The City Council voted to acquire an additional acre of land to expand a city park in Mosier Valley, the historic community where the first freed Texans settled after news of the Emancipation Proclamation spread across the nation.
Mosier Valley Park is currently under construction. Amenities will include a playground, trails, shelter, benches, picnic tables, multiuse court and security lighting. The park will be accessible to the neighborhood and have an interpretive commemoration or historical designation area.
The city will pay $73,120 plus closing costs for the additional land at 11304 Mosier Valley Road.
“The establishment of Mosier Valley Park has been a wonderful vehicle that is unifying the community,” District 5 Councilmember Gyna M. Bivens said. “I will never forget the outdoor meeting we convened to show the community how they could participate in acquiring displays to be used at the park. I was literally blown away when we had a formal community meeting. Within 15 minutes, the crowd was at capacity, filling every seat at the historic St. John Missionary Baptist Church. We knew we were on the right track.”
“I commend city Park & Recreation workers who have embraced this project with respect and sensitivity,” Bivens said. “Considering the fact this location is where the first freed slaves settled in Texas, I am confident it will be one of the state of Texas’ destination spots.”
Mosier Valley was established in the 1870s on the north bank of the Trinity River just south of Hurst, Euless and Bedford, according to the Texas State Historical Association. It was founded by Robert and Dilsie Johnson and 10 other emancipated slave families.
Trinity River bottomland was given and sold to the freedmen by the Mosier and Lee plantation families, and the families established a close-knit farming community.
The heyday of Mosier Valley was from about 1910 through the 1930s. During this time it reached its peak population of perhaps 300. The area was annexed by Fort Worth in 1963.
In 2014, the City Council approved acquiring about four acres of land on the south side of Mosier Valley Road and west of Vine Street and Knapp Street from the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District and Tarrant County to build Mosier Valley Park.
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