Heritage Trails

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In 1873 B.B. Paddock published the “Tarantula Map,” depicting his dream of Fort Worth as a hub of nine railroads. Civic leaders like Paddock knew that if Fort Worth were to thrive, the young city needed a railroad. The world-wide financial crisis of 1873 stopped the progress of the railroad in North Texas just 26 miles east of Fort Worth. After tireless fundraising and negotiations, the first Texas and Pacific train finally rolled into town on July 19, 1876, over rails laid on roadbed prepared by Fort Worth citizens. Huge crowds greeted the train and more railroad lines soon followed. In 1886, a rail strike threatened progress, turning the city into an armed camp, but the presence of federal marshalls and the militia averted a crisis. By 1900, Paddock’s “Tarantula” dream had come true. Fort Worth had become a multi-line transportation and shipping center, as it remains today.