‘Tis the Season – Christmas Concerts at the Embassy Theatre (and you can win tickets!)

Christmas is coming, like it or not. If you need a little help getting in the mood this year, why not check out one of these great Christmas-themed performances coming to Fort Wayne’s Historic Embassy Theatre this December.

holiday pops 600 450 1737 522x392 300x225 Tis the Season   Christmas Concerts at the Embassy Theatre (and you can win tickets!)

On Friday, December 5 at 8:00 p.m., Mannheim Steamroller returns to the Embassy Theatre for Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis: 30th Anniversary Tour. Celebrating the release of its first Christmas album, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, this concert will feature many of the contemporary versions of Christmas tunes that fans around the world have loved for three decades. As a matter of fact, I’m listening to “Deck the Halls” off that album right now, which reminds me just how much I love synthesizers. And Christmas. It should be a fantastic show.

The next night, Saturday, December 6 at 8:00 p.m., you can catch the Elvis Tribute Artist Christmas Spectacular, featuring Shawn Klush, The Sweet Inspirations, The Blackwood Quartet, and The Fabulous Ambassadors. Listen, as far as I’m concerned, any “best of Christmas music” list has to include

  • “Wonderful Christmastime” – Paul McCartney
  • “Last Christmas” – Wham!
  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid
  • Any Johnny Mathis Christmas song
  • Any Elvis Presley Christmas song (but really, we all know “Blue Christmas” is the best)

Having a whole night of amazing Elvis tribute artists perform his Christmas best? If that doesn’t put you in this Christmas spirit, you might want to check the size of your heart…

Finally, over the course of the following two weekends, December 12th and 13th and December 19th and 20th, be a part of a Fort Wayne holiday tradition – The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Holiday Pops. Seeing the Phil perform with Ben Folds just last Friday reminded me how great the musicians who play with the Phil are and how lucky we are to have them. Seriously, do yourself a favor and catch one of the six Holiday Pops shows: December 12th and 19th at 7:30 p.m. and December 13th and 20th at 2:00 p.m. (matinee) and 7:30 p.m.

What a great lineup of holiday performances! What a great venue! For more information on any of these shows, check out www.visitfortwayne.com or www.fwembassytheatre.org.
Win tickets to Mannheim Steamroller here.

Win tickets to the Elvis Tribute Artist here.



Apart from spending his college years in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Dayton, Ohio, Mike Flohr is a lifetime resident of the Summit City. Today he divides his time among his wife, Megan, his job as a college librarian, and his many geek obsessions.

Model Train Extravaganza Returns to Science Central, November 28-30

One of Fort Wayne’s most loved holiday events returns this November, now in it’s 15th year! The Festival of Trains takes place November 28 through 30 at Science Central in the heart of downtown. Train enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to attend this event which features multiple model train displays presented by area train enthusiasts.

sciencecentral Model Train Extravaganza Returns to Science Central, November 28 30Science Central, located at 1950 N. Clinton St., is Northeast Indiana’s “go to” destination for learning about all things science. The museum is located in the city’s former city power and light facility and contains more than 30,000 square feet of hands-on learning – perfect for children and adults. Learn about science, technology, math and engineering!

trains2 Model Train Extravaganza Returns to Science Central, November 28 30

Regular admission rates apply for this event which are $8 per person. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free. The Festival of Trains runs during normal hours, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information visit Science Central online or call the museum at 260.424.2400.


Previously a news reporter at daily newspapers in Indiana and Ohio, Holly Hammersmith now enjoys the lighter side of writing through freelance work. In her spare time, Holly can be found running or practicing yoga. She also enjoys visiting local coffee shops and day-tripping. Holly lives with her husband, dog Lulu and half a dozen houseplants. Find Holly on Twitter @HFHammers and at http://hollyhammersmith.com.

The Voice of the Miami

“Father, we think our answer is good—You point to the West and ask us to go there—There I shall never go, nor will my people. They are all opposed to leaving here. They will not sell their lands. I speak not for myself, but for my people—What you hear from me is the voice of the Miami. We have answered more than once that we will not sell, and still you ask us for land. You tell us again that our Great Father loves us—His acts do not show it—If he loved them he would clothe and feed them—He would not send them into the western wilderness. You go about like the fox in the night to gather information, to steal our opinions. We know the value of our soil as well as the White Man can tell us—Here the Great Spirit has fixed our homes—Here are our cornfields and cabins—From this soil and these forests we derive our subsistence, and here we will live and die—I repeat, we will not sell one inch of our lands.” From Peshewa to the United States, selected excerpts from the proceedings of treaty negotiations at Forks of the Wabash, September 25-26, 1832 (“Notable American Indians, pg. 100)

As someone who grew up on the Great Plains, I find the stories of persons who lived their lives melding the two cultures of Native American and “white” together fascinating. You don’t see that “out west” because by the time those states were being settled, the Indians had been run off their land so often they didn’t have many options but to stand and fight. But it was different to a certain extent in the early days of Indiana. While the British didn’t condone intermingling with the Native Americans–their goal being to take the land for their own purposes–the French were more likely to intermarry and adopt some Indian customs. Doubtless, it wasn’t as altruistic as that sounds. Ultimately, though, the British philosophy won out and tribes were forced to move further and further west and off the land they had once owned.
We have several books in our gift shop at the History Center about those days in our history and an outstanding example of an historical figure from those times in Jean Baptiste Richardville—Chief Richardville as we know him from his home in Fort Wayne.

