Thistle Hill Remains One of Fort Worth’s Favorite Historic Mansions

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Thistle Hill House Museum has been restored by Historic Fort Worth. The organization is now offering guided tours and use for public events, including weddings and receptions.
(Courtesy Photo: Historic Fort Worth)

Becoming the City of Fort Worth’s first designated landmark in 1978, Thistle Hill is one of two historic house museums available to the public through Historic Fort Worth.

Sitting on a 6.5-acre plot in the Near Southside, Thistle Hill is a rare surviving mansion from the “Cattle Baron Era.”

Albert Buckman Wharton, Jr. and Electra Waggoner Wharton — the daughter of a wealthy cattleman — moved into the 18-room mansion in 1904.

The nearly 11,000-square-foot Georgian Revival-style mansion has been restored to its 1912 condition — the condition in which it was reimagined by the original design firm Sanguinet and Staats after it was purchased for $90,000 by Elizabeth and Windfield Scott, according to Historic Fort Worth.

The historic mansion has an elaborate entryway surrounded by columns, with a long sidewalk that leads to a small staircase. White projecting bay windows line the mansion walls. On each wall also sits large balcony patios.

The gambrel sloped roof features green tile, complementing the red brick exterior.

The grand staircase is popular for weddings.

The interior features a grand staircase with beautiful woodwork throughout. The two-and-a-half-story house features a basement.

Its carriage house at the rear of the property — which is one of only two urban, transitional carriage houses in the state — was built for both horses and cars. The transportation amenities include stalls, feeding troughs, a cooling yard, garage bays, and a hand-crank gas pump.

The property is lined with brick wall and ornamental iron.

The vibrant green grounds, which make up the largest green space in the Fort Worth Medical District, are fenced with brick walls and iron with ornamental details.

The park-like space is available to the public free of charge on weekdays. Modern upgrades include a children’s tactile and fragrance garden, which was installed on the property in 2008, and a week-day food truck, which joined the property in 2013.

Thistle Hill has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975. It is open for public tour and special occasions and events, including weddings and receptions.

Public-interest events are also scheduled at the museum, including its popular murder mystery event — Murder at Thistle Hill.

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Brandi Addison

Brandi Addison was born and raised in Fort Worth and is making her way back to the Panther City after living away from home for nearly five years while attending college at Texas Tech University. After graduating, she was an education reporter for the Midland Reporter-Telegram. She loves the Fort Worth community and the diversity within each of its neighborhoods. Her favorite areas are Clearfork, Fairmount, and the Cultural District.

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Comments

  1. CCR says

    I created a fund-raiser for Thistle Hill way back in 1993. As I was a Dallasite who dared to marry a native ‘Fort Worth Boy,’ the event, was quite well-attended, exceeding my goal, but the majority were my friends coming all the way over in that snow.
    After that year, that fund-raiser never happened again. NO fund-raising went on until the self-serving group in charge were ousted by Historic Fort Worth, which truly had the Masion as the center of attention.
    Point: we have a similar edifice on Ross Avenue, now occupied by a women’s group, who have discovered that they cannot raise the funds needed to properly restore the building. It does need saving…. but, who will step in and do this?
    Local commitment to Old City Park [Dallas Historical Village] has waned, likewise. Both are the victim of poor leadership. There are not enough Mary Brinegar’s in town to keep our older treasures from possible destruction.

  2. Cody Farris says

    Thank you, CCR, for your efforts with this Fort Worth treasure. I am familiar with the Ross Avenue property you reference, and I’m hopeful Preservation Dallas and/or its many supporters will be able to garner the support to properly restore that magnificent property (Silk Stocking Row, as it was originally a part of).

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