With a population of more than 365,000 and spread across 100 square miles, Arlington is located precisely midway between Dallas and Fort Worth. In both population and area it has a unique distinction other than its 49-in-population standing. It is the largest “mid” city in America.
Arlington’s history is complex, its identity evolving over more than 150 years. It has been a frontier outpost, an agricultural center, a site of Indian battles and a mecca for horse racing and gambling. It once was famed for its mineral waters, has long been a college town (it has three colleges), and it hosts major industrial entities such as the Arlington General Motors Assembly Plant. Today it is famed for Major League Baseball and amusement attractions that feature giant roller coasters, but it also has a high tech component that includes nanotechnology research, computer chip manufacturing and a technology incubator designed to introduce leading edge university research into the world of commerce.
Named in honor of Robert E. Lee’s hometown in Virginia, Arlington rests squarely on the divide of two distinct geological strata, a vast “grand prairie” called the Eagle Ford, and an oaks-dominated woodland of gently rolling hills called the Eastern Cross Timbers. Its heritage is a colorful one, beginning with Native Americans and continuing through the explorations of the first Europeans and the earliest days of the Texas Republic. No less than six national flags have flown here.