Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where Was "Stop 6" On The Fort Worth - Dallas Interurban?

Small mysteries..  This one has bugged me for several years....

1925 NTT postcard

In 1971 I moved to the Fort Worth area and immediately began absorbing the history of the city. The fact that there had been a world-class street car and interurban system based in Fort Worth grabbed my attention right away. One of the references that periodically popped up in the Star-Telegram was to the "Stop 6" community in east Fort Worth which was once a prestigious place to live in the country with quick and easy access to the city.

As I began to pick up maps and other material on the Northern Texas Traction system, I began to try to chart where the lines went in the period from 1900-1938 as compared to the present day. Most mentions referred to stop names, not numbers, but for some reason, Stop 6 always was called by number and not its official name. There were a number of old Fort Worth maps that showed these lines, but only two that actually named the stops.

Click to zoom in

This clip from the great 1919-1920 Fort Worth map by C.H. Rogers showed the named stops clear out to Stop Virginia Place past Ayers Street at Mount View around the 3700 block.  But the stops weren't numbered and I thought that Stop 6 was further east from there.

The interurban stops were initially numbered on their way to Dallas and referred to that way.  But as the system grew this became cumbersome and in 1905 the NTT published this list of official stop names:

Click to zoom in

Even if the stops weren't numbered, you would think that counting the first six names would work. But it doesn't.  Obviously in the period from 1902 to 1905 a number or new stops were added as the city grew and that fouled up the math.

No one I talked to seemed to know what the official stop name and location was, they just knew that it was somewhere around the 4000 block of East Lancaster which was originally Front Street, or further out it was called the Dallas Pike. The mentions I found in the old newspapers generally mentioned the Edgewood, Tandy Lake, Virginia Place and Sagamore Hill stops as being generally within the Stop 6 area.

Click to zoom in

Finally, I found the 1909 clip above that solves the little mystery.  In the text it reads ".. at Edgewood Stop just beyond Stop 6, or Sagamore.".  So it turns out that we can place Stop Sagamore Hill as Stop 6 with good certainty. Sagamore Hill road (It's Rand Street now) runs north-south and crosses East Lancaster at the 4400 block.

Click to zoom in

This 1925 Fort Worth map clip shows Stop Sagamore as the first on the left, followed by Stop Edgewood and then Stop Haines on the way to Handley.

An historic footnote:  Stop 6 existed in two ways.  North of the interurban, Front Street or the Dallas Pike there were a number of fine homes and sometimes luxurious living by white residents.  South of the interurban and across the T&P (Now Union Pacific) tracks were the very respectable black neighborhoods of Stop 6.

Mystery solved..

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