Low Res House 300x200 The Voice of the Miami

The Chief’s home at 5705 Bluffton Road is now a National Historic Landmark. On the first Saturday of the month, May through November, you can experience different facets of Miami culture as each month we feature a different artist teaching about everything from weaponry to drumming to beading to the use of herbs to the building of a wikiami.
Legend has it that Peshewa—the “Wildcat” (Richardville’s Indian name) was born under an ancient apple tree at Kekionga or current Fort Wayne. His birth in approximately 1761 was toward the end of the French and Indian War. At about this same time, the French surrendered the fort at Kekionga to the British. In 1763, the Miami massacred the British garrison stationed at the fort, having maintained their primarily pro-French leanings. There are over a dozen possible “Indian” names for Chief Richardville. Those used most in this article are “Peshewa” and “Pinsiwa”.

Low Res Plaque 300x267 The Voice of the Miami

Peshewa’s father was French—Antoine Joseph Derouet de Richerville and his mother—Tacumwah, which means water bird—was Miami. She was also known as Maria Louisa. The Richardville (as the name later became) family made a living in the fur-trade. Husband and wife worked together and passed along their knowledge to their son. In 1770 the father moved to French Canada. Peshewa spent time with both parents, residing in Canada and attending school there and becoming fluent in both French and English as well as his native Miami language. Richardville and his mother became entrepreneurs, building a trading empire based on control of the portage between the St. Mary’s and Wabash rivers.

Miami culture is intriguing in that women held a high ranking, particularly those who were daughters of chiefs. According to the application submitted to gain landmark status for the house, “Pinšiwa‘s mother had an equally distinguished heritage. Tahkamwa (Maria Louisa) was the sister of Pakaana , the Myaamia‘s akima (principal civil chief). Tahkamwa most likely served as an akimaahkwia (women‘s chief) at Kiihkayonki, and oversaw many of the aspects of village life: Women of the elite, or chiefly class, could also hold positions as either village or war chiefs or medicine women, the same designations used among the men…As chiefs, their power was inherited through their fathers, who would also have been chiefs. Tahkamwa was the daughter of a chief and was probably a chief herself, since she engaged in activities that came under the domain of a woman chief. Jehu Hay, the British Agent at Detroit in 1774, described Tahkamwa as a powerful political influence, and stated, ‘she is capable of doing a good deal of mischief and the rest of the French Traders are under some apprehension that she will…’ Prospering from her political control of the portage, from which as much as $100 a day was earned, Tahkamwa was an established trader whose example and tutelage guided her son.”

Low Res Chief Richardville 243x300 The Voice of the Miami

The Chief in his later years

Most historians believe Richardville to have been Little Turtle’s nephew and to have been present with him during the bulk of Miami-American armed conflicts during President Washington’s military actions in Indian-held lands of what was then the Northwest Territory. Little Turtle is considered to have been the leader of a coalition of Algonquin-speaking tribes known as the Miami Alliance or Wabash Confederation which fought against American takeover of Indian lands in the 1780s and 1790s. Richardville signed the Treaty of Greenville OH in 1795 while in his early thirties.
The history of this time is too long and too complicated to explain in detail here. Suffice to say that the tribes worked hard to retain their lands and way of life, but to no avail against the drive West by the government of the newly formed United States.

In 1800 Peshewa married Natoequah, a Miami woman, and together they had a son and three daughters. He avoided Tecumseh’s battles and the War of 1812 by living in Canada, returning to the Fort Wayne area after the war ended and becoming civil chief of the Miami in 1814, upon the death of Pacanne, who had fought alongside Little Turtle and led the tribe as its leader.
According to the History Center’s web site: “As American settlements spread through the Old Northwest Territory, it became clear that the United States government intended to remove local Indians and inhabit their land. Richardville, through clever negotiation, was able to maintain a Miami presence in Indiana long after other tribes had been forced to leave the area, notably the Piankashaws in 1805 and the Wea in 1820.

“In 1818, through Richardville’s intervention, individual families were given legal land grants as small parcels of privately held reserves scattered throughout northern Indiana. Richardville himself eventually controlled over twenty square miles of choice property along the St. Joseph, St. Mary’s, Mississinewa, Salamonie and Wabash rivers. This act provided the means for half of the Miami people to remain in Indiana after their official removal in 1846, five years after Richardville’s death.

