Arlington, Texas – blog

I was born in Arlington, Texas, but grew up in the neighboring town of Mansfield. After living in Mansfield for 24 years, I moved to Arlington about 14 years ago. I’ve finally started to explore the city and write about my discoveries. Arlington is my hometown, and I’m proud to live here.

Check out my growing collection of photos and blog posts about Arlington, Texas!

Explore Arlington, Texas | Blog Posts and Pages (summaries)

Legal Draft Brewing Co. | Gone But Not Forgotten (06-04-22)
Legal Draft Brewing Co. opened its doors in 2016. They were one of my favorite local breweries but closed earlier this year. Here’s a tribute to Legal Draft.

Preservation Month: Historic Cemeteries of Arlington, Texas (05-16-22)
May is Preservation Month – a time dedicated to promoting and preserving historic places. An often-overlooked element of historic preservation involves cemeteries. Arlington has nearly twenty cemeteries and many have Texas Historical Markers. The cemeteries range in size from the sprawling Moore Memorial Gardens, with more than 30,000 memorials, to smaller sites with a few hundred burials or less.

Preservation Month: A Perfect Opportunity to Explore Our Local History (04-27-22)
I wrote this article for the Summer 2022 issue of Sociability — an online magazine for the greater Arlington, Texas area. Their magazine focuses on local voices, unique perspectives, and the art of being social. It was my first time contributing to their magazine!

Reverend Andrew S. Hayter: The Father of Arlington, Texas (02-26-22)
Andrew S. Hayter, a Presbyterian minister from Tennessee, helped route the railroad through North Texas and plot a tiny new town, known as Arlington, along the tracks. The town grew from a half-mile square settlement in 1876 to a suburb of 400,000 people. Today, Andrew Hayter is considered the Father of Arlington.

Pho, parks, pucks, and a photo — finally! (02-02-22)
A day off from work was a great day to get out and explore! I tried a new restaurant, went for a walk, and finally got a photo of one of the Gateway Monuments. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

Exploring in Downtown Arlington — part 1 (01-29-22)
Downtown Arlington is one of my favorite places in the city to explore, especially on and near Abram Street, where there’s a nice mixture of past and present. There’s also plenty of free parking, lots to see and do, and the area it’s highly walkable. Check out a photo tour and some highlights from a recent walk downtown.

Founders Plaza: Tribute to the Father of Arlington and Founding Families (01-17-22)
Founders Plaza is located at Levitt Pavilion. The area pays tribute to Andrew Hayter, often considered the Father of Arlington, as well as six of the founding families. Mr. Hayter is honored with a Texas Historical Marker and bronze bust. Each of the families — Collins, Cooper, Ditto, Rankin, Rogers, and Rose — have a plaque telling their story.

Arlington, Texas | 2021 in Review (01-07-22)
Goodbye 2021; hello 2022! Another year comes to an end in the American Dream City. It was an eventful year in Arlington, with a new mayor elected, city growth, anniversaries, celebrations, and major announcements. Here’s a look back at some of the things that shaped our city in 2021.

It all started when I visited Hell’s Half Acre (11-17-21)
I had a Texas History class in elementary school. The Alamo was undoubtedly the shining star of the curriculum, with local history tucked away as a mere footnote. I assumed that nothing “history-worthy” happened around here because we didn’t learn about it in school. Fast forward 30-something years. My journey with local history started by accident in April 2020, when I stumbled into Hell’s Half Acre.

Book Review | Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde by Jeff Guinn (11-04-21)
I recently read the book, Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde by Jeff Guinn. For fans of true crime and depression-era criminals, Mr. Guinn’s book doesn’t disappoint. It might be one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read this year. I highly recommend it.

Somebody is always watching (10-24-21)
I braved the Texas heat yesterday afternoon — it felt more like summer than fall — to track down some historical markers. I was driving in a residential neighborhood to get to the next one and passed a house with a teenager sitting on the front porch. He watched me, and I know he continued to do so as I parked a few houses down. I got out of my car, read the historical marker, and took a few photos — definitely feeling his eyes on me at this point.

