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Keri Garcia: "Helping People Find Homes in a City That I Love" [Video]

BusinessDasFort

Recently, we had a chance to sit down with one of our clients and find out a little more about what she's doing to help the people of Fort Wayne.

Her bright personality, and bubbling energy make her extremely approachable—and quite frankly, a joy to work with. Fort Wayne, many times, is a small "big" city. Networking is crucial, and you'll often be surprised to find out how many people know the same people that you know. 

In this close knit community, word of mouth travels fast, and we're honored to share Keri's mission with you. Hopefully, by spreading the word, even more people will be able to find new homes in a city that we love.

KeriSells4U

Mission: 

"To show people who I am, let them know what I can do for them, and also why they should work with me."

Why did you get into real estate?

"I love to help people transition from one place to another, whether it's making them feel good about leaving the place that they raised their children—or making them feel great about the new chapter in their life."

What's next?

"Well, our new Mike Thomas corporate office is complete, and we'll be moving in this month. We're located off of Coldwater Road and we're super excited about this new building. 

Also, I'll be doing an "Around the Town" video series which will highlight some of my favorite Fort Wayne hotspots; featuring dining, entertainment, and even things to do with the kids." 

Our new building is almost complete. More details here! #FortWayne

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We're excited to be a part of Keri's upcoming "Around the Town" video series and can't wait to spread Fort Wayne awareness to all corners of the digital world. 

With Northeast Indiana's "Road to One Million" initiative underway, the plan is to increase the population of the region from about 780,00 to one million residents by the year 2031. The number one goal is to attract population growth and talent, and of course, these new people need places to live.

We have a vision of becoming a region of 1 million people by developing the quality of life needed to attract top talent and expand our business landscape.
— Road to One Million, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership
We're number one!

We're number one!

Earlier this year, Fort Wayne was ranked as the number one place to raise a family. This is not the only list Fort Wayne has made in terms of housing. Fort Wayne ranked in the top ten for both places "where millennials are buying homes," and "cities with the biggest housing shortages." 

But don't worry, this is a fantastic time to buy or sell, and yes, Keri can sell for you. 

 

Follow along with Keri on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Photos and videos by Tony Frantz

Freshii—Your New Favorite Place [Video]

FoodDasFort

If you're looking for a healthy restaurant to try in the downtown Fort Wayne area, Freshii is a must! Serving up fresh salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, juices and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Specializing in natural ingredients, Freshii caters to all ways of eating from vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and meat eaters too.  

Locally owned by the Hay family (Christina and her two sons, Kelly and Kevin), Freshii is also an eco-conscious dining option with biodegradable containers and dining utensils.

We caught up with Kevin Hay to find out a little more about the restaurant and what they offer. 

"My name is Kevin Hay, and my family and I opened this Freshii location in the Harrison, Fort Wayne last year on February 1, 2016.

We first heard about Freshii when my brother and my mom were on a shopping trip down in Indianapolis at the Keystone Fashion Mall; they have a Freshii there as well. They tried it out and liked the uniqueness of the brand, the fact it caters to everybody—vegetarians, vegans, meat eaters—just everybody as a whole. They liked the quality of the food and the health benefits associated with it, and just fell in love with the whole concept.

We offer salads, bowls, burritos, and wraps. As far as the bowls, the Pangoa is pretty popular—it’s got brown rice, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and tomatoes. It’s something that is more popular with people who are giving this a first-time type of try. You are always surprised by the knowledge other people have, and a lot of times it will be people who come from out of town, and they say, 'Oh this is great this is here, this is what we do in our city as well. You remind me a lot of a certain restaurant in my hometown.'  

Here in Fort Wayne as well, people are always commenting, 'It’s great you guys use these bags, I’ve never seen them used before. I see that you guys are trying to minimize your waste and your energy, that’s excellent ... and taking care of the environment—that’s awesome.'  

It’s a daily thing that new people come in, and even people that have come in before, say, 'I can’t stress enough how thankful I am to see a restaurant like yours that is conscious of the environment.'"

Freshii is located at 301 W Jefferson Blvd, open Monday-Friday from 11-8 and Saturday 11-4.

10/10 👍🏽👏🏽

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March Photo Contest Winner & Honorable Mentions

The ArtsDasFort

This month, we were happy to have Specialized Printed Products as a Fort Wayne photo contest sponsor. The guidelines? Fort Wayne photos tagged with #DasFort.

The prize? An oversized custom canvas print, 24 x 36 inches—a $150 value. 

Once again, we were honored and amazed by all your beautiful snapshots of the city. It was hard to pick just one winner, so we decided to include a post with all of our favorites.

The winner of the March contest is another small business, @TheTinyShedFW. We just love the sunlight through the trees, the size of the little shed, and—especially on this snowy Saint Patrick's Day—the bright green grass.

First runner-up, although not a photo of the actual city, was taken in Fort Wayne by a previous contest winner, guest Instagram take-over professional, and #LightUpTheFort instigator, @MollieShutt. We are simply in love with her black balloon series: "Gerascophobia: The Fear of Growing Up."

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Second runner-up is man about town, @BrettGauger. The lines, the mysteriousness, the shadows—there's still new views to be found in the Fort. 

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The rest are in no particular order, but all deserve some recognition.

Just when we thought spring was almost here (only 3 days away!), Fort Wayne was blessed with ... more snow. Beautifully captured by @EmilyKayRichardson.

Talk about vibrant colors and beautiful murals! @NativeOfTheFort's downtown shot is picture perfect.

Who doesn't enjoy a little long exposure? Night lights and the courthouse captured by @RyanBurson.

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That bike riding shadow though! Perfectly timed capture by @JonathanWKaufman.

And, finally, what's a Fort Wayne photo contest without a skyline shot? Love the dreamy twilight hues by @EmKBrowning.

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Thanks again to everyone who participated, we appreciate you!

Stay tuned for more contests and giveaways.

 

But wait! Are you a business, or business professional located in Fort Wayne? Consider joining our DasFort.Guide—an online directory of all things Fort Wayne. Registration is free.

 

Check out previous winners from: Photo Contest Fusion: Yoga + Fort Wayne

 

Inside the Fort Wayne Indoor Skatepark [Video]

Social GoodDasFort
The Fort Wayne Indoor

The Fort Wayne Indoor

Once summer has faded away, many outdoor activities end, leaving limited options for physical exercise. This is especially true for bikers and skateboarders, as snow makes these sports almost impossible in the winter. The only one of its kind in the surrounding area, Fort Wayne's indoor BMX and skateboard park is truly a special place—a safe and warm haven for kids of all ages to wait out the cold. We caught up with The Fort Wayne Indoor's BMX director Rich Hoppe to learn a little more about this unique institution.