“In recognition of his role as a principal chief among the Miami people, the U.S. government provided $600 toward construction of a house for Richardville along the banks of the St. Mary’s River. The chief contributed some of his own wealth toward the house that eventually cost $2,200 when it was built in 1827. In his spacious and elegant home, he reportedly entertained some of Fort Wayne’s earliest civic leaders like Samuel Hanna, Allen Hamilton, and William Rockhill.”

In its description of the historical significance of Richardville’s life, the landmark application describes him:
“Throughout the course of his life and to 1789 in particular, Pinšiwa learned to be a cultural broker with the surrounding Indian tribes; with the French and the English; with U.S. military leaders and government officials; and with the growing numbers of U.S. settlers, who crossed the Ohio River into Indian land. These situations required Pinšiwa‘s ability to negotiate and broker between parties who had profoundly different, mutually incomprehensible,‖ worldviews. Pinšiwa spoke the language of the Myaamia, as well as the language of the United States, France and England. The Middle Ground‖ approach and process required a rough balance of interest, need, and power between the parties. As the Pays d’en haut (Great Lakes ―upper country‖) matured and civilizations increasingly collided, the cultural brokerage of leaders, such as Pinšiwa became ever more crucial. The presence and interaction of Myaamia, French, British, Spanish, and United States citizens, other tribes of the Great Lakes and those tribes fleeing U.S. frontier expansion, made the collection of Kiihkayonki villages in which Pinšiwa was raised as cosmopolitan a community as any that existed in the Great Lakes region.

“At a young age, Pinšiwa had been trained to utilize his heritage, ingenuity, and skill, to become an influential assistant to his uncle, the akima Pakaana. He also became a trader under the tutelage of his mother and stepfather, Charles Beaubien. Pinšiwa‘s command of the language and customs of the Euro-American world also gave him an advantage as he attempted to maintain the Middle Ground‖ equilibrium between Euro- American and Indian cultures. Educated in both the French and Myaamia tradition, he gradually ascended to de facto status as akima upon the removal of his uncle to Vincennes after 1785, and became fully recognized as akima by the Myaamia and the United States government by 1818.” But according to the book “Notable American Indians” by Alan J. McPherson and James Carr, there is another view of Richardville: “He won many important concessions during treaty negotiations with the United States from 1815 through 1840, including procurement of the Great Miami Reserve, a reservation of some seven hundred sixty thousand acres in north central Indiana, during the council at the Treaty of St. Mary’s (Ohio) in 1818.

“However, some also accused Peshewa of using his political position for his personal financial gain as well as lucrative considerations for his family and close friends. During his lifetime, he received large grants of money and land and was awarded several homes from the United States government. He became the richest Indian in Indiana and possibly ‘the most wealthy man of the native race in America,’ according to historian Henry Schoolcraft.”

Lois Shepherd Headings, who wrote a definitive article about Chief Richardville for the “Old Fort News” (Vol. 61, Nos. 1 & 2)in 1998, states, “Richardville’s contemporaries were sometimes derogatory—a few traders and officials decrying his cunning and deceit, finding his craft too subtle. But others found him laudably prudent, careful, and deliberate, a patient listener, even beloved and esteemed.”

Chief Richardville died on August 13, 1841 in his house on what is now Bluffton Road. According to Headings’ article, “his casket was ferried down the river to the French-Catholic church in Fort Wayne (on the site of the current Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception). His remains lie under Cathedral Square. “ Cathedral Square is at the intersection of Lewis and Calhoun Streets in downtown Fort Wayne.

Doris M. Perry, writing in “The Old Fort News”, (Vol. 53, No. 1, 1990), explains “he was considered the wealthiest Indian in Indiana. He left his family thousands of choice acres of land, a safe full of gold (writer’s note: the safe remains in the house at Bluffton Road for your viewing), trading posts and several houses. His granddaughter, Mongosehquah, reported that it took the family a day and a night to remove the gold found hidden in the house and on the grounds…”
The National Historic Landmark designation, acquired on March 2, 2012, says the structure is a rare example of a treaty house and the only surviving treaty house remaining in the nation. It is also the first Greek Revival style house in northeast Indiana.

Several generations of the Chief’s descendants owned the house until 1908 when it passed out of the family and eventually became the office for the Spy Run Gravel Company that mined much of the surrounding area, leaving the house on a one-acre pedestal of land. The Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society acquired the property in 1991 and has restored the building’s exterior.