Dr. Zack Bobo: An Arlington Doctor Determined to Keep-a-stepping!” (10-20-21)
I recently read Dr. Zack Bobo’s memoir, Ramblings of a Country Doctor, published in 1977. The memoir touched on his youth, medical school, a lengthy career as a doctor, time in Arlington, and traveling. He included observations about living life, the medical profession, and a determination to “keep a-stepping” — advice from a fellow doctor he often passed onto others. Bobo lived a life full of adventure and discovery before passing away in 1987 at age 90. He’s buried at Parkdale Cemetery in Arlington.

Arlington, Texas and Bad Königshofen, Germany: 70 Years as Sister Cities (10-07-21)
The relationship between Arlington and the Bavarian town of Bad Königshofen began as letters between pen pals that turned into a post-World War II assistance program. Despite the distance and contrasts between the Sister Cities, our enduring friendship is a testament to the power of kindness.

North Texas Giving Day – 2021 (09-23-21)
Today is North Texas Giving Day! This annual event is a major fundraiser for more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations in North Texas. In 12 years, North Texas Giving Day has helped raise more than $375 million, as the event brings unrivaled awareness and support. What started as an idea is now a movement.

Heroes’ Park: Arlington’s Tribute to Fallen Public Safety Officers (09-05-21)
Heroes’ Park is a solemn tribute area honoring thirteen Arlington Police and Firefighters who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Arlington Historical Society Newsletter – Member Spotlight Interview (08-06-21)
The Arlington Historical Society recently interviewed me for our newsletter. The newsletter occasionally does a Member Spotlight Interview, and it’s a fun way to learn more about members.

Six Flags Over Texas: 60 Years as an Arlington Icon (08-05-21)
It’s hard to imagine the Arlington skyline without roller coasters stretching towards the sky. Six Flags Over Texas has been a part of Arlington for 60 years, and the two are closely intertwined. Before Six Flags occupied more than 200 acres along 360 and I-30, though, the area was nearly empty. Today, it’s home to Arlington’s Entertainment District.

Where The Tigers Roamed Free: Growing Up in Mansfield, Texas (07-30-21)
In 2020, Mansfield, Texas, celebrated the 130th anniversary of the city’s incorporation. As COVID-19 postponed or canceled many of the festivities, the celebration continued into 2021. The Mansfield Historic Landmark Commission, Mansfield Public Library, and Mansfield Historical Museum and Heritage Center collaborated to sponsor “This Is Us.” It’s a community project seeking stories from former and current residents. The project is a reminder that historic preservation goes beyond places and events — it also involves everyday people and their stories.

The Railroad Arrives in Arlington, Texas – July 19, 1876 (07-22-21)
This week marks 145 years since the railroad first arrived in Arlington, Texas. It was a significant event that helped create our town and contribute to its growth. Local historians generally consider the train’s arrival to be the founding of Arlington.

Technology in Cemeteries? (07-16-21)
Will technology ever be evident in cemeteries? I think it will. QR Codes, or “Quick Response Codes,” are a type of barcode that you scan with your smartphone. These could be added at the cemetery or on individual headstones. As much as I generally detest technology, I think it’s a good idea.

Historic Preservation Month: Bankhead Highway (06-14-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! It’s a month dedicated to preserving places that have historical significance. Let’s visit a couple of historical sites on the Bankhead Highway — or as it’s more commonly known today — Division Street.

Arlington’s World War II Memorial – Dedication Ceremony (06-05-21)
Event Recap: More than 100 people attended the Dedication Ceremony for the Arlington World War II Memorial. Several World War II veterans attended, along with others having ties to our armed forces. There were even relatives of a few of the men being honored on the plaques. It was a special day for veterans, the Arlington Historical Society, and the City of Arlington.

The Hill: Arlington’s Historic African American Community (06-04-21)
“The Hill” is a historic, five-block area of Arlington. It was the only area designated for the city’s African American residents when racially segregated neighborhoods were the norm. For much of its history, The Hill was segregated from the rest of Arlington – both socially and physically.

From Hayter to The Hill: Tour Historic Downtown Arlington (part 2) (06-03-21)
History comes alive in Downtown Arlington! A short trek up Center Street offers a unique look at the city’s past. Part 1 explores some of the city’s founders and early history. Part 2 takes us through historic neighborhoods that are still thriving today. Along the way, there are historical markers, local landmarks, people, places, and events. From Hayter to The Hill, let’s begin the Historic Tour of Downtown Arlington!