Our mission is to provide a safe, legal, and positive recreational opportunity for multi-aged locals to grow their BMX/Skating skills, while building self-confidence and enriching their lives by becoming a part of a unique community. — The Fort Wayne Indoor

Open seven days a week, October - April, the skatepark has been around for five years, originally as a church youth group extension known as New Republic Skate Park. Over time, all the volunteers disappeared except for Hoppe and skateboard director Dan Butler. They were able to raise $10,000 via a GoFundMe over 21 days in 2014 "to keep the spirit alive," and rebranded as a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit. After that, they ripped everything down and rebuilt, essentially creating a $200k park all with donated labor and wood. 

An entirely volunteer and community based skatepark, there are events every other weekend throughout the winter. Although broken bones come with the territory, Hoppe views these setbacks as time off, and assured us that it's still "10,000 times more fun than injury." Guests are required to sign a liability waver and ride at their own risk, with available lessons for both skateboarding and BMX. There's a designated area for beginners, and the minimum age requirement is eight years old, unless accompanied by parents and depending on how busy it is. With cameras in the building, there's always a watchful eye and never any fights. 

Skateboard director Dan Butler

Skateboard director Dan Butler

"The highlight of the park is just having it exist, it's a very difficult thing to keep open," Hoppe said. "We're a regional hub at this point, there's literally not another skatepark till Cleveland, a BMX park in South Bend and small skateboard park in Kokomo. Indianapolis and Chicago have no indoor parks." The combination of both groups at The Fort Wayne Indoor brings even more people in from the surrounding areas. 

Skateboarders outnumber BMX riders almost five to one in the city, so they get a little more time at The Fort Wayne Indoor. Usually the time is split between the two groups, with a mixed session on Sundays. While skateboarders have Lawton Park, it is against the rules for bikes to be there. Franke Park has a BMX track although there is no freestyle, just racing. Still, once the weather turns, everyone heads outside.

BMX specifically has allowed Hoppe to travel around the country as a stunt rider and announcer. Growing up, he was off his bike all winter long because there was nothing around, so he would go to racetracks instead. Today kids have more options—all ages of kids. It's really a passion project for Rich, as he fell in love with BMX and can't get enough. From shows at schools (mainly Midwest), public speaking gigs, to a specialty podcast (The Bill & Rich Oddcast B.R.O.A.D.D.C.A.S.T.), Hoppe lives and breathes BMX. 

On January 7th, The Battle for Midwest BMX begins with the first stop of the contest series at The Fort Wayne Indoor, then Detroit, South Bend, and Butler, Ohio. All levels are welcome, and the winner gets a free week at Ohio Dreams Action Sports Camp. This the fourth year for the contest hosted by Hoppe. 

BMX director Rich Hoppe

BMX director Rich Hoppe

What lies ahead for The Fort Wayne Indoor? The goal is to get things going even more, gain a stronger foothold in the community, make it a training facility, and hold summer camps. This is not currently possible because of size constraints. Hoppe and Butler hope to grow, save some money, and move to a new building.

If you'd like to support the park, you can donate here, or attend the annual summer fundraiser, an action sports and music festival in downtown Fort Wayne called: "Rock The Ramp" (est. 2015).

Up Next:

Friday Night: BMX 6-10pm - ALL NIGHT SKATE 10pm-6am
Saturday: BMX 2-6pm - CLOSED SATURDAY NIGHT

Sunday: 12pm-4pm

($10 one time fee per year, $10 for each 4 hour session, 7 days a week)

Looking for something to do with a good cause on NYE? Consider a fundraiser for The Fort Wayne Indoor hosted by Skeletunes Lounge which will include live music, prize raffles, and snacks:

Riding in the New Years for The Fort Wayne Indoor

 

There's other ways to help the community as well, check out:

Lutheran Social Services of Indiana

 

 

Photos & video by Tony Frantz

Banh Mi Barista: Bringing Pho to the People

FoodDasFort
Banh Mi Barista (BMB) is a locally owned family cafe that focuses on integrating Vietnamese food, and culture to our community. Food is not only something to fill the appetite, but it is also a way to learn about different cultures and countries. Our menu not only provides products that will soothe your cravings, but will help you experience some of the delicacies of the Vietnamese culture.

Mission:
At BMB, we are committed to providing exceptional food and hospitality to every guest while embracing a fun, creative, and innovative working environment for our associates.
— BMB

Bubble tea, banh mi, and pho—what more do you need to know? How about the background to one of Fort Wayne's most delicious Vietnamese restaurants. 

Banh Mi Barista (BMB) opened in October 2012, as a family business run by owner Will Le, his sister, and niece. The idea was that they could create a healthier option for the city, as there aren't that many Vietnamese restaurants in the area. (There are four Vietnamese restaurants listed on Google, with BMB earning 4.6 stars, and four on Yelp, with BMB at 4.5 stars. BMB ties with Saigon Restaurant on Zomato with 4.2 stars.)

Did you know that there is no processed food at BMB? Everything is made from scratch; handmade with love. A hands on owner, Will does almost everything himself although he delegates when necessary. "I want to do the best that I can, whatever I do. I think that when people eat the food, something I made, I should put some love into doing it instead of just a quick thing," Will told us.

Having worked in the restaurant business growing up, Will always wanted to run his own place one day. Although his sister and niece helped him at the beginning, it's just Will at the helm now that the business is off and running. "I always grew up cooking, I liked cooking when I was younger, always trying something new. My first job in the restaurant industry was as a cook at the Gas House. I cooked there for three years, and really grew to love the process."

"I have been going here for years for the Pho. I've never had a bad experience. Pho is extremely good, veggies are always fresh, service excellent. A true Fort Wayne restaurant gem!"                — 5 Stars by Ryan (Zomato)

Before opening BMB, Will managed a Fort Wayne Panda Express and travelled. Originally from Vietnam, Will came here with his family in 1991. Why Fort Wayne? "It's a peaceful town to grow up in, that's what my family looked at. My mom said it's a good environment to grow up in, and that's why we're here."

His mother is also the person who's influenced him most in life. She was a very optimistic and open minded individual, and liked to learn new things. She was a role model to look up to, always telling him no matter how hard things get, don't give up!

Over the years, Will's biggest teacher have been his mistakes. When BMB first opened, things weren't always done effectively or efficiently—things took longer and were more labor intensive. As the store has grown however, things have gotten easier, and a system is in place to make sure everything runs as efficiently as possible.

One of the most memorable days at BMB? "When we first opened up—we weren't quite ready—and didn't know what to expect. There were people lining up, and we ran out of everything we'd prepared the day before. Everyone was running around trying to keep up with the customers. It was a fun day and it's hard to forget because we ran out of everything, although we gave out coupons to the people so they'd come back when we restocked."