The History Center


The History Center is the home of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society. Housed in the 1893 Old City Hall, the organization offers a look at Allen County and Fort Wayne history via its museum, the National Historic Landmark Chief Richardville House, the George R. Mather Lecture Series, the magazine “Old Fort News”, its award winning blog “History Center Notes and Queries” and other programs. The History Center’s Festival of Gingerbread during the holiday season attracts over 12,000 people to downtown Fort Wayne during its three-week run with proceeds going toward support of the museum and its programs. The Heritage Education Fund provides free field trips to students in area schools.

WIN TICKETS: Blue Man Group Comes to Fort Wayne’s Embassy Theatre

One of the most unique shows is coming to Fort Wayne’s Historic Embassy Theatre this season. The Blue Man Group will hit the stage on November 13 and 14. It may seem surprising that a show with no speaking can be so involving, but it really is something to be experienced.

blueman 300x240 WIN TICKETS: Blue Man Group Comes to Fort Waynes Embassy Theatre

I’m sure you’ve heard all the buzz about this show, but having experienced the show myself, I have to say, it’s all true. I was less than jazzed about seeing the group perform as part of our class trip, but it became the highlight of the trip. The Blue Man Group’s percussion skills are unmatched. Their command of sound and rhythm was impeccable and enough to make even the most avid musicians sit up and take notice.

Not only do they use traditional drums to hammer out amazing tunes, but they also use a variety of impromptu gadgets to create beautiful music. Pipes and household items turn into valued instruments. And if their skill wasn’t impressive enough, they throw paint and water into the mix and create beautiful works of art.

If you are looking at the Blue Man Group Website or even reviews on other sites, they can seem a bit unhelpful. Most of say that the show is something to experience and all rave about the quality and variety. From someone who has seen the show, I can tell you that is true.

It is a hard performance to evaluate or describe, but it is well worth a look. The show is great for people of all ages, and if you are looking for a little extra fun, try to get a seat in the poncho section. You may find yourself looking like a work of art when the show is over.

And, you can register here to WIN TICKETS!

Holley Taylor


Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

ENJOY the corn in Indiana!

Driving down the country roads coming into Fort Wayne from almost any direction, you’ll run into your fair share of corn fields. The thick green stalks swaying gently in the wind, their leaves rustling crisply – corn fields bring to mind great summer memories, Field of Dreams visions of peaceful farms, and maybe even a ripple of fear if you’ve seen Children of the Corn. Still, corn is a symbol of summer in America and holds a prominent place in many households.

There is still a decent amount of corn season left to take advantage of! So, if you are looking to live it up to the fullest and get your fair share of the corn, check out these fun ways to enjoy corn!

corn2 300x200 ENJOY the corn in Indiana!

1. Corn Mazes

Fort Wayne is home to a number of different corn mazes. This is a great way for the whole family to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Check out all the great activities like the maze, cornhole tournaments, and corn play pits.

Kuehnert Dairy Farm and Fall Festival
6532 W. Cook Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46818
Weekends through October 26. Fridays 6:00-10:00pm; Saturdays 10:00am-10:00pm; Sundays Noon to 5:00pm on Sunday

Amazing Fall Fun
3150 County Road 43, Waterloo IN, 46793
Weekends through November 2. Fridays 6:00-10:00pm, Saturdays noon-10:00pm, Sundays noon-6:00pm

Ridenour Acres
2935 E 20 N. Angola, IN 46703
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00pm – 6:00pm

2. Buying Corn
There are some fun ways to get your corn in Fort Wayne. The first is at local Farmers Markets. The corn at the these markets is always guaranteed to be at the peak of freshness and it’s locally grown! Also, be sure to check out Cedar Creek Produce. Cedar Creek Produce is a family-run business that offers farm fresh produce year round to our local community.  While you are there, make sure to check out the fun fall activities they have! Either way, picking out corn can be a great activity for the whole family.
3. Corn Feasts!
Of course, there is always the question of what to do with the corn once you get it home. The options are nearly endless, but here’s a few of my favorites.
Grilled Corn-on-the-cob
It may seem pretty simple, but this is a sure winner even the pickiest of eaters will love. Just remove the husks and make sure to get all those pesky hairs, too. Then, coat the corn with a little melted butter, garlic, and salt. After that, grill to perfection; the kernels should just be starting to get a little bit brown. This is the perfect addition to any meal and will leave your guests wanting more.
This is a bit of a different take on the traditional corn bread, but just as good! While the recipe does call for canned corn, you can use fresh sweet corn scrapped off the cob just as easily!
corn1 300x200 ENJOY the corn in Indiana!

Sweet Corn Spoonbread

Perfect for warming the insides on a brisk fall day, this soup will not disappoint. Again, for this one the recipe calls for thawed frozen corn, but it will be even better with fresh corn.
What are your favorite ways to celebrate corn?
Holley Taylor


Holley is a student at Albion College in Michigan studying English with a Creative Writing Emphasis and History. She is excited to be back in her hometown this summer working as a Marketing Intern for Visit Fort Wayne. Holley enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.