From Hayter to The Hill: Tour Historic Downtown Arlington (part 1) (05-25-21)
History comes alive in Downtown Arlington! A short trek up Center Street offers a unique look at the city’s past. Part 1 explores some of the city’s founders and early history. Part 2 takes us through historic neighborhoods that are still thriving today. Along the way, there are historical markers, local landmarks, people, places, and events. From Hayter to The Hill, let’s begin the Historic Tour of Downtown Arlington!

Historical Marker Monday – Bankhead Highway Through Arlington (05-24-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! “Historical Marker Monday” is a new series on my blog highlighting historical markers. This week highlights the Bankhead Highway Through Arlington.

Historic Preservation Month: Downtown/UTA (05-20-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! It’s a month dedicated to preserving places that have historical significance. Let’s visit some of the historical sites in Downtown Arlington. Many have Texas Historical Markers or are City of Arlington Landmarks.

Historical Marker Monday – Top O’ Hill Terrace (05-18-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! “Historical Marker Monday” is a new series on my blog highlighting historical markers. This week highlights Top O’ Hill Terrace.

Historical Marker Monday – First United Methodist Church of Arlington (05-10-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! “Historical Marker Monday” is a new series on my blog highlighting historical markers. This week highlights the First United Methodist Church of Arlington.

Texas Historical Commission (05-07-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! Let’s check out the Texas Historical Commission — an unparalleled resource for preserving the history of Texas.

Historical Marker Monday – City of Arlington (05-03-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! “Historical Marker Monday” is a new series on my blog highlighting historical markers. This week highlights the City of Arlington.

May is Historic Preservation Month! (05-03-21)
May is Historic Preservation Month! While the focus is generally on preserving historic buildings and structures, it’s an excellent opportunity to appreciate local history in all its forms.

Vandergriff Park (04-29-21)
Named for the Vandergriff Family, it’s one of the largest parks in the city. Vandergriff Park is a sprawling site over 100 acres in size. The site includes Vandergriff Park, the Bob Duncan Center (for events), and connects with Marrow Bone Spring Park.

Cooper Street Antique Mall (04-27-21)
One of the best places to shop in Arlington — or at least browse — may be the Cooper Street Antique Mall. At 53,000 square feet, it’s the largest antique mall in Arlington. Wear your most comfortable sneakers when exploring this one.

National Medal of Honor Day and Colonel Neel E. Kearby (03-25-21)
March 25 is National Medal of Honor Day. It’s a special day to honor our heroes. It’s also a perfect opportunity to highlight Arlington’s Colonel Neel E. Kearby, and the future National Medal of Honor Museum.

River Legacy Park: Arlington’s nature escape (03-19-21)
Arlington has more than 80 parks. They range from pocket parks, community parks, and city parks, depending on the size and amenities. Then there’s River Legacy Park. Not only is it the largest park in the city, but it’s also one of my favorite places to visit in the city.

UTA campus: black and white photos – part 2 (03-04-21)
About a month ago, I explored the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) campus. It’s a fun place to explore and take photos, especially right before and after dark. I love the buildings and architecture there. I returned recently and explored the east side of the campus. Here are some of my favorites from that night!

Campo Verde: fun Tex-Mex food in Arlington since 1983 (02-19-21)
One of my favorite local restaurants is Campo Verde. It’s somewhere between a dive bar and Tex-Mex diner. A local icon — and only a few months younger than me — it’s a fun place for Tex-Mex food. Let’s check it out.

Al’s Hamburgers: an Arlington icon since 1957 (02-15-21)
Al’s Hamburgers opened in 1957. It’s an Arlington icon. With a menu that likely hasn’t changed much over the years, this old-school, family-owned restaurant serves up classic burgers in a surprisingly modern setting. My wife and I recently made our first trip there and will be going back soon. Let’s check out Al’s Hamburgers.

Candlelite Inn restaurant: an Arlington icon since 1957 (02-12-21)
One of the oldest restaurants in Arlington is the Candlelite Inn. It opened in 1957 with a simple menu — tacos, pizza, beer, and soft drinks. Today, the restaurant is known for its eclectic menu and ambiance from a by-gone era. My wife and I recently made our first visit to the Candlelite Inn. Spoiler alert: We loved it and will definitely be going back! Let’s check it out.

Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas – February 6, 2011 (02-05-21)
Back in 2011, Arlington was thrust into the sports spotlight when we hosted Super Bowl XLV. It’s been ten years since the Super Bowl party came to Arlington. Let’s look back at one of the largest events to ever grace our humble little town.

