Fort Worth history is a quilt with cowboys and cowgirls, the first African American millionaire in Texas, William “Gooseneck” McDonald, and jazz legends such as Ornette Coleman. Explore and learn more on this self-guided tour of the city's top heritage sites. 

African American History Wall

1001 Jones Street

Located on the east wall of the Fort Worth Central Station, The Historic Wall commemorates the important and vibrant African American commercial and historic warehouse district that existed at the site between 1865 and 1940.
 

"Freedom Train"

221 W. Lancaster Avenue
 
"Freedom Train" by artist Jeff Gottfried is located in the covered outdoor area between the main lobby of the Texas & Pacific Terminal and the concourse. The artwork commemorates the former "colored waiting room" and honors the contributions of African American railroad workers, including State Representative Garfield Thompson.


Evans Ave Plaza

1012 Evans Avenue
 
The contributions of over 35 community leaders are retold in limestone, granite and bronze plaques located on the sidewalks and in the plaza. The tributes to individuals and families represent a range of fields including medical, religion, education, business, communication, civic, military, sports and music. These individuals and families contributed greatly to the development of the Southside neighborhood and Fort Worth as a whole.

 

Terrell Heights

Terrell Heights, located in Historic Southside Fort Worth, dates back to the early 1900s, when it became a popular neighborhood for African-American families.

 

Mount Gilead Baptist Church

600 Grove Street

Mt. Gilead Baptist Church is the oldest continuously operating African-American Baptist Church in Fort Worth. It was organized in September 1875 by twelve former slaves who later built a modest structure in a black settlement called “Baptist Hill” near present-day 15th and Crump Streets. Considered the “mother church of Fort Worth Black Baptists,” it soon became a symbol of African American self-determination. 

 

Mount Zion Baptist Church

874 Verbena Street

Historically, it has been at the center of religious, political, social, economic and educational affairs. Established in 1919, the Zion Baptist Church is designated by the State of Texas Historical Commission and the City of Fort Worth as a historical site. The Zion Baptist Church had its beginning in 1919 in the chapel of the old I&M College at 5400 Humbert Avenue in the Lake Como area.

 

Oakwood Cemetery 

701 Grand Avenue
 
Located at 701 Grand Avenue, Oakwood is just across the river from downtown Fort Worth.The cemetery is actually composed of three distinct cemeteries divided along racial and religious lines. Trinity Cemetery, designated for African-American burials.

 

 

Ella Mae Shamblee Library

1062 Evans Avenue

Ms. Shamblee began as a janitor for the central library and went on to create the current model for the library book mobile. The Shamblee Branch Library is home to the  Fort Worth Library's African-American Heritage Collection, African-American Authors Fiction Collection and Coretta Scott King Award Book Collection.

 

Allen Chapel A.M.E.

116 Elm Street
The new-pressed brick church was built under Rev. R. S. Jenkins on the lot that had been purchased in 1878. On Sunday morning, December 22, 1912, more than 100 members unselfishly gave $25 each. The building of the new $20,000 Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church and its dedication on July 22, 1914 were the pinnacle of Rev. Jenkins' career.  

 

I.M. Terrell

1441 I.M. Terrell Circle

The school opened in 1882 as the city's first black school, during the era of formal racial segregation in the United States. In 1882, Isaiah Milligan Terrell (1859–1931) became the head of East Ninth Street Colored School, the first free public school for African Americans in Fort Worth. Terrell became Principal and Superintendent of Colored Schools in 1890. In 1906, the school moved to a location at East Twelfth and Steadman Streets, and was renamed North Side Colored School No. 11. A new school building opened in 1910, with Terrell as principal. The school was renamed I.M Terrell High School in 1921, in honor of the former principal.


Vada Felder

1131 Stewart Street

Dr. Felder was the first African American to receive an advanced degree at Brite Divinity School. In 1954 she invited her personal friend, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr to speak in Fort Worth. This was to be his first and only appearance in Cowtown.
 


Fred Rouse Lynching Site

NE 12th Street and Samuels Avenue

Site of the only documented racial lynching in Fort Worth. In December 11, 1921, Rouse, a laborer, was beat and hung by local Klansmen for working during the strike.