History of the Tanglewood Area
The Tanglewood neighborhood consists of land in the low areas along the branch of the Trinity River, approximately five miles southwest of the Fort Worth Central Business District. Lemuel J. Edwards owned land west of the area in 1846, and later bought most of the present Tanglewood area, known for years as the “Edwards Ranch.”
Lemuel Edwards’ son Cass Overton Edwards was born on the ranch in 1851. He and his children, Cass and Crawford Edwards, continued ranching in Tarrant County with extensive land holdings extending almost to the Central Business District. They sold a portion of the land to the City of Fort Worth in 1913, which later became Trinity and Forest Parks.
The original approach to the Tanglewood area consisted of a two-rut dirt road, which is now Bellaire Drive South. Up to the time of development, children enjoyed swimming in the river in a deep hole, located where the bridge is now on Bellaire Drive South near Tom Thumb. The Edwards ranch houses were located along the dirt road off what is now Hulen Street, and the Edwards still live there today. An area designated as the Edwards Ranch School Site is now the home of Tanglewood Elementary.
The Edwards family created Cassco Land Company to help sell and develop the land they owned. Development began in 1955, with most Tanglewood property sold by 1957. Land use restrictions for the Tanglewood addition stipulated that all houses must be brick or stone, and have at least a two-car garage or carport attached to the house. Even though this was ranch property, no cows, horses or other livestock were allowed after development.
The heritage of the ranchland shows in the typical architecture of Tanglewood, predominantly being ranch style. The secondary style, mid-century modern, reflects the time of development. Deed restrictions defining height and open space between properties reinforced the ranch ambience. Prospective buyers were required to submit their building plans for approval prior to purchasing their lots to demonstrate they were building around the large trees.
These restrictions resulted in the canopy of trees that defines the neighborhood today. Although the deed restrictions have since expired, the majority of the neighborhood retains these characteristics.
The streets wind around generally following the contours of the river and the trees tower over all. This is good bottom land and very fertile. In heavy rains the area flooded before measures were taken to control the Clear Fork and branches of the Trinity River which run through the area. The bicycle-walking trail that meanders through Tanglewood is well used and enjoyed because of the shade and park setting. It typifies the relaxed atmosphere of the neighborhood.
The proximity of the neighborhood to major traffic arteries and good shopping makes it a desirable place to live. While the population is a balanced cross section of ages, young families are attracted by Tanglewood Elementary School, one of the highest rated public schools in Texas.
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION HISTORY
The original neighborhood association was formed in the early 1980s. At that time, the Cullen Davis mansion was being sold and developers were pursuing plans to connect several major Tanglewood streets such that the neighborhood would become a connector between University and Hulen. A group of concerned citizens joined together and successfully protested these plans, preventing the neighborhood from significant traffic increases. After this success, the association remained inactive.
In 1999, the association was re-energized and registered with the City of Fort Worth as the Tanglewood Neighborhood Association (TNA). Concerns at the time focused on crime, traffic, managing speed through the neighborhood, and coordinating social events and activities. In 2007, neighbors from a portion of Overton Park, who at that time did not have an association, joined with TNA to support events such as the 4th of July Parade. The association works closely with city departments and personnel as a voice for the neighborhood.
Tanglewood Neighborhood Association is a voluntary organization open to residents within the established boundaries. According to TNA bylaws, our purpose is:
- To promote better communication and neighborhood unity among the residents of the area hereinafter set forth.
- To protect and promote the best interest of the residents of the area.
- To promote and strive for the improvement and betterment of all public facilities and services within said area.
- To promote and encourage a better community and civic spirit and to foster good will and friendship between and among all the residents of said area.
- To cooperate with county and city officials and with other civic and public organizations for the general welfare of the residents.
Thanks to Wini Klein for her research and history of Tanglewood