The Demise Of Historic Fort Wayne?

Submitted by David Jahntz, Surgeon, 2nd Cont'l. Reg't Lt. Dragoons

Left: The north quarters building of Historic Fort Wayne. As you can see here, most of the fort is now boarded up and obviously in need of repair.

I had heard rumors over the last season that Historic Ft. Wayne was going to be demolished. The Labor Day weekend event site from the 1970s may avoid the~ bulldozers if some Ft. Wayne history buffs have their way. On Saturday, Oct. 7th, I was in Ft. Wayne for a wedding and thought I'd stop by the old event site if I could. I found an entrance on the southeast corner of the downtown property and a small group of volunteers were busy raking and moving branches.

Among the group was Don Edgar, head of The Old Fort Collaborative. I told him I was a member of the Alliance that once fought at the fort and he smiled, telling me that he remembered us well. Don told me that his group was seeking two bids for the work necessary to make the fort useable and that one of the bids was coming from a firm in Pennsylvania. Besides not being used for many years, the fort has been a target of vandals with interior walls and fences being kicked or smashed down. Also the porch floors and steps are missing and all of the window openings are boarded up for now.

Left: The north quarters building of Historic Fort Wayne. As you can see here, most of the fort is now boarded up and obviously in need of repair.
Right:The east side quarters building is shown with the magazine to the right. Note the magazine wall has been damaged extensively.

Don said that the grass in front of the main entrance was 10 feet tall and needed special equipment to trim. To the west where the visitor's center and parking lot once stood there are now residences called Headwaters Park. The concrete pedestrian bridge between the visitor's center and the old fort goes nowhere and will eventually come down.

Anyone interested in helping with the restoration, or wants to know more about it, should contact Don Edgar at 219-483-2674. This was a wonderful site for those of us who remember that far back. Either storming the fort or defending it was a great experience ­ one which I hope we will have the chance to do again some day. Thank you.

Left: This is how the south side or main entrance looked on Oct. 7th of 1995. The southeast blockhouse was where our artillery fired from during battles.