Steel's Tavern Oaks

Historical Period: Early Statehood (1845-1861)
Historical Topic: Frontier Settlements
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Tarrant
Public Access: Yes

The metropolitan city of Fort Worth, Texas prides itself in being the furthermost edge of the American Western Frontier. Fort Worth was established as a military post in 1849. Located in, what was then, the northeast corner of the Fort Plaza, these grand live oak trees are the only remnants of the original fort grounds still standing. These trees, commonly known as Steel’s Tavern Oaks, also mark the location of Fort Worth hotel, established in 1855 as Fort Worth’s first hotel, which was the stage coach terminal for travelers arriving to and leaving from Fort Worth. The original Fort Worth hotel structure remained the same site for 70 years.

In 1978, Tarrant County sought a resolution to save the trees and preserve the site as a historical landmark and the Fort Worth Star telegram told of an old rusty marker on the tree. In 2018, the old rusty marker, no longer visible due to the growth of the trees, was replaced with a shiny new marker detailing the role this hotel and these trees played in Fort Worth history.

The Steel’s Tavern Oaks stand at 200 West Bluff Street in Fort Worth, 50 yards northwest of the Tarrant County Courthouse.