The Ridglea North area lies about
six miles west of the Fort Worth Central Business District. Included
in the 1858 Joseph T. Turner Survey, the 1861 S.H. McEntire Survey
and the 1874 Hays Covington Survey, this land was prairie and
rocky land until it was platted by the Brooks Baker Company in
1942. This occurred four years before the area to the south of
Camp Bowie Blvd. was platted.
Owned in 1926 by the Anderson-Berney
Realty Company, most of Ridglea North was sold to A.C. Luther,
the main developer of Ridglea, in 1949. Jack Bass, a salesman
for the Luther Brothers & Wilson Company, remembers selling
60 by 125 foot long lots for approximately $1,500. Houses having
from 850 to 1000 square feet were built for about $6,700.
Mrs. Helen Tinsley, who went
to work for A.C. Luther in 1948 and still works for the Luther
family remembers homes selling for $4,250. Development began
along Malvey and spread south to Camp Bowie Blvd. A few of the
larger homes already existed around Morris E. Berney Park. Berney's
own home was located in the middle of the block on the south
side of the park.
Most of the families buying and
building in this area had someone working at the Bomber Plant,
now Lockheed Martin, or at Tarrant Field, later Carswell and
now the Joint Reserve Base.
Children growing up in the area
remember going to the Ridglea Drug Store, then the only building
along Camp Bowie Blvd., and eating at the soda fountain and lunch
counter. In the early days, there was no parking lot around it
and the red dirt went right up to the door.
Another fond memory of early
Ridglea North residents, are the Monday night movies at Berney
Park. They lounged on blankets and watched the free open air
shows. If they wanted to take in a movie in downtown Fort Worth,
they could catch the shuttle bus, then transfer at Merrick for
the main bus line. Coming home late in the evening, they were
met again by the shuttle driver, Shorty, who would wait for them
and watch them until they entered their own home. The Ridglea
Theater was built in 1951, complete with murals on the walls
and elegance, affording the neighborhood a closer place for entertainment.
Rowland's Record Shop was another
gathering place for the young people of Ridglea North. C.W. and
Oeida Rowland welcomed the customers, letting them play records
even when they didn't always buy.
The Worth Food Market, later
Piggly Wiggly, was built next to the Ridglea Drug along with
Ridglea Barber Shop, Ridglea Beauty Shop, Ridglea Hardware and
Motts. Above all of the retail shops, except for the food store,
there were small apartments with waiting lists of those who wanted