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View Poll Results: Fort Worth natives do you consider Fort Worth to be a Western or Southern City?
Southern 7 33.33%
Western 14 66.67%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 06-17-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Funky Town, Texas
4,122 posts, read 7,163,587 times
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As a Fort Worth native I have never considered Fort Worth to be "Where the West begin". I have always looked at Fort Worth as a southern city. East of I 35 into East Fort Worth has no western feel what so ever. It does have a huge southern influence. I would love to here where Fort Worth natives believe the west begin.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Texas
62 posts, read 263,786 times
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The South had plantations, Fort Worth didn't.
The West had livestock, of which Fort Worth was famous for so, looks like it's West.
The Chisholm trail started in Fort Worth and it was once called the Wall Street of the West.

I don't know where the phrase came from, probably just a jab at Dallas but.....??
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:00 PM
 
1,383 posts, read 3,053,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdogg817 View Post
As a Fort Worth native I have never considered Fort Worth to be "Where the West begin". I have always looked at Fort Worth as a southern city. East of I 35 into East Fort Worth has no western feel what so ever. It does have a huge southern influence. I would love to here where Fort Worth natives believe the west begin.
Since moving here from NYC several years ago and getting to know Fort Worth, I have never seen it as a western city AT ALL. I do agree that it has a southern influence(the accent and food).
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:11 AM
 
Location: NE Tarrant County, TX
394 posts, read 1,086,392 times
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My $0.02: I grew up in Alabama, went to school in Michigan and lived/worked in NYC for fifteen years. DFW? It may be geographically the south, but it ain't like anyplace in Alabama, ATL, Georgia, South Carolina or Charlotte, North Carolina by a long-shot. It's hotter'n hell, looks and feels like the west (to me), all of my Cormac McCarthy novels seem to think it's the west... and I've been in a western state of mind since I arrived last November.

Again, that's just me.

-Eric

Last edited by Eric S; 06-18-2009 at 06:20 AM..
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,586 posts, read 26,936,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subslug View Post

I don't know where the phrase came from, probably just a jab at Dallas but.....??
It's a phrase that has Dallas included as well. The Dallas side is called where the East Ends.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:33 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,069,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
It's a phrase that has Dallas included as well. The Dallas side is called where the East Ends.
Spade, this is a very important point you are making, which is very much connected to the one the OP was asking about.

As concerns the famed Ft. Worth slogan "Where the West Begins"? A misconception about it all is that it was originally intended to suggest one was entering a totally different region when getting into West Texas.

Thus, IMHO, over the years, it (the city moniker) has been taken totally out of context. For one, it never even originated with Fort Worth. Actually, it sprang from a poem written in 1911, which itself was in reply to an ongoing national debate as to exactly, where indeed, the "West" did begin. Some argued the Mississippi River, others the Allegheny Mountains, and etc.

Here is a link to it: Texas, The Lone Star State: “Where the West Begins” (Fort Worth slogan):

Texas, The Lone Star State: “Where the West Begins” (Fort Worth slogan)

However, to put it all into perspective? The natural and long-standing rivalry between Ft. Worth and Dallas prompted some Dallasites to begin calling themselves "Where the East Ends." Here is the link to that "twin."

Texas, The Lone Star State: “Where the East Ends” (Dallas slogan)

Anyway, the point to be made is that 'Where the West Begins" (MANY cities made the same claim...particularly St. Louis with its "Gateway To the West" arch) was never intended to mean -- and no one took it that way -- particularly those early Texas settlers who were likely to have been Confederate veterans -- that "The South Stops Here." Any more than the St. Louis Arch meant one was leaving the Midwest.

This is evidenced - I would think -- by the Dallas response itself. It didn't say "Where the South Ends", but "Where the East Ends."

This is an important distinction. The "West" was not thought of -- at that time -- as a coherent cultural region per se. Rather, a largely unsettled half of the country (postbellum settlement, frontier drama, etc) different from the "East". When the West did become just that (a region in the proper sense), it did not include Texas. Same as the "East" did not include Georgia in the same realm of regional semantics. For good reason. The West as a region is very much different from the "west" as an era and/or frontier.

