renovated coaches pulled by antique engines.
“Wild West Image Revived to Attract Tourism, Rescue Economy” and “Fort Worth Leaders Return City to Cowtown Roots” were just two of many newspaper headlines that attracted visitors to the restored area.
“Cowboys and the Wild West became Fort Worth’s favorite image to attract tourist dollars to rescue its faltering economy. The image seems only natural, after all Fort Worth always has been proud of its western heritage and has been touted since the turn of the 20th century as ‘Where the West Begins.’ ” – Bill May, Journal Record Staff Reporter (1992)
Today, the Fort Worth Stockyards hold that same western heritage and charm, with even more attractions. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Cowtown Cattlepen Maze, or watching cattle being sold in the Livestock Exchange are just a few of the attractions you can explore at Stockyards Station today.
Hungry? The Station can cure any craving. From barbeque to Mexican, there’s something for everyone. Try the beef brisket at Riscky’s or sip a refreshing margarita at Habanero’s. And don’t leave without stopping by Barbara’s Custom Hats for the perfect cowboy hat or The Candy Barrel to satisfy your sweet tooth.
“The dedication of the Hickman / Hill ownership to have a long term vision has moved the Stockyards from an unsafe, unkept, disrespected part of town to the thriving tourism destination that celebrates Fort Worth’s history of the cattle industry. Had it not been for their foresight and fortitude to wait out the early years, we could not celebrate the 3 million visitors we enjoy today.”-Gary Brinkley, General Manager of Stockyards Station
Thanks to Holt’s and Lyda’s vision, Stockyards Station has become a lively entertainment center. Plan your trip to the Old West today at www.StockyardsStation.com.