to Bird's Fort!
and Tarrant County's oldest pioneer settlement -- established in 1841
where Sam Houston signed the first peace treaty of the Republic of
Texas with twelve native American tribes
This photo of restored Fort Parker (Fort Parker State Park, Mexia, TX)
is used here because there is no known picture of Bird's Fort -- the
wooden structure disappeared 150 years ago. This blockhouse and surrounding
pickets are typical of frontier outposts built in the 1830s and 1840s,
and close to early descriptins of Bird's Fort.
RATED FIVE STARS
to read an exiciting work of historical fiction - a docudrama - all about
the settlement of Bird's Fort and the entire Dallas area (1838-1845)?
This site brought to you courtesy of Tom Marlin, author of
FORKS, A NOVEL OF TEXAS
to visit Tom's
author site and order the novel online
order from Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com or order from your local Bookstore.
"Despite allegations to the contrary, the demise
of the fort's original location has been greatly exaggerated ."
. . .Tom Marlin
Few people in the Arlington / Dallas-Fort Worth area know the location
of Bird's Fort, the area's first pioneer settlement. Even fewer have ever
aerial photo on the left (below) was taken in 1994 by the U.S. Department
of Transportation. The map on the right was drawn by Surveyor J.J.
Goodfellow in 1902, who had seen remnants of the fort in the 1860s
(source: Tarrant County Historical Commission). The crescent-shaped
lake is intact today, although the water level is down due to drought
and other possible man-made causes. The original site of the fort
is marked by a large, stone historical marker -- placed there by the
State in 1936.
site of Bird's Fort is on private property, owned by the same family for
many years. The owners have made an effort to preserve the ecology and beauty
of this naturally occurring lake -- one of the few in Texas -- despite heavy
construction in the surrounding area. Note the amazing similarity between
the two pictures, considering Goodfellow had no aerial photographs for reference
when he drew his map. The existence and preservation of the site today is
remarkable, considering the incredible amount of development done in the
area over the past half-century.
Would you like to travel back to 1853 and read about Bird's Fort in one of Texas's
earliest newspapers? Then CLICK