During your next Fort Wayne visit, take a step back in time and stop by the Chief Richardville House — which honors the memory of Miami Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville, a great negotiator in American History. The spacious and elegant home he built in 1827 still stands today, and is the location of regular tours and special events this fall.
Richardville, born in 1761, was the son of a French fur trader and a Miami Indian mother — Tacamwa, who was a sister to the Miami War Chief Little Turtle. Richardville was one of the first entrepreneurs native to the Fort Wayne and Allen County area. Richardville went on to build a trading empire using the St. Mary’s and Wabash rivers, upon which Fort Wayne was founded. That trading empire encompassed Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Today the Chief Richardville house stands as a testament to his accomplishments, including being a respected negotiator for land rights between Native Americans and the U.S. Government. At the time of his death in 1841, Richardville was the most wealthy man in the state of Indiana. Today his restored home takes visitors back in history.
The home was built in part with a $600 gift to Richardville from the U.S. government. Richardville is said to have entertained many of Fort Wayne’s early civic leaders. The Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society secured the property in 1991 and afterward restored the exterior of the home.
The house, located at 5705 Bluffton Road, is open for public tours from 1 to 4 p.m. the first Saturday of each month May through November. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors alike; and children ages 5 and under pay no admission. Parking is free. For more information visit the Chief Richardville House online.
Upcoming special events include a traditional wikiami building and cattail matting presentation on October 1. Traders Days follow the next month on November 5 and 6, where homemade wares and baked goods will be for sale on site.