"First time going a couple days ago; it was FANTASTIC. I went there initially looking for good bubble tea, which IS really good btw, and I was very happy with my find. They have so many options and milk tea combinations to choose from; I went with the avocado milk tea with lychee popping boba. Really nice combo. The service was super friendly and helpful, and the beef pho was delicious. Now I'm no expert with beef pho, but this tasted pretty darn good. Fresh herbs, good broth, tender beef, awesome. Definitely coming back for both that and the bubble tea."     — 5 Stars by Emma Hayden (Google)
Dancing bubble teas!

Dancing bubble teas!

What about the name? "Banh mi is the Vietnamese sandwich, and barista is all the drinks we make. Boba tea was just getting popular, it was new in town, so I thought it was a good thing to call it. Especially since it'd be the first of its kind in the city."

After four years in business, what is Will's personal glimpse of wisdom into the industry? "I believe in adding value to people, for the money they spend. When I go out and eat, I make sure I get the value for the money I spend. If I can enhance the value that people experience when they eat here, it will make them remember that it's worth spending the money on."

Strongest asset: Love and passion for food and a love of cooking. Will truly appreciates making things for other people to try.

His personal favorite at BMB? "My personal favorite would be the beef pho, and the Viet special banh mi."

What's next for Banh Mi Barista? Another store, tentatively named PBMB—for Pho Banh Mi Barista. Close to down town the store is slated for a spring opening next year. "The plan is to just keep growing, I've always wanted to grow, maybe even into a chain." The new store will have a few more food options on the expanded menu. 

Tips to growing your own restaurant business? "Focus on what you do within your four walls, and do it really well. Just do what you do, but do it better than everyone else."

Will's go to spot for food in Fort Wayne? Wu's Fine Chinese Cuisine.

In his free time, Will enjoys hiking, bicycling, and canoeing. He also finds inspiration from watching Iron Chef, and reading lots of cookbooks.

"Best Vietnamese I have found in Ft. Wayne or Indy for Bahn Mi and vermicelli bowls. Try the Korean BBQ banh mi with extra veggies and the noodle bowl with beef and add an egg roll (which has way more meat than usual). Daughter tried lychee bubble tea which was very sweet but much more lychee flavor than I expected."  5 Stars by Craig E. (Yelp)
BMB Korean BBQ banh mi sandwich (Tony Frantz) 

BMB Korean BBQ banh mi sandwich (Tony Frantz

Earlier this year, DasFort Media made a new website for BMB, and it was a pleasure to work with one of our favorite spots. You can check it out here: Banh Mi Barista.

We not only build websites, we help populate them with unique photography. It has been our pleasure to help local businesses build their brands online. Although we specialize in SquareSpace sites, we are also adept with WordPress and Magento. Take a look at some of our other sites: http://www.dasfort.com/studio (scroll to the second half for client gallery).

The LaSalle Inn Downtown Fort Wayne: Preservation in Progress

BusinessDasFort
The LaSalle Inn includes the main house (middle building, aka, the Thomas Snook house), and the Sion Bass house (far left)

The LaSalle Inn includes the main house (middle building, aka, the Thomas Snook house), and the Sion Bass house (far left)

You've probably driven past them, two buildings sitting on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Fairfield Avenue. A large elevated deck behind the LaSalle Bed & Breakfast Inn sits directly behind the downtown Starbucks, the Salvation Army is across Fairfield. Sitting at a red light, you may have looked over, contemplated the deck, or noticed the scrolling LED sign advertising jazz cabaret at the boutique hotel.

Other than intrigue concerning the downtown deck, our previous knowledge about the LaSalle Inn was superfluous at best. After contact via Instagram, DasFort was invited to the Inn to take some photos, and learn about Fort Wayne's only downtown bed and breakfast inn.

It was exciting to park, get out, and experience the buildings with a pair of fresh eyes. The entrance involves walking under a red canopy, and up a set of wooden stairs to the upstairs reception area. As we ascended, it became clear that this was no ordinary bed and breakfast. Carefully curated European decor adds ambiance to the historic setting, making it almost like an overnight stay at a boutique museum. 

The elevated deck behind the LaSalle Inn (there's a hot tub in the corner)

The elevated deck behind the LaSalle Inn (there's a hot tub in the corner)

We were greeted by our Instagram contact, a friendly IPFW student completing her internship at the LaSalle. She gave us some preliminary details and information, and led us on a tour. Along the way, the owner, Clack Butler joined us and filled in the rest of the details.

Clark and his wife, French born Rose-Aimée, bought the main house (517 W Washington) in 1990. Originally intended for use as a dance studio, after Rose-Aimée became Youth Director of the Fort Wayne Ballet, they opened the LaSalle Inn in 2003 "as a way to share the history of the home as well as pay for some of its restoration." Clark, who was a professor of philosophy at IPFW up until last year, is an accomplished author with ten published books. Rose-Aimée is currently in Strasbourg, France where the couple have a second residence. Together they've lived and traveled around the world, read their full bio here.

Dining room where guests can eat (Thomas Snook House)

Dining room where guests can eat (Thomas Snook House)

The Hollywood Suite (Thomas Snook House)

The Hollywood Suite (Thomas Snook House)

The LaSalle Bed & Breakfast Inn includes the Sion Bass House and the Thomas Snook House, which sit beside each other at 509 and 517 West Washington Boulevard in downtown Fort Wayne.

The Butlers also rent out a studio in the Montparnasse District of Paris. Clark plans on heading back to France to join Rose-Aimée and continue his human rights ethics research once business arrangements with the LaSalle Inn are in order. To read about future plans for the inn from Clark himself, scroll to (almost) the bottom of the page. 

509 W Washington, the historic Sion Bass House has a hard to miss purple door and sits to the left of the LaSalle

509 W Washington, the historic Sion Bass House has a hard to miss purple door and sits to the left of the LaSalle

Opt for the finest amenities of any downtown hotel when you stay at the 1842 built Sion Bass House—a stand-alone historically protected building, home to Fort Wayne’s most celebrated Civil War hero.

For more details on the Sion Bass House, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Walls lined with historic photographs (Sion Bass House)

Walls lined with historic photographs (Sion Bass House)

The David Foster Suite (Sion Bass House)

The David Foster Suite (Sion Bass House)

The Eliza George Suite where we stayed (Sion Bass House) 

The Eliza George Suite where we stayed (Sion Bass House) 

Our room for the night was the Eliza George Suite. The bed was particularly cozy, and in combination with the decor, it brought to mind memories of overnights at my grandmother's. 

The Eliza George Suite: 

This first floor room is named for Eliza “Mother” George, mother-in-law of Sion Bass and famous Civil War nurse. You’ll rest on the comforting queen bed with a high, golden oak Victorian headboard. Your bathroom features a double jacuzzi with spa shower. Room are located in the Sion Bass House.

(You can take a virtual tour and hear Clark and Rose-Aimée describe the history and decorations right here.)