The bottom line (naturally just IMHO and worthless two cents!), is that all the research I have been able to do indicates what the "Where the West Begins" slogan as concerns Ft. Worth really meant one was leaving the Old South of the ante-bellum southeast and cotton plantation country and way of life...and entering into a new dimension of the unsettled frontier South. The "western South" so to speak...
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:40 AM
 
3,087 posts, read 6,638,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasReb View Post
Spade, this is a very important point you are making, which is very much connected to the one the OP was asking about.

As concerns the famed Ft. Worth slogan "Where the West Begins"? A misconception about it all is that it was originally intended to suggest one was entering a totally different region when getting into West Texas.

Thus, IMHO, over the years, it (the city moniker) has been taken totally out of context. For one, it never even originated with Fort Worth. Actually, it sprang from a poem written in 1911, which itself was in reply to an ongoing national debate as to exactly, where indeed, the "West" did begin. Some argued the Mississippi River, others the Allegheny Mountains, and etc.

Here is a link to it: Texas, The Lone Star State: “Where the West Begins” (Fort Worth slogan):

Texas, The Lone Star State: “Where the West Begins” (Fort Worth slogan)

However, to put it all into perspective? The natural and long-standing rivalry between Ft. Worth and Dallas prompted some Dallasites to begin calling themselves "Where the East Ends." Here is the link to that "twin."

Texas, The Lone Star State: “Where the East Ends” (Dallas slogan)

Anyway, the point to be made is that 'Where the West Begins" (MANY cities made the same claim...particularly St. Louis with its "Gateway To the West" arch) was never intended to mean -- and no one took it that way -- particularly those early Texas settlers who were likely to have been Confederate veterans -- that "The South Stops Here." Any more than the St. Louis Arch meant one was leaving the Midwest.

This is evidenced - I would think -- by the Dallas response itself. It didn't say "Where the South Ends", but "Where the East Ends."

This is an important distinction. The "West" was not thought of -- at that time -- as a coherent cultural region per se. Rather, a largely unsettled half of the country (postbellum settlement, frontier drama, etc) different from the "East". When the West did become just that (a region in the proper sense), it did not include Texas. Same as the "East" did not include Georgia in the same realm of regional semantics. For good reason. The West as a region is very much different from the "west" as an era and/or frontier.

The bottom line (naturally just IMHO and worthless two cents!), is that all the research I have been able to do indicates what the "Where the West Begins" slogan as concerns Ft. Worth really meant one was leaving the Old South of the ante-bellum southeast and cotton plantation country and way of life...and entering into a new dimension of the unsettled frontier South. The "western South" so to speak...
Excellent clarification and spot on as far as I'm concerned.

As a native Texan, I grew up associating the terms of location as exactly that and nothing else. For the longest time it used to boggle my mind to hear someone call Virginia 'southern'.

At some point as an adult I realized that people tended to use the terms to indicate not actual location, but instead atmosphere and decor of areas along with when/how the area was settled.

While parts of Texas certainly fit the 'western' atmosphere (cowboys and ranches) over the 'southern' atmosphere (plantations), we are not part of the west, but indeed part of the south....in my mind and opinion.

Then again, it's hard to put Texas in a box since we at one point were our own nation and that's where we come from.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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I consider FTW much more West than South with its history tied to the cattle drives and Texas forts (FORT Worth, guys) and its climate/geology--and I am native Texican as the characters of Allan LeMay's great Texas novel The Searchers call themselves...

if anyone has actually driven west on I-20 out of FTW you can certainly see that the Prairies/Lakes region of East Tx which carried through to Dallas drops away and you enter the more barren plains that basically last until you get to California...river bottom areas are the only ones that have natural trees and vegetation vs the grasslands and mesquite (which was not really a native tree to this area but came up with cattle droppings from the Spanish colonizing north from Mexico)

and point of fact -- while there may have been nothing close to the plantation lifestyle of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia--there were people who owned slaves and worked them in this state--so don't give anyone the impression that Texas does not have ties to the Confederacy...
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:21 PM
 
10,167 posts, read 17,069,311 times
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Good general points, L2R, but just a few counter-points in turn...