Arlington Sculpture Garden (01-28-21)
Arlington Sculpture Garden features seven works of art. The artwork is lit at night, which allows an entirely different viewing experience from the daytime. Although not my first time here, it was my first time to see the sculptures at night.

UTA campus: black and white photos – part 1 (01-28-21)
On Monday evening, I explored the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) campus. I like taking photos of architecture and buildings, and I knew UTA had plenty of both. I explored the campus and walked until my feet hurt. I took lots of photos that night — these are the ones that survived the cut.

K9 Memorial in Downtown Arlington (01-24-21)
Arlington has a growing number of monuments, markers, plaques, and public art. Many of these pay tribute to people who have made a difference in the city. A new monument downtown, though, pays tribute to the city’s service dogs in our police and fire departments.

Downtown Arlington Library (01-23-21)
The Arlington Public Library system consists of seven branches scattered throughout the city. The highlight is the downtown branch, named after George W. Hawkes. The three-story library is located in the heart of Arlington and in City Center Plaza. It offers approximately 200,000 print and electronic items. Each floor has distinctive features and amenities. Let’s visit the Downtown Arlington library.

In memory of Amber Hagerman (01-15-21)
Amber Hagerman and her younger brother were riding their bikes in Arlington. A man in a black pickup truck approached. He grabbed her from the bike, put her into his truck, and drove away. What started as a kidnapping investigation turned into a search for a murderer. Amber’s body was found a few days later in a nearby creek bed. She was nine years old.

Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens (01-12-21)
There are two smaller communities surrounded by the City of Arlington. Combined, they are less than three square miles with a population of roughly 5,000 people. While similar in size, each has a much different history. Let’s visit Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens.

Arlington’s Sister City – Bad Königshofen, Germany (01-09-21)
Since 1951, Arlington, Texas and Bad Königshofen, Germany have had a relationship. What began as an act of kindness turned into a friendship that still exists 70 years later. The cities are about 5,000 miles apart with many contrasts. But their friendship is a testament to kindness.

My favorite 2020 photos of Arlington, Texas (01-08-21)
Check out some of my favorite 2020 photos of Arlington. While it doesn’t tell the whole story, it gives a glimpse of the city’s personality. From local landmarks and history to quirky and fun, there’s a bit of everything.

12 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Arlington (12-12-20)
Christmas may look and feel different this year, but there are still plenty of ways to get in the holiday spirit. Here are twelve ways to celebrate Christmas in Arlington.

Rehoboth Cemetery (12-11-20)
Located in south Arlington at Cooper Street and Harris Road is the Rehoboth Cemetery. The cemetery is 2.5 acres and has over 500 graves. Many of the older headstones are no longer legible. There is a Texas Historical Marker near the entrance, which gives an overview of the cemetery.

Dimebag Darrell: Texas Guitar Hero (12-08-20)
It was sixteen years ago that we lost a music icon and local legend. Darrell Lance Abbott, better known as Dimebag Darrell, grew up in Arlington, Texas. He’s best remembered as the guitarist for the metal band Pantera. Other notable projects include the bands Damageplan and Rebel Meets Rebel. His life was tragically cut short on December 8, 2004, at age 38.

North Texas Giving Day – 2020 (09-16-20)
Donating, volunteering, and helping others in need can be such a rewarding experience. This year, North Texas Giving Day is September 17. It’s an annual event designated to give back to the local nonprofit organizations in the community. It’s kind of a big deal. In 2019, donations exceeded $50,000,000!

Arlington: More than the Big Four (08-26-20)
Arlington is more than the Big Four in our Entertainment District. They’re popular, and icons of our skyline, but there’s more to Arlington than that. It’s some of the lesser-known things in this city that gives it charm and personality. The Big Four aren’t really for me. So what do I like about Arlington then? Let’s find out.

Arlington: The Entertainment Capital of Texas (08-19-20)
Arlington is mostly known for the Big Four in its Entertainment District. While it doesn’t show the whole picture of Arlington, it’s a decent introduction.

Introduction to “Local Unknown” blog series (08-12-20)
Local Unknown is my new blog series exploring my hometown of Arlington, Texas, and the local area. It focuses on local history, oddities, arts, and culture.