Each of the Sion Bass House suites are named after a historic figure, each with their description outlined along with photos on the website. The rooms in the Thomas Snook house (built in 1901) have names as well, but are mostly location based, like the African and Hollywood Suites.

The Sion Bass Room (Sion Bass House)

The Sion Bass Room (Sion Bass House)

The African Suite (Thomas Snook House)

The African Suite (Thomas Snook House)

The Lincoln Room (Sion Bass House)

The Lincoln Room (Sion Bass House)

The fireplace in the photo above is a pre Civil War fireplace, of the same make, model, and vintage as the fireplace that was in the room Abraham Lincoln died in. Only slightly macabre for an overnight stay! The desk clerk joked with us that her mother would not stay in the LaSalle because she was afraid it was haunted. When I asked Clark about ghosts, we happened to be in the basement, checking out the winter kitchen from the 19th century original inhabitants. Although he does not believe in them, he mentioned that they'd had a guest who claimed to be able to talk to a ghost in the Sion Bass House. I've never met a ghost personally, so I can't say I believe or not, but either way, our stay was blissfully ghost free. 

The whole experience was very special, educational, and just so cozy. We shared a bottle of champagne and a riveting conversation with Clark before we retired to our room, walking next door to the Sion Bass House. Every corner contains an intricate detail with a story behind it, and the LaSalle Bed & Breakfast Inn is all about the people, and the details.

10/10 would stay again.

Thomas Snook House

Thomas Snook House

Thomas Snook House

Thomas Snook House

A few words from the owner of the LaSalle Bed & Breakfast Inn, Clark Butler:

"The LaSalle resulted from the 1990 purchase of the neo-classical 517 West Washington Blvd. in Fort Wayne by Clark and Rose-Aimée Butler for her ballet school. When Rose-Aimée was hired in 1991 by the Fort Wayne Ballet full-time, they continued to restore the house and became accidental innkeepers with the LaSalle BB in 2003. 

When Clark became a Purdue University Philosophy Emeritus in 2015 and moved to Rose-Aimée's native France as promised when they married, a business model change began for the LaSalle—the only BB in the city among four to have survived the Great Recession. It became a historical boutique hotel.

Rose-Aimée had been hostess, but Clark used his administrative experience at the IPFW campus to professionalize the inn as an independent hotel capable of creating a full livelihood. The LaSalle solo jazz cabaret venue was added in 2014, which now operates with the IPFW Music Department.

The plan is to establish solo jazz performance downtown, open a traditional restaurant with a reduced beverage license in the new Riverfront/Downtown Dining District, develop use of 517 West Washington's basement to its full legal use for the inn, and research doubling the number of units by contemporary shipping container construction of hotel rooms through a Dutch company.

To do this, Clark is recruiting an onsite partner as he remakes his life in human rights research and philosophy in the university city of Montpellier, France, on the Mediterranean. The couple is collaborating with Parisian jazz vocalist Guylenn Delassus and with French chef Nicolas Demidorff to open a jazz cabaret venue there, the LaSalle East."

 

Sion Bass House

Sion Bass House

David Foster Suite (Sion Bass House)

David Foster Suite (Sion Bass House)

Colonel Sion Bass House: 509 W Washington Blvd. 

"Built c.1855, this brick Italianate house was owned by Colonel Sion Bass and his wife Eliza from c.1855 to 1878. Over the years, the house endured the addition and demolition of wings and porches, but the present appearance is very close to that when originally built. A wide cornice with bands of decorative moldingssurround the house, and a band of dentils is punctuated by decorative scroll brackets that also surround the house. The bay window on the east side has a flat roof along with a cornice consisting of dentils and brackets. Shaped and carved limestone is used for some lintels and window sills, particularly on the front, while other window and door openings have brick segmental arches.  Rubble stone makes up some portions of the foundation. The one-over-one double hung windows on the front, sides and in the east bay window are likely early replacement windows, but many of the original four-over-four double hung windows on the sides and back of the house remain. The front door is surrounded by decorative moldings and is topped by a transom while the two rear doors have segmental arches and transoms.  

Sion S. Bass was born in 1827 near Salem, Kentucky. He came to Fort Wayne in 1848 or 1849, and first worked as a clerk for fur traders Ewing, Chute and Company. In 1853, he formed a successful iron works firm called Jones, Bass and Company with W.H. Jones and John Hough, Jr. The foundry and machine shops were located near the new Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago Railroad line. The manufacturing facility, which later would become the Pennsylvania Railroad Shops, was sold to the railroad in 1857. Sion and Jones then formed Jones and Bass and developed a new foundry and machine shop on the south side of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne, and Chicago line with access to the new Wabash Railroad line. In 1859, the new plant was purchased by the Fort Wayne Machine Works.  In 1862, Sion’s brother, John H. Bass, became sole owner of the plant which eventually became the Bass Foundry and Machine Works, Fort Wayne’s largest factory and employer.

As the Civil War loomed, Sion became interested in politics. He helped to organize the 30th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers (“The Bloody Thirtieth”) at Camp Allen in Fort Wayne. He was elected Colonel and commanding officer in September of 1861, and by October of the same year, was in training in Indianapolis. His regiment marched through Kentucky and Tennessee until 1862. Sion was wounded while leading a charge at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. He was taken to Paducah, Kentucky for care, but died April 14, 1862. He is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne. 

National Register (West Central Historic District) - 1984              

Local Historic District (Individual) - 2001"   — Via westcentralneighborhood.org

The LaSalle Inn

The LaSalle Inn

 

We also attended the live Jazz Cabaret the following Friday evening. Video coming soon!

Photos by Tony Frantz

Fort Wayne Housing Market Among Best in the Country

Photo Contest Fusion: Yoga + Fort Wayne

BusinessDasFort

This month, we were happy to partner with Fusion Yoga for a photo contest, asking locals to tag their yoga-inspired, Fort Wayne photos with #DasFort.

We're big fans of yoga here at DasFort, as well as the city! It was fun to see everyone's interpretation of the challenge, and all the various perspectives of our photogenic town.

After two weeks, we've finally landed on four winners, as there was a tie for third place. The first place winner will receive three passes to Fusion Yoga, the second place, two, and the third place winners will each get a free pass. 

Thank you to everyone who participated! We appreciate all of you! 

First Place:

In constant preparation 🍂 #dasfort

A photo posted by Candis Oakley (@candisoakley_) on

Second Place: 

Tie for Third Place!

There were also some other photos that we loved and just had to share!

Honorable Mentions:

A photo posted by Mary Newell (@marynewell_) on

"The True Work of Art is but a Shadow of the Divine Perfection." - Michelangelo

"We show up, burn brightly, live passionately, hold nothing back, and when the moment is over, when our work is done, we step back and let go." - Meditations from the Mat

What is Fusion Yoga?

