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Commerce Street Cutoff

Commerce Street Cutoff
August 24, 2015 10:52PM
Street names are odd things sometimes.

In looking at some of the maps that sharkins provided in the thread about Greenville Ave., I noticed that there were various names given for what is now (and has for several decades been) known as Fort Worth Avenue. Those maps from the 1940s show the street as it veers SW from Commerce Street, but use the name "Commerce Street Cutoff." I have heard "Fort Worth Pike," which is more commonly applied to West Davis, and "Fort Worth Cutoff." Seeing the name Commerce Street Cutoff was the first I had encountered that. The maps that use that name show Fort Worth Avenue as extending due west from Commerce Street Cutoff at about the Stevens Park area, and some of them apply the name Fort Worth Avenue east of that point, and Commerce Street Cutoff only to that portion of what we now know as Fort Worth Avenue west of Stevens Park. Some of them also show West Commerce Street as it extends west from the point near the modern Sylvan Street where Fort Worth Avenue veers SW, while some do not.

A couple of the maps also use the name "West Dallas Pike" for a portion of what we know as Fort Worth Avenue. That is another first for me.

Here is the link. Check the Ashburn's and other maps from the 40s: [www.dfwfreeways.com]

On both older and newer maps in the link more familiar names are used, or no names at all are placed on that section of road. Oh, on the Ashburn's map it is labeled as Highway 1. I thought that designation predated the designation of U.S. 80 and was dropped when U.S. 80 was created.

Dave McNeely



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2015 11:09PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 25, 2015 06:47AM
old man from dallas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
.
> Ashburn's map it is labeled as Highway 1. I
> thought that designation predated the designation
> of U.S. 80 and was dropped when U.S. 80 was
> created.

=========
The introduction of the federal highway numbering system in 1926 did not supplant the state highway numbering which began in 1919.

Many routes carried both numbers into the 1950s. With the advent of new expressways and freeways the federal number was reassigned to those routings while the state number generally remained with the original routing or a later variation of it.

I'm pretty sure there still may be some short stretches in rural areas that are currently cosigned with both the federal and state numbers.

In 1939 the original 26 state highways were renumbered and some of those have been re-used on completely different routings. SH 5 is a local example. It was originally routed from Texarkana to Texline in the far northwest corner of the panhandle with a spur from Bonham to Dallas that is now SH 78. The current SH 5 is the prior routing of US 75 from Plano through McKinney with US 75 having been transferred to Central Expressway in stages as it was constructed. US 75, for the most part, was originally SH 6.


Texas State Highway 1 is an exception - as in some major sports that number is officially retired and cannot be reused.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 25, 2015 10:39AM
M.C., to your knowledge, were the names "Commerce Street Cutoff" and "West Dallas Pike" ever official names for the connector from Commerce Street to West Davis, ie. Fort Worth Avenue? And was the name Fort Worth Avenue ever officially applied to a street running straight west from approximately Stevens Park? These names are applied in this way on some of the maps posted in the Greenville Ave. thread. Or does anyone else have knowledge of these names? Thanks.

Dave McNeely
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 25, 2015 01:15PM
West Dallas Pike / Road was one of about a dozen official Dallas County cardinal and intermediate road designations in 1905. Pike and Road are used interchangeably but Pike was a common earlier name.

The actual routing of the Pikes, just like the later numbering, was occasionally adjusted. The Pike usually began at the city limits and its name generally carried the destination which for the most part was within the county or the next adjacent one, e.g., Fort Worth Pike, Kaufman Pike. Some Pikes followed common routes for a distance. The Coppell Pike and Eagle Ford Pike followed the same route from where the Beckley Road intersected West Commerce until the Coppell Pike turned north at the town of Eagle Ford. The Cedar Hill Pike followed the Fort Worth Pike before turning south at what is now Plymouth Road in Stevens Park

West Commerce Street, which began at the original river channel was an official street and there is still West Main Street which begins beyond the levee at Beckley Avenue.

Fort Worth Avenue is listed in many early directories (sometimes with Cut Off in parentheses) and on the current Google Maps. I always considered Commerce Street Cut Off and Forth Worth Cut Off as unofficial or slang terms that nonetheless found their way into common usage and on many maps. I am not sure I have ever seen either on a street sign but can't say I've looked for them either.

Present Remond Drive, which begins at Fort Worth Avenue near Stevens Park and runs due west along a section line to Westmoreland, was previously named Fort Worth Road and was a part of the Pike until Fort Worth Avenue was extended to West Davis.

