Another year is almost history. As we ring out the old and ring in the new, seen around town are some signs of times gone by:
The crowned head of candy: King Candy Company on East 8th Street.
Jack Shelton’s plumbing company was located at 1128 South Main Street from 1949 until 1965. The lettering on the storefront is tiled.
On Davis Boulevard near the TEXRail crossing.
Also near the TEXRail track, hanging in a back yard, is the sign that hung at Cromer’s Ace shop downtown. Cromer’s Ace duplicated keys and repaired locks, sold and repaired bicycles, and repaired small electric appliances.
Unhitch ’em here, pardner: The Tower trailer park (c. 1953) on Jacksboro Highway. Update: This sign has been removed.
Hush, puppy: “That’s my dog, Tige. He lives in a shoe. I’m Buster Brown. Look for me in there, too.” Buster Brown and his dog Tige began selling shoes in 1904. These two metal signs hang on the wall of Cooper Footcare Facility on Southwest Loop 820. In a full-page ad in 1930 Leonard’s Department Store promised that Buster Brown shoes would impart “glorious foot health for boys and girls.”
The Rocket’s red glare: The Rocket Club on Jacksboro Highway featured entertainment such as Trudine the quiver queen. The building now houses a muffler shop.
Frozen in time: In front of a building (1912) at the corner of West Allen and Fairmount streets in Fairmount hangs this faded sign for Boswell Dairy’s ice cream. The Boswell family began selling fresh milk from its grocery store in 1900, established a dairy near Saginaw about 1901.
Update: The Boswell sign, I am told, now hangs inside the building, which now houses the Arise Africa ministry. The Fairmount building housed a neighborhood grocery for at least fifty years.
Say it with Green Stamps: W. F. Laurence fine flowers on Magnolia Avenue. This building now houses Fixture Kitchen and Social Lounge.
Roll model: Firestone service store (1930) on West 7th Street. The building today is part of the Firestone Apartments.
The merchant of 7th Street: Montgomery Ward building (1928) on West 7th Street. Today the building houses retail and residential.
“All points beyond”: Santa Fe freight depot (1938) on Jones Street. Today the building houses the Fort Worth center of the University of Texas at Arlington.
Eighty cents per car: One of Fort Worth’s yoostabe drive-in theaters, the Meadowbrook, on Riverside Drive. Today homeless people use the theater’s screen for shelter.
Three more yoostabes: Azle Theater on Azle Avenue, Berry Theater on Hemphill Street, Isis Theater on North Main Street. The Azle Theater building recently housed a Zumba center. The Berry Theater is vacant. The new owner of the Isis hopes to restore the theater.
The Merchant of Vaughn Boulevard: Rox-Ex exterminating company on Vaughn Boulevard. The building is vacant today.
A Dodge, a date, and a double cheese: Clover Driftwood drive-in restaurant (later the Boardwalk lounge; today the lot is cleared, but the sign survives) on Lancaster Avenue and the Clover drive-in restaurant (now a bank) on Rosedale Street. Herman and Odell Allen owned the Clover drive-ins and the Clover Grill and Club downtown.
Speed dial: Phone numbers had just six digits when this Sanguinet and Staats-designed building (now owned by XTO Energy) on Calhoun Street was the Binyon-O’Keefe storage warehouse. Cattle baron C. A. O’Keefe also built the Blackstone Hotel.
“Half the fun of having feet”: The Solomon shoe store building (1903) on Houston Street now houses a bar.
Main packer backers: Armour and Swift signs on Exchange Avenue. In 1902 Louville Veranus Niles announced that Jonathan Ogden Armour had been elected president and Gustavus Franklin Swift vice president of the Fort Worth Stockyards Company as construction of the two packing plants was about to begin. Today almost all of the buildings of the two packing plants are gone.
Happy new year and “take a cup o’ kindness yet,” y’all, for auld lang signs.