Fusion Yoga is located in Covington Plaza, and run by some pretty amazing women. Fort Wayne's premiere hot yoga studio offers two studios, heated and unheated, with classes ranging from hot yoga to restorative, and fitness classes including barre, Piloxing, and Zumba.

Photos by Tony Frantz

Photos by Tony Frantz

More about Fusion Yoga:

First things first – Fusion Yoga offers all types of yoga practices from beginner to advanced, from unheated to heated. For a full schedule, click here.

Now, what is hot yoga? Hot yoga is just what it sounds like: a yoga practice done in a heated environment. In India, the birthplace of yoga, temperatures are frequently in the 90s with 80-90% humidity so yoga is hot yoga. In our studio, this can range from 85 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit and is supplemented with additional humidity so that you, your skin, and your lungs are not dried out. Our hot yoga room features an antimicrobial floor, its own dedicated humidifier, UV light treatment system, and furnace with air exchange to keep your experience safe by constantly cycling CO2 out and fresh air back in.  

Some people prefer hot yoga because of the warm environment or the escape from the cold. Others for the increased flexibility or elevated heart rate which burns additional calories. No matter your reason, we welcome you to give it a try!

 

Why Men's Health Magazine is Wrong About Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne Housing Market Among Best in the Country

BusinessJon Ruhrold
Staged house by Choice Designs 

Staged house by Choice Designs 

Over the summer, Fort Wayne joined the ranks of the hottest housing markets in the United States. According to Realtor.com the city has recently moved up to the 10th best market in the country. This places Fort Wayne in company with some of the country’s most important and dynamic metropolises. The list includes 7 California cities, one in Texas, and one in Colorado, as well as our hometown. Fort Wayne stands as the sole representative of both the Midwest and the eastern side of the country. Realtor.com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke, states that the reason that California seems to dominate the list is because, “California markets tend to be fairly consistent—we don’t see huge changes.” The weather, unique job opportunities, and cultural centers of California draw people to the state in a steady stream, meaning that demand for property is always high.  

A photo posted by DASFORT (@dasfort) on

Fort Wayne’s housing market benefits from some of these same qualities as well, but the website states that the market’s main asset is the low median home price. The $115,900 median price for a home in Fort Wayne, although it is admittedly far from pocket change, averages out to a median list price per square foot of $74. Some California markets have an average price per square foot of about $1,000, so one can understand why Fort Wayne is able to compete with more well known locales. Local Coldwell Banker Realtor Charla Sheray is unsurprised that the city made the list, commenting, “The housing market is like I’ve never seen it before.” Sheray states that Coldwell Banker saw a 20 percent increase in closings since the beginning of the year.

North Eastern Realty Group President Kim Ward cites similar numbers, with a 14 percent rise in sales over his company’s best month. He states that, “Homes are flying off the market.” Of course this can be positive or negative, depending on one’s perspective. Sellers are quickly finding interested parties, and are capitalizing on their home equity in a timely manner. Buyers, while they are receiving good deals, are facing heavy market competition. Sheray states that multiple offers can pop up for homes just a few days after the listing is created, which occasionally results in bidding wars between prospective buyers. In some cases limited housing availability can result in difficulty securing the perfect home, and can increase the stress levels of those looking to settle down in Fort Wayne.

For the city and its citizens, however, the current state of the market is overwhelmingly positive. Competitive home prices and quality home offerings combine to attract young and talented professionals, and these professionals will then be employed in high-skill, high-paying jobs which provide the city with valuable services. Additionally, due to the increase in individuals working in high pay fields, the city will see a slight increase in its income tax revenue which it can use to invest in local projects and further increase returns. New business will then come to the city and create more job opportunities that attract more outside workers to Fort Wayne, making the process cyclical and self-sustaining. 

The economic repercussions of such a strong market could positively affect the city for years, and with officials prepared to capitalize on growth with transformative projects detailed in the region’s Road to One Million plan, Fort Wayne is poised to continue attracting national attention.

Many will remember NerdWallet's ranking of Fort Wayne in the top ten Best Cities for Quality of Life a couple years ago. In August, Fort Wayne earned the number one spot for US cities with the lowest cost of living, and last month, the top five for hottest housing markets in October. With numbers and potential like this, Fort Wayne is one special place to call home. 

A photo posted by DASFORT (@dasfort) on

"Pink Lady - The 1887 Sponhaur House in all her fall glory!" Striking shot by @ChrisSandersn, who also helps family and friends build, buy, and sell homes in Fort Wayne.


Lutheran Social Services of Indiana: Wells Street Bridge Party

Social GoodDasFort

On October 6th, Lutheran Social Services of Indiana (LSSI) held a party on the Wells Street Bridge. We were honored to cover the event, as LSSI is truly a force for good in the community.

LSSI Impact Statement: To promote the overall health of our community, LSSI focuses on equipping willing families facing the most challenging obstacles with the skills necessary to make positive life choices as evidenced by advancement toward economic and family stability.

The night was "a night of celebration and positive community impact on the Wells Street Bridge. Tunes [were] provided by The Farmland Jazz Band, food by Shigs ‘N Pit and brews by Mad Anthony’s Brewing Company. Proceeds from the event will support LSSI Works, a new Workforce Initiative by Lutheran Social Services of Indiana."

There was also a silent auction. thanks to the generosity of several Northeast Indiana organizations.

Guests at the Wells Street Bridge Party had the opportunity to support students committed to personal growth and life change.  

If you were unable to attend the event, but would still like to sponsor a student, Click Here.

Fund the need and change a life!

Your generosity can change a life and impact our community for the better.

Fund the need by:

  • $1250 will sponsor one student to attend a full month of personal and professional development training
  • $250 could sponsor a student for his/her first day on the job, with a suit or uniform and appropriate shoes.
  • $100 would provide a student a day of resume training or mock interviews
  • A gift of $50 could provide a student gas for their first week on the job.

(LSI information via)

It really was a lovely evening for a special cause. Thank you Lutheran Social Services of Indiana for allowing us to capture it!

Blown Out of The Water By Middle Waves

The ArtsDasFort

Guest post by @MollieShutt

 

Momentum has a soundtrack — and it’s loud.

 

Middle Waves. What a fantastic experience.

But saying it was fantastic would hardly be fair to the spectacle that I witnessed September 16th and 17th.

Middle Waves was truly a festival for everyone, and I loved that there were all kinds of people being drawn out to this event for different reasons. There were artists on three different stages so that people could choose who they wanted to see perform based on genre. As well as the music, there was The Village, which included local food and art vendors — and that was just the beginning. There were artists creating pieces inspired by the performers, hula hoopers in The Lawn and in the fountain at Headwaters Park, and there were people in costumes and covered in silver paint. There was something for everyone, and people were clearly taking advantage of all that was being offered over the festival weekend.

