The Old Fort. Several of us have heard of it or even driven by it, but not many of us have visited the historic landmark. The Old Fort is part of Historic Fort Wayne, Inc., a non-for profit volunteer organization that focuses on sharing the history of the city of Fort Wayne. Although the city of Fort Wayne was not founded until 1840, the city was a very active territory of the Midwest. The Miami tribe first settled at the banks of what is presently known as the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys rivers in the 1600’s. In the 1680’s, the first Europeans, a groups of French traders, arrived in the area. The French built the first fort in the area, Fort Miami.
The French and Indian war led to a battle between the French and the Miami tribe over the land that is now known as Fort Wayne. This was followed by three battle fought between the French and the Miami tribe, lead by Little Turtle. Defeated by the Miami tribe in the first two battles, General Anthony Wayne led the French into the third battle that resulted in the destruction of the Indian post, Kekionga, and to the start of a peace between Little Turtle and the French.
In June of 1812, a war was declared upon great Britain by the United States. During the battle, many surrounding forts were defeated. Fort Wayne, though undermanned, became the sole American outpost on the frontier at the time.
All in all, there were three American forts built in the city of Fort Wayne. These forts were built as protection from the Native Americans. At the Old Fort, replicas of these forts stand, in honor of those who sacrificed their lives for the protection of our city and to teach younger generations the history of Fort Wayne. Historic Fort Wayne Inc., aims to "educate the community about Historic Fort Wayne and its significance to the Northwest Territory, the State of Indiana, and the United States during the 17th and 18th centuries." They do this by producing an educational experience through representation of the historic forts, presenting them in an accurate period setting.
The historic forts are located just off of Spy Run Ave, North over the bridge. The exterior of the forts are open to the public daily from 6:00 am-10:00 pm. To visit the inside of the forts view the event schedule, as the interior of the forts are only open during events hosted by Historic Fort Wayne Inc. For more information about the forts, how to volunteer, or items that the group is seeking for donation please visit their website.