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Fort Worth Flashback: Pioneer family’s homestead became Cultural District

Posted July 9, 2012

Van Zandt

The Van Zandt cottage at 2900 Crestline Road has played an important role in Fort Worth’s history.

Major Khleber Miller Van Zandt settled in Fort Worth after the Civil War. He was part of Company D, Texas Seventh Regiment for the Confederate Army. He was also a member of the Texas Legislature, a cattleman, banker and merchant.

Between 1871 and 1873, Van Zandt acquired about 600 acres of land to the west of the newly incorporated city of Fort Worth. Some of Van Zandt’s property was purchased by the City of Fort Worth in 1892 to build a water treatment plant and city park. This purchase eventually became what is now known as Trinity Park.

In 1936, the city purchased from the Van Zandt family most of the land that is now considered the Cultural District. This purchase included the cabin.

When Major Van Zandt purchased the land, the cabin was already there, so the exact date of its construction is unknown. The cabin is the only structure of its type in Fort Worth still in its original location. However, the home has been significantly modified over the years.

Fort Worth architect Joseph R. Pelich was hired to restore the cabin in 1936. Many of Pelich’s designs were in the Colonial Revival style, and his work is evident in the cottage. The original home had unpainted board siding, which was replaced with a more modern wood siding and has been painted gray. Shutters were also added to the windows and additions were made in the rear to provide space for a museum.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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