Arlington Baptist College trains future church leaders on the site once recognized as being the casino and gambling center for infamous gangsters, musicians and actors of the 1930’s. That’s right, this school operates in what was once known as Top O’Hill.
Everyone from Bonnie and Clyde, to Mae West, to John Wayne to Frank Sinatra had visited and tested their hands at fate here. Some came for pure recreation to eat at the Tea Garden restaurant, located at the highest peak in Tarrant County with a beautiful view, or swim in the Olympic-sized pool, while others only saw these areas when making a break for it through the escape tunnels during raids. Nonetheless, everything from murder to money-making went on here under the watchful eye of property-owners Fred and Mary Browning.
Although the scandalous past of Top O’Hill wasn’t exactly a secret, it was pretty well swept under the rug until Vickie Bryant came along and threw herself into rediscovering this fascinating tale of sinners and saints, leading the way to making Top O’Hill a historical landmark.
Vickie Bryant has spent the last ten years pouring over newspaper articles and talking with locals to find out more about the back story of Top O’Hill and now acts as historian and docent giving tours upon request. The tour features an informative and invigorating presentation by Vickie followed by a walk through the cafeteria, once the infamous casino, a peak into hidden rooms and tunnels, and the legendary Tea Garden.
Vickie states that visitors are amazed to learn the events that went on here, and so was I. To arrange for a tour, call, Vickie at (817) 461-8741 ext. 109. Donations of $5 are accepted for a tour that will fill ears with juicy stories, and leave visitors with a new thirst for the past.