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollieshutt) on

But, the main draw of this festival was all of the local and national bands that were performing over those two days. In the weeks before the festival, I had heard good things about the performers in the lineup, but the performers exceeded my initial expectations. On Friday night, I watched Ike Reilly and the Assassination, Sidewalk Chalk, and Best Coast. Those three shows were incredible. I ended up with 400 photos between two cameras on Friday night, so here are a few of my favorites: 

@sidewalkchalkmusic 🤘🏼

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollieshutt) on

I have so many good photos of @sidewalkchalkmusic & I'm not even complaining 🙆🏼😭😍

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollieshutt) on

And then I came back for Saturday.

And I was blown away by Oddisee, Tanlines, and The Flaming Lips.

In the days since The Flaming Lips’ performance, I have found that photos are the only thing that do Wayne Coyne’s act any ounce of justice. So, here are my favorite photos from their sets: 

Oddisee on the Maumee Stage at @middlewaves ! 🎶✨

A photo posted by DASFORT (@dasfort) on

😍🙆🏼😭

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollieshutt) on

Middle Waves was the perfect end to summer here in Fort Wayne. I’m already missing this great festival, and I hope it will catch on and become one of Fort Wayne’s biggest summer events as the years go on!

Mollie

Flaming Lips 🤘🏼💜

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollieshutt) on

 

Check out Mollie's other guest post:

Shedding Light on #LightUpTheFort

 

(All photos by Mollie)

The 42nd Annual Johnny Appleseed Festival

Food, The ArtsChelsea Thompson

Every year, thousands flock to Fort Wayne’s own Johnny Appleseed Festival for the scrumptious food, fun games, amazing crafts, live music, and overall enchanting atmosphere. This September 17th and 18th will bring the enchantment of 18th century culture and cuisine. With the crisp fall air, the 42nd Annual Johnny Appleseed Festival promises all the hype and adventure as usual. Personally, I cannot wait to chomp on a delicious caramel apple while browsing the many craft tents!

A few volunteers spinning yarn at the Johnny Appleseed Festival. (FortWaynePhotoJournal)

A few volunteers spinning yarn at the Johnny Appleseed Festival. (FortWaynePhotoJournal)

Some popular attractions this year include: The Farmer’s Market, Food Booths, Craft Booths, Demonstrations, Antiques and Primitives, Trappers 'n Traders, and the Children’s Area. Free parking is provided at IPFW and Concordia Lutheran High School where you can park and ride a free shuttle to and from the festival.

Johnny Appleseed (Illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet)

Johnny Appleseed (Illustrated by Joshua S. Brunet)

The festival began in 1974 with only about 20 vendors; with Eckrich, Lincoln Life, and Fort Wayne Parks  & Recreation among the sponsors. The festival was located on Parnell avenue, but now, with over 200 booths, it has grown to cover most of Johnny Appleseed and Archer parks.

While attending the festival, most people make a point to visit Johnny’s gravesite. Although this site is nationally known, the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Inc. believes that the site truly holds the graves of the Archer family instead of John Chapman. So this year, find the popular spot of Johnny Appleseed’s grave, but also look through the bushes and down the hill for the Archer family gravestones!

A photo posted by Becky. (@beckweiler) on

The supposed gravesite of Johnny Appleseed

Autumn is just around the corner, and so is the Johnny Appleseed Festival! Be sure to gather your friends, family, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, light jackets, and all Johnny-enthusiasts this year for the historic celebration.

For more information on the festival, click here.

 

It's our favorite festival! We're head over heels!

The Fort Falls For Johnny Appleseed

 

Two Block Parties, One North Anthony Corridor

Social Good, The Arts, FoodBrad Reuille

Young and old alike will find plenty of fun at the third annual North Anthony Corridor Block Party, occurring Sunday, September 11. “The family friendly events are always a hit, including bounce houses and face painting. [And] there is plenty for adults to do as well, with [live] bands and a beer tent,” says Aja Michael, NACG Board Member and Event Workgroup Chair.

New events which will be coming to the block party this year include a BMX show, live street performers/buskers, roving vendors, food trucks, and giant pong. Giant pong is “like beer pong, but with trash cans instead of solo cups,” Michael explained.

Michael also noted how easily accessible the block party is to everyone in the city. “We have a bike valet so people don’t need to worry about parking, and they’ll enjoy seeing how walkable and bicycle-accessible our area of the city is.”

With new activities coming to the block party each year, Michael hopes to keep it growing into the future. “Every year we hope to add new elements to keep the event fresh, and to highlight the diverse businesses and neighborhoods we serve. We’d also like to carry the spirit of the block party through the rest of the year with smaller monthly events.”

There is also a mini-block party on Saturday, September 10th with a free outdoor movie screening of Big and Gremlins at Sweets So Geek. Sweets So Geek partnered with Ivy Tech, the Indiana Humanities Council, Wunderkammer Company, and Hoch and Associates to bring music, food, contests, and more to the North Anthony Corridor for the "ALL in Block Party." The collaboration aims "to build a temporary space to celebrate all things Indiana and promote civic engagement, build community, and encourage new experiences!"

Outdoor screening via Sweets So Geek

Outdoor screening via Sweets So Geek

 

For a weekend of fun for the whole family, head to the North Anthony Corridor! 

 

Need more? There's still time:

Things to Do This Summer 

 

Downtown's Newest Star: The Sidecar

FoodSophie Stauffer
The Sidecar is a separate outdoor bar located on the patio of Wine Down. Weather permitting, The Sidecar is open 7 days a week from 3pm-Close.

The Sidecar is a separate outdoor bar located on the patio of Wine Down. Weather permitting, The Sidecar is open 7 days a week from 3pm-Close.

Trends come and go, but wine is always in fashion! Whether you’re looking for drinks, or a new place to enjoy Downtown Fort Wayne, The Sidecar Patio Bar & Grill on West Jefferson Boulevard is the place for you.

Opened by Wine Down Tastings and Tapas, The Sidecar was made out of a repurposed steel shipping container. Wine Down owner Gary Skeel is hoping to add an additional bar and kitchen area. The bar is 40 feet long and serves slushies in addition to food and a full bar. Skeel found himself in a bar that was designed similarly to Sidecar, and went to Mosaic Building Solutions to bring this new idea to Fort Wayne.

Repurposing is not only good for the environment, but also, it’s good for the cost of starting business. Repurposing the steel shipping container that forms The Sidecar was cheaper than building an entirely new structure. This is a great addition to Wine Down’s recent initiative to recycle.

If you're looking for more Sunday Fun-day options downtown, then look no further! Indulge in The Sidecar's gooey Brunch Burger topped with bacon, Sriracha cheddar, Bloody Mary Ketchup, and a fried egg.

