My mother and I went to Dallas/Fort Worth a few years ago to explore the Stockyards. I had been to Dallas a few times, but I had never gone to the Stockyards, so this was going to be an interesting trip.
On the way, what did we see?
We couldn’t very well pass up the opportunity to see all of the yummy … smooth … delicious chocolate!
With our bags and tummies full of the sweet stuff, we continued the rest of the way to Fort Stockton and the stockyards.
The stockyards were originally called the Union Stockyards and were open for business in 1889. Once the railroad came through that area (1878) it was decided that that area would be good for the shipping of livestock. Unfortunately, the builders didn’t have enough money left to fill the pens with enough livestock to make local ranchers want to invest in them. So, they reached out to Greenlief Simpson, a well known Bostonian, to see if he would be interested in investing into the stockyards. By the time Mr. Simpson arrived, the pens were overflowing with livestock due to harsh rain and road conditions keeping the train from arriving on time. He decided it would be worth the purchase and included some of his other friends as investors, including a meat packer. Together they paid $133,333.33 for the Union Stockyards in 1893 and changed the name to the Fort Worth Stockyards Company.
The new Livestock Exchange building, pens and barn were erected in 1902 and still stand today.
The Stockyards has become one of the top tourist attractions for Texas. There are several shops that line the main street and a couple of restaurants. Unfortunately, most shops don’t like you taking pictures!
Part of the attraction of the Stockyards is the fact that it’s still active and at a certain time of the day they move the longhorns from one pen to another and make a show of the cattle run through the streets.
There are riders on horseback to make sure the animals don’t go crazy and start stampeding. After all, they are still wild!
But, they’re beautiful animals!
While you’re there, you also have the option of taking a picture sitting on one of the longhorns. This is just outside of the original Livestock Exchange Building. They still have auctions originating from this building via video and satellite feeds. Welcome to the 21st century!
Historical information gathered from The Stockyards website.