Quote:
Originally Posted by loves2read View Post
I consider FTW much more West than South with its history tied to the cattle drives and Texas forts (FORT Worth, guys) and its climate/geology--and I am native Texican as the characters of Allan LeMay's great Texas novel The Searchers call themselves...
These cattle drives and such were part of the "west" as a frontier era. Not the same as having a deep historical and cultural connection with the true West of the Rocky Mountain nor interior Southwest states (i.e. New Mexico and Arizona) as understood today.

Nothing you say about Ft. Worth, Texas as being "western" could not also apply to Wichita, Kansas. After all, both were largely settled after the WBTS, had a cowboy and cattle connection, and there are many topographical similaries. But no one seriously doubts (at least I don't think many do) that Wichita is not essentially a Midwestern city in terms of history and culture. As in, not the true "West" as is say, a Denver, Colorado, or Cheyene, Wyoming.

Same sorta thing applies to Fort Worth. Sure it is "western". But not western nor southwestern in the same genre as Santa Fe, New Mexico nor Tucson, Arizona. Just as Wichita is the western part of the Midwest, so is Fort Worth in the western part of the South.

Also, the "fort" preface is reflected all along the westward expansion in our country. It reflected the western most outposts as the country settled in that direction. Most of those cities named such were established to protect the exposed frontier. Fort Wayne, Indiana for instance. These "fort towns" built up in direct proportion to the westward migration. In and of themselves, the names have nothing to do with what can be properly considered -- or excluded -- from the West of today.

As concerns Fort Worth, it was simply part of a line of forts in the Southern plains that extended north into the northern plains. Later, a town...then city... built up around it. But at the time it was established? It wasn't considered anything but Southern.

The climate? While I will totally agree the topopgraphy of Fort Worth and points west is not in the least typical of the "moonlight and magnolias" South...it is also not in the least similar to the Rocky Mountain West or Southwest much past the Texas/New Mexico border. Still though, on the flip side, the general heat/humidity climate is much more typical of the southeast than southwest. It is humid sub-tropical.

Quote:
if anyone has actually driven west on I-20 out of FTW you can certainly see that the Prairies/Lakes region of East Tx which carried through to Dallas drops away and you enter the more barren plains that basically last until you get to California...river bottom areas are the only ones that have natural trees and vegetation vs the grasslands and mesquite (which was not really a native tree to this area but came up with cattle droppings from the Spanish colonizing north from Mexico)
Again, you make some great points on this. But travelling this trek to Califonia, one also gets into mountains and true deserts and all. Something not found in most any part of Texas. As it is, culture and history have more to do with making a region a true region, not topography.

Quote:
and point of fact -- while there may have been nothing close to the plantation lifestyle of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia--there were people who owned slaves and worked them in this state--so don't give anyone the impression that Texas does not have ties to the Confederacy...
Matter of fact, Texas was one of the original 7 Confederate states...

Anyway, I just wanted to note a few points of my own. I appreciate yours.

Last edited by TexasReb; 06-18-2009 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:00 PM
 
3,087 posts, read 6,638,494 times
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I've traveled through a great deal of Texas. We're proud to say we've got it all. Something most states simply cannot say with accuracy. Texas cannot be defined or singled out by these things alone.

We've got the grand Magnolias, the stately Pines, the towering Palm Trees and the desert Cactus. We've got beaches, canyons, mountains, deserts, swamps, mighty rivers and forests.
It's all out there and I've seen all the above in my travels.

Just as you cannot define Fort Worth by one description to those who want to move here, you cannot define Texas as all one type of state.

As far as the confederacy.....of course Texas was part of the confederacy, there is no one disputing that. It's one of the six flags of Texas, ya know. I actually love the fact that our Texas flag is the only one that can be flown at the same height as the US Flag!

While there were slaves owned here, as there were in most states of the south (note-not of the west) I've got plenty of relatives who picked cotton in the cotton fields, including my maternal grandmother and none of them were black. So, it wasn't just a certain skin color who worked those fields in Texas.

We're just not a one size fits all kind of state............
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