If you're looking for more Sunday Fun-day options downtown, then look no further! Indulge in The Sidecar's gooey Brunch Burger topped with bacon, Sriracha cheddar, Bloody Mary Ketchup, and a fried egg.

Yelp users have rated The Sidecar highly since its opening in July.

If there’s one thing Fort Wayne natives love, it’s outside dining and drinking, and this might just be my new favorite spot to do just that! The atmosphere was lively and casual, and I just loved the downtown views of the city.
— K D.
My group and I really enjoyed ourselves at the Sidecar. It really has a big city feel without big city prices. We LOVED our burgers ... so juicy and flavorful! We sampled a few cocktails and they ranged from super boozy to fruity and refreshing. The atmosphere made it inviting to stay for a couple hours. I’m already looking forward to my next visit ... maybe coming with a group to gather on the sofas by the fire pits!
— L K.

The Sidecar appears to be a permanent addition to the already-bustling downtown Fort Wayne, and will not be driving away any time soon. 

Be sure to check it out before winter! 

Skyline view from the bar rail at The Sidecar

Skyline view from the bar rail at The Sidecar

On The Horror-izon: Civic Theatre's 2016 - 2017 Season

The ArtsJon Ruhrold

On Saturday, July 23rd the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre opened for its 88th season. The theatre will put on a variety of classic shows throughout the remainder of 2016 and in early 2017. This season’s first production was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which ran until August 7th. Following performances will include The Rocky Horror Show (September 9-17), a musical version of The Christmas Carol, Memphis, and Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Specific details regarding dates and times for each performance can be found on the Civic Theatre website.

In addition to the theatre’s regular schedule of well-known plays and musicals, it will again be hosting its annual Northeast Indiana Playwright Festival. The festival features a competition that gives current or former residents of Northeast Indiana within a 90 mile radius of the theatre a chance to show their creative skills. Prospective playwrights who submit an original play script by September 1, 2016 will have their draft judged against other writers’ entries by a panel of Civic employees, and will have a chance to win fabulous prizes. First place is worth $750, second worth $500, and third $250. Additionally, the first place winner may see their play come to life on the Civic Theatre stage. If the play is selected for production, the playwright will work closely with the Civic cast and crew to make sure that their story is told as it was envisioned. All placing plays will be read by a full cast on the day of the festival, which is scheduled to be held sometime in the spring of 2017. 

The Civic Theatre has thrived in Fort Wayne for almost nine decades with the help of community interest and participation. You can help carry on this tradition of local thespianism by volunteering in a technical, design, or support role. Audition opportunities are also available prior to the debut of each production for those hoping to become involved personally. Of course, among the most important roles is that of the audience member. Productions would not exist if there was no one to watch them. The members of the Civic Theatre are your neighbors, your co-workers, and your friends. Show your support by attending one of the many fantastic shows that will be put on this season, and help keep performance art alive in our town. 

A photo posted by Cody (@cwsteele11) on

 

Want entertainment outdoors? Catch it while you can! (Ends September 7th)

Music Heads to Embassy Rooftop

Fort Wayne Man Heads to NASA ... Social

FeaturedDasFort

Fort Wayne's own John McGauley, an avid space buff, recently had the chance to attend a NASA Social event. His account of the experience is truly inspiring, and as fellow space fans here at DasFort, we just had to share.

We especially love this excerpt, and his family minded mission. 

To me, exploration and spaceflight are about far more than the gee-whiz of rocket launches, engineering marvels and amazing images from the far reaches of the universe. They are more about human beings discarding their limits and doing what they dream of, rather than what they believe they are capable of. I believe spaceflight is humanity’s sure-fire route to making “impossible” an obsolete word.

I love sharing spaceflight with my 9-year-old daughter because it sends the message that she can do whatever she wants, go wherever she wants and achieve anything simply because she set the goal, overcame the obstacles and did the work.

Check out the full article on our sister site, Spaces Quarterly:

It's Finally Cool to Love Space! The NASA Social Experience

 

John is one Fort Wayner with an eye in the sky in more ways than one, check out his Instagram for some amazing drone shots of the city.

Meet another Fort Wayner with a bright idea:

Shedding Light on #LightUpTheFort

Shedding Light on #LightUpTheFort

The ArtsDasFort

Guest post by: @MollieShutt (Previously: @mollsterr__)

🔥 P Y R O 🔥

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

Who is this person with a funny name like @mollsterr__? [Now known as @MollieShutt] And what is this hashtag called #LightUpTheFort?

I’m a Fort Wayne native who will do almost “anything for the (Insta)gram.” My actual name is Mollie, but Mollsterr is the nickname given to me by my best friend, hence my Instagram name: @mollsterr__. I’m a blue-eyed, curly haired dreamer with a passion for photography (just ask anyone, I always have a camera with me).

That aside, #LightUpTheFort is a collection of photos created by local photographers that are “lighting up the Fort (Wayne)” with light painting. Light Painting is a technique that uses hand held light sources to selectively illuminate parts of a scene during a single photographic exposure. Below is a photo from the @igersfortwayne Instameet at The Clyde Theatre on Bluffton Road. Instameets are when local photographers get together at locations determined by the @igersfortwayne Instagram account.

I set up this shot and Megan (@meganhevel) kindly did the light painting for me:

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

After meeting local photographers David, Jon, and Kaci at previous @igersfortwayne meet-ups, I asked them if they wanted to go light painting. At night. In January. They agreed, and we got hooked on light painting. That night, we decided that we would collect our images under the hashtag #LightUpTheFort, and the hashtag has only grown from that night in January.

Since then, we’ve tried spinning steel wool, making light orbs, light trails, double exposure; pretty much anything light painting related. Below are two of my photographs of Christian Stout (@he_wants_revenge), spinning steel wool underneath a bridge, as well as some light painting he did in the Grand Wayne Center.

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

Now that summer is here (and almost gone), I wanted to kick #LightUpTheFort back into gear. In June, Megan and I went to Eagle Marsh and made the image below by spinning a flashlight in a circle and then illuminating where Megan was with an external flash to create her still image.

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

After shooting Pyroscope at Buskerfest, I reached out and got a group of locals to go out on a Tuesday night to make more images. Some phenomenal photos were made, so here are a few that showcase the creativity:

A photo posted by Sean O'Leary (@scornfulcow) on

A photo posted by kacicolette (@kacicolette) on

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

I’m sure we’ll be out making photos again this summer, but until then, have a glance at the other images under the #LightUpTheFort tag! Be sure to follow our progress and add your own images on Instagram under the tags #LightUpTheFort & #IGersFortWayne!
 