I didn't have the link before but Jeff Dunn covers the basics here:
Legacies

With only a few exceptions (e.g., 1840-41 Military Road and 1844-45 Central National Highway) road building was entirely the responsibility of the counties until 1919 when the state highway system was born. The Military Road and Central National Highway were surveyed by the Republic of Texas but the actual roads were completed later by the counties along the route. Official road designation and building in Dallas County began almost immediately after its creation in 1846. Overseers were appointed to view or survey a route and the road was then built by conscripted citizens in the district or precinct.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 25, 2015 02:49PM
M C Toyer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I didn't have the link before but Jeff Dunn covers
> the basics here:
> [url=http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapt
> h35100/m1/15/]Legacies[/url]
>
MC, thanks for the descriptions, and especially for the link. It is interesting reading, relating all the old "pikes" to modern streets and roads. And it definitely clarifies for me the confusion I suffered under regarding the relationship (there is none) between the Richardson Pike (Greenville Ave) and the town of Greenville. When I read elsewhere concerning that route serving as the main route from the NE, Texarkana to Dallas, that's what confused me. But it was Texarkana-Paris-Bonham-McKinney-Richardson-Dallas, not through Greenville. Of course, from Paris, it could have dropped down to Greenville, but then would have reached Dallas via the Garland Road route.

Thanks again.

Dave McNeely
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 25, 2015 08:07PM
This may be a bit OT, but as a little kid we visited people in Ft. Worth and we took Jefferson out of OC west. We went past the Naval Air Station and on into Grand Prairie. I think it was SH 89. It must have merged with Davis or FW cutoff. But, I thought Jefferson Blvd went directly to FW. Jim
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 25, 2015 11:17PM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This may be a bit OT, but as a little kid we
> visited people in Ft. Worth and we took Jefferson
> out of OC west. We went past the Naval Air Station
> and on into Grand Prairie. I think it was SH 89.
> It must have merged with Davis or FW cutoff. But,
> I thought Jefferson Blvd went directly to FW.
> Jim

Jim -

After Jefferson makes the long southerly arc through Oak Cliff and Cockrell Hill it turns northwest then west at Loop 12 and from there runs nearly parallel with West Davis. For most of the distance the two roads are separated by the railroad and until 1933 also the Interurban. It retains the name Jefferson through Grand Prairie then changes to Abrams in Arlington and eventually ends near Fielder.

At Fielder westbound Abrams traffic had to cross the Interurban tracks and the Texas and Pacific tracks, which at that point were side by side, at an obtuse angle and that caused so many accidents it was known as "Death Crossing." After the Interurban ceased the crossing was moved back a few hundred feet to cross the railroad at a right angle. Abrams was then barricaded at its dead end but when I was at Arlington State (now UT Arlington) a carload of students speeding down Abrams crashed into the barricade. I don't recall how many were killed, maybe all.

West Davis becomes Main Street through Grand Prairie then Division in Arlington then Lancaster in Fort Worth and continues all the way to the old Depot.

The US 80 designation of West Davis / Main / Division / Lancaster later became Texas 180 which it still is today.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 31, 2015 11:02AM
M C Toyer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Present Remond Drive, which begins at Fort Worth
> Avenue near Stevens Park and runs due west along a
> section line to Westmoreland, was previously named
> Fort Worth Road and was a part of the Pike until
> Fort Worth Avenue was extended to West Davis.
>
>

Outstanding stuff as always. I always wondered about Remond, but thought it was strangely close to the edge of the escarpment to be the main road. When it was the main route what happened west of Westrmoreland?
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 31, 2015 03:10PM
When present Remond Drive was part of the route the Fort Worth Road turned south on Westmoreland to the extension of West Davis Street that was the Fort Worth Pike.

The area west from there was fairly rugged terrain with a north - south creek and was soon heavily mined for limestone. There still is not a west extension of Remond but some of the old open pit mines have been developed, mostly commercial warehouses.

Emile Remond was one of the LaReunion colonists and after the colony's demise purchased property on the north side of Remond, west of Hampton. His experiments with the limestone are largely responsible for the cement and brick making industries in Dallas.

The colony headquarters and main buildings were adjacent to Remond's home and all were destroyed by mining. From present Remond Drive the land sloped north to the Trinity River. You can get a sense of the volume of limestone that was removed by the drop of Hampton Road from Remond to Singleton and the remaining bluff on Hampton just north of I-30.


Here's a ca 1957 photo looking east. You can see ongoing mining at upper left and at center left the bluff where Hampton crosses the deep cut that was once for the temporary railway, now a service road.



The bluffs are a great vantage point for photography as evidenced by this shot by Matt Clarkson on the Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2015 03:40PM by M C Toyer.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
August 31, 2015 07:23PM
Here are a couple of maps for comparison.

1926, route via present Remond Drive:



1936, current routing:

Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 01, 2015 09:36PM
Concerning Highways Designations of Ft Worth Ave:

SH 1 was originally a cross-state highway. It followed the Bankhead Hwy; US 80 west of Dallas, US 67 NE of Dallas. Strangely, after the US Highway System was numbered, the number was re-used on Ft Worth Av. The fact that it appears that US 80 was never on this route is strange to me. The whole evolution of designations of this route is strange.

