DFW is riddled with history from these Texas terrors’ infamous reign. The Trinity River once housed the squatter’s camp where Clyde Barrow grew up before moving to a single-story house on Singleton Boulevard. That residence still stands in all its creepy glory, as does the elementary school Barrow briefly attended. What is now Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard can be visited on Walmsley Avenue, not far from Hargraves Cafe. The latter, a decrepit, abandoned building on Swiss Circle, used to be a restaurant where Bonnie Parker worked as a waitress.
Furthermore, Irving’s Campion Trail is home to a bridge that the couple and their associated used as a getaway. If you’re in the mood to honor the men of law enforcement who pursued these insidious criminals, you can find a touching tribute to State Troopers H.D. Murphy and Edward Wheeler in Southlake. Up for a self-guided tour of Bonnie & Clyde’s journey across the Metroplex? VisitDFW’s guide has you covered.
Clyde Barrow’s Childhood Home; Courtesy: @aaapanda
Top O’ Hill Terrace; Courtesy: Arlington CVB
Known as “Vegas Before Vegas”, this former gambling hall hosted card games and alcohol-infused soirees in the 1920s, when both such things were more than a little frowned upon. This unsavory hideaway even included a getaway door so its patrons could escape unnoticed. The local churches reviled the establishment and shuttered its doors in the 1950s. Ironically, Arlington Baptist University uses Top O’ Hill Terrace site today, which still remains mostly intact—and offers tours by appointment.
JFK assassination lore has been a critical part of Dallas’ history since the 1960s, but few people know about this hidden gem of a museum. The Ruth Paine House is the residence where Lee Harvey Oswald spent the night before assassinating the president. Now restored, this museum is a chilling look at one of the nation’s most memorable and mystifying crimes. As something of a JFK fanatic, I love stepping through the haunted halls where Oswald once roamed. To make a day of it, retrace the assassin’s fateful steps by stopping by the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.
Not too long ago, “My Name is Earl” thespian Jason Lee moved to Denton and helped open the delicious Barley & Board in what used to be The Lacy Hotel. Before that, outlaw Sam Bass worked in the building as a stable boy. The notorious train robber met an early demise at the hands of the Texas Rangers, but not before becoming one of the Lone Star State’s most infamous criminals. Come for the history, stay for the delicious food and beverages.
Cowtown is steeped in wild criminal lore, most of which stems from the haggard half-acre stretch of saloons and swindling known as “Hell’s Half Acre.” This sordid scene was frequented by Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, the famed “Fort Worth Five” and many other ne’er do wells whose illegal escapades have gone down in American history. Brothels, bars and dance halls filled this lawless land, which was the epitome of every wild western town you’ve seen in the movies. But you’d never know it: today, Hell’s Half Acre is a quant area near the city’s water gardens.
Featured Image: Butch Cassidy with the “Fort Worth Five” in Fort Worth, circa 1901