Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Anyone Ever Heard Of The Bankhead Highway?

There is a lot of interesting history in the area where I live around Fort Worth, Texas. In the early part of the 20th century a politician came up with an idea for an improved coast to coast highway linking Washington D.C. to San Diego California. Construction was started around 1916 and the road was completed in the late 1920's. The road was called the Bankhead Highway. To the East in Arlington, Texas was described as "what was in the 1930's and 40's, the most opulent casino in the North American hemisphere, a gambling playground for the rich, adventurous, mischievous, famous and infamous!" known as the Top O The Hill Terrace . This was located in close proximity to a local horse racing track, Arlington Downs. A notorious Baptist preacher from Fort Worth, Dr. J. Frank Norris led the fight and ultimately brought about the closure of both establishments. The former Casino is now a Baptist Seminary. If one goes to the west from Fort Worth out this same highway a bit farther than the distance to Arlington, one arrives at the famous resort town of Mineral Wells, Texas. The mineral rich water brought up from the wells have brought hoards of visitors to this area since the late 1800's. With grand hotels such as the Crazy Water Hotel and The Baker Hotel, one would have had no trouble finding lavish accommodations from the 1920's through the mid part of the last century. This area of Texas is rich in history.

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