The 1930 TxDOT Dallas District Map shows SH 1 on Davis, with Ft Worth Av not on the state highway system. This map does not have US Designations, despite the fact that they were assigned four years earlier in 1926.
The 1936 TxDOT Map Shows Ft Worth Av as SH 1-B, US 80 and SH 1 on Davis. (The map is blurry, but it looks like 1-B.) (This map is on Dallas County Rootsweb)


The following info is contained in the TxDOT Highway Designation Files.
TxDOT Highway Designation Files
(The TxDOT Highway Designation Files start in 1939.)

In or prior to 1939, Ft Worth Av became SH 1, after having been SH 1-B.
In 1952, Ft Worth Av was re-numbered BUS US 80, with a hidden designation of LOOP 260; despite having never been US 80.
In 1991, those designations were dropped, and Ft Worth Av was removed from the state highway system.

Gereral info about early highway signing:
In Texas, US Highways were originally cosigned with state highways. The state highway designations were later deleted, and their signs removed, leaving only the US shields.
In other states, such as TN, the state highway designations on US highways were retained, but the signs for them were removed, making them hidden designations

When the interstates came along, on sections that were built over the top of US Highways, the Interstates and US Highways were originally co-signed.

Later, some of the US designations were deleted entirely (US 66, for example), and others were truncated. (US 81, for example, was truncated to end at I-35W in N Ft Worth.) The US Highway designations that needed to run concurrently with interstates for a distance (US 77, for example), had their shields removed from the interstates, but had their designations remain concurrent with the Interstates on the books, making these portions "hidden" designations.


Here is a good resource for Texas Highway Sign Pics:
AA Roads Shield Gallery-Texas
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 03, 2015 01:49PM
Thanks for answering my question, M.C.

For me, the "wonderful world of cement" dominated that whole area west from Westmoreland for decades. Hard to believe there was a time before.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2015 01:51PM by theperfectstorm.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 03, 2015 08:06PM
Looking at the above photo from M.C., I surmise the the dark circle in the middle is where the U S Postal Center is now and Hampton is going horizontally in the middle with the then DFW turnpike perpendicular to it? Jim
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 03, 2015 08:36PM
theperfectstorm Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for answering my question, M.C.
>
> For me, the "wonderful world of cement" dominated
> that whole area west from Westmoreland for
> decades. Hard to believe there was a time before.

Didn't the "world of cement" start at Hampton Road and West Commerce? From there west the entirety of Chalk Hill all the way to Loop 12 (or at least as far as Chalk Hill Road) was mined. At least that is my recollection from the mid-fifties on. I realize the mining started a few decades earlier.

In the 1957 photo that M.C. posted, the mining at Hampton and the DFW Turnpike is very evident.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2015 08:41PM by old man from dallas.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 04, 2015 06:26AM
There was some mining East of Hampton Road. The narrow cut under Hampton just North of the Old Turnpike was the railroad to the mining East of Hampton. There is now an ascess road in the cut.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 04, 2015 12:09PM
BTW, in the back of my mind, I seem to recall that the use of Austin Chalk to make Portland cement traces to the La Reunion colonists, maybe specifically to Remond. Does anyone know anything about that?

Dave McNeely
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 04, 2015 12:14PM
old man from dallas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BTW, in the back of my mind, I seem to recall that
> the use of Austin Chalk to make Portland cement
> traces to the La Reunion colonists, maybe
> specifically to Remond. Does anyone know anything
> about that?

Answered my own question: [tshaonline.org]

Dave McNeely
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 06, 2015 06:37AM
I remember "Cement City" well.
We would drive up the dirt road to a "shack" and pick up a classmate there, and head South to College Station, Texas A&M.
The student we picked up at his home there became and still is, man of very high achievement.
I also remember the very long tilted up huge cylinder in that portland cement factory that was a dryer of some sort.
I haven't been by there in over 50 years.
Re: Commerce Street Cutoff
September 07, 2015 07:52PM
In the summer of 1965, I was lucky to get a job at Portland Cement out off Ft. Worth Ave. It paid damn good back then as it was only 1/2 a summers work time. The 1st half of the summer I had to spend in a course in limnology(biology) at NTSU to get hrs. to graduate. The work at Portland was 12AM to 8AM. It required me to shovel in limestone or other types of gray rock into these very large rotating steel cylinders filled with "cannon balls". This device, as it rotated, crushed the rock. An old-timer there told me these balls were from a crematorium and used to grind up bones??? You could stand up inside these things as they were so large.. Not to wax sentimental, but at 3AM we took a food break and I remember talking to an older guy there who wore the ubiquitous hard hat. He was so worried back then that his 20yr. old son was being called-up to go to Viet Nam as he himself was a WW2 vet.. I can sort of understand his anguish. He tried to be as philosophical as he could be. He asked me what the hell at my age I was doing out there and I said I was working to try to get into med. school. Such are my memories of Cement City. I could only work 6 weeks because of "union regulations" ?? Jim



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/2015 07:12PM by jgoodman.
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