Keep an eye out for a pop-up #LightUpTheFort Instameet in September 

 

*We couldn't but include a couple of our own persoanl #LightUpTheFort photos:

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

A photo posted by Mollie (@mollsterr__) on

A photo posted by Sean O'Leary (@scornfulcow) on

A photo posted by Jon Fett (@fettjrx) on


**Safety always comes before getting the shot, so use caution with fire when doing it for the ‘gram!

 

BuskerFest 2016: In Review

Amazing Opportunities for Family History Research

Social Good, FeaturedMichael Dixon

Now more than ever, any Indiana resident can discover or rediscover his or her family history. Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource with over 16 billion historical articles as of 2016, just got bigger. This past June, state officials partnered up with Ancestry.com and digitized around 17 million Indiana genealogy records, comprised of birth and death certificates from as early as the 1900s and marriage records from 1958 through 2005. In other words, a whole lot of Hoosier history just went online. This new influx of vital records pales in comparison to the amount of records already available, but it has given genealogical researchers and hobbyists of Indiana a lot to sift through. 

There are many other genealogical websites out there. Some are free to use, some are initially free but reserve features for paying members, and others require paid subscriptions. You can decide for yourself whether the services fit the price tag, but you should consider what kind of tools each website offers. If the idea of wading into vital records excites you, WorldVitalRecords.com has billions of them. However, it lacks the family tree function offered by Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org, which let users organize their family history research and allows other members to see your work. For beginners or veterans, hard research or community building, there’s a lot that can be found online.

ACPL Genealogy Department

ACPL Genealogy Department

Of course, there's no substitute for a trip down to the library. For those in Fort Wayne, the Allen County Public Library is essential. The downtown main branch houses an impressive genealogical department full of microfilm, newspapers, and other records waiting to be uncovered. But it's more than just a useful source of information. Starting June 25th, visitors had the chance to attend a series of four programs in an event sequence called “Beginning or Beginning Again.” As the name suggests, beginners and veterans are encouraged to participate. These programs examine the awesome amount of family history that can be gleaned from county courthouses, property records, newspapers, and genealogical software. The last of these events was the highest-attended program in the department last year, with roughly 85 attendees. In October, also known to genealogists as "family history month," the ACPL genealogy department will host similar programs every day.

Whether you're an amateur or professional genealogist, now is the perfect time to dig up a little bit of your family history or add another branch to your family tree. Those interested in using Ancestry.com can access it free at a local library or can subscribe at www.ancestry.com.

To see ACPL’s full list and details of “Beginning or Beginning Again,” click here

Coming soon:

Finding & Using Newspapers: August 27, 2016, 10:00am - 11:00am - Discovery Center

Genealogical Data Management Program Exposé: September 24, 2016, 10am ‐ 11:00am - Discovery Center

Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County: Business and Technology Department, February 1952. Interior showing two women reading microfilm.

Headed downtown? 

Something New at the Botanical Conservatory

 

All photos by the author unless otherwise noted

BuskerFest 2016: In Review

The ArtsSophie Stauffer

The Downtown Improvement District (DID) successfully held the 7th-annual BuskerFest on June 25th from 4-10 pm, stunning crowds of all ages. BuskerFest is a festival in downtown Fort Wayne that celebrates street performers, with face paint, fun, and entertainment galore. Each year, the festival features local and international acts of family friendly entertainment, and admission is free—although festival-goers are encouraged to tip the buskers. Unlike the Three Rivers Festival, BuskerFest is just one day, so it can be easy to miss!

This year, BuskerFest introduced an elevated 8' x 25' jumbo screen to help the large audiences see the “Busker Central Pitch” and “Loud & Local Pitch,” two of the main performance plazas. There were even interactive acts, such as a gold-painted, Christmas tree light-wearing Marie Antoinette who would dance and twirl with any who asked. The Art Market on Calhoun Street also offered creations for sale by local artists during the event.

All types of street performers celebrated their talents during the festival, and Fort Wayne was able to appreciate them thanks to the help of the Downtown Improvement District. This year’s BuskerFest was a hit and a great way to start off the summer before the 4th of July and gearing up for everyone's favorite: the Three Rivers Festival. Scroll down for some great pictures from BuskerFest 2016!

Proud to be photo sponsors of the event! 

Proud to be photo sponsors of the event! 

Photos by Tony Frantz

 

Want more in the Fort?

 

Things to Do This Summer

The 27th Annual Allen County Fair

Food, FeaturedBrad Reuille
Allen County Fair

Allen County Fair

The 27th-annual Allen County Fair is currently underway at the Allen County Fairgrounds, running through July 31st. The fair offers many forms of entertainment for visitors, including a 4x4 truck pull, team pig wrestling, and fireworks. 

“Our most loved events [are] the truck pulls, demo derby, and hot air balloons,” said Michelle Love, Secretary for the Allen County Fairgrounds. “[And] people comment year after year on how amazing the midway is," Love added, "Not only because of the diversity of rides and games, but [because] the staff is friendly and professional [as well]."

Other events to look forward to are Saturday's tug-a-truck event, and the outhouse races on Sunday. “This [outhouse race event] is growing crazy at fairs and festivals nationwide,” Love stated. Multiple country music bands will also be preforming on various nights throughout the week. Dan Burnell of Backroad 39 will be preforming the opening night, followed on Wednesday by Janie Anne & Miss Kitty’s Revenge. The final band to perform is the Wagon Wheel Band, which will perform Saturday night, 7-10 pm.

One of the biggest goals for the fair is “creating a family-friendly atmosphere where young and old can come and enjoy themselves,” Love said.

Looking for more fun?

Things to Do This Summer

Something for Everyone at Three Rivers Festival

The Arts, BusinessBrad Reuille
The Chalk Walk

The Chalk Walk

Drawing almost half a million people each summer to Fort Wayne, the Three Rivers Festival is an annual nine day celebration, starting Friday, July 8th. 

A multitude of events will be going on during the festival, as noted by Operations Manager Michelle Lane. When asked about what events will be occurring during this year's festival, Lane responded, “Well, everything!” Lane discussed the variety of music acts preforming this year, which includes such bands as Night Ranger, and Who’s Bad, A Michael Jackson Tribute Band.

Also occurring this year is the Emporium, which features a large and diverse collection of items for sale, including jewelry and gifts made from local artists. Local food will also be on sale at the Emporium from such restaurants as Tucanos and the Cupbearer Café.

Visitors to the festival will also have the option to take a free 30-minute riverboat tour from Friday, July 8 until Sunday, July 10. The rides will leave from Headwater Park’s West Amphitheater, and travel up the Saint Mary’s River.

The festival will conclude on Saturday, July 16. At 10 pm, fireworks will be launched from the Indiana Michigan Power Center. Prior to the fireworks, visitors will be entertained by the Fort Wayne Community Band, which will be preforming at Freimann Square.  

Main Street never looked so good! #ChalkWalk2016

A photo posted by Downtown Fort Wayne (@downtownfortwayne) on

Want more options?

Things to Do This Summer