Linwood, VanZandt Place, Factory
Place and Sunset Heights are grouped together here because they
share some history, even though they are spread out along the
Clear Fork of the Trinity River, reaching almost to the Central
Business District of Fort Worth. Included in parts of seven original
surveys, largely all done in 1855, these neighborhoods vary widely
in ages of homes built.
Linwood, sometimes spelled Lynwood,
is a mixed neighborhood of commercial and residential areas just
north of West 7th Street. VanZandt Place is south of West 7th
and is no longer residential.
Two trappers, Ed. S. Terrell
and John P. Lusk, were said to be the first white men in the
area in 1843. Indians captured them near a lagoon, our present
day Botanic Garden, and held them for a year. In about 1868,
Major K.M. VanZandt, one of the original settlers in Fort Worth,
owned a cotton gin in that same location. Since home spun clothes
were all that was available then, the material it produced was
very popular. The VanZandt cottage is preserved today just south
of Farrington Field. The VanZandt Land Co. platted some of the
first development in 1903.
Farrington Field, the Fort Worth
Independent School District's football and track stadium, was
built in 1938.
West 7th Street was a major thoroughfare,
as it continues to be today. In 1906, a family would rent a surrey
for the afternoon and take a ride out West 7th Street to Arlington
Heights Blvd., later named Camp Bowie Blvd. Real estate men were
frequent patrons of the livery stable and were given special
Factory Place and part of Sunset
Heights share history with Linwood and VanZandt Place, in that
all are in low lying areas near the Trinity River, and often
had trouble with floods. In the 1922 flood, three levees broke
at 6:30 a.m. No warning was given and residents were awakened
by roaring waters. Railroad tracks along Vickery were washed
away. Sixteen lost their lives and the west side of Fort Worth
was cut off from the city. Relief centers opened up in schools. Rumors
abounded that the break in the levee at West 7th Street was caused
by dynamiting by the city to save the water works, but the city
denied it. The river reached 37 feet, and much of VanZandt Place
was washed away, never to be rebuilt.
In Linwood, Montgomery Wards
opened its new store on West 7th in 1928 with 500,000 square
feet and 900 employees. Elmer Wooldridge platted the Linwood
Addition near there in 1943, only to be set back again during
the flood of 1949, where the waters of the Trinity reached nearly
to the 5th floor of Montgomery Wards. Factory Place, largely
built up in the 1940's also was affected by that flood.
The lower part of Sunset Heights
was flooded in recent years when the city closed off part of a drainage
ditch causing water to back up into homes. New levees and lakes
have now solved the flooding problems.