A two-hour tour of central Fort Wayne

Any time of year, finding something for the kids to do (and those kids can be of any size and age) can sometimes be a challenge. When the weather is beautiful, it’s time to get out of the house and explore your city.

In 1978, Clifford Richards and Pat Boice published an article in the Old Fort News entitled “Two Hour Tour of Fort Wayne Historical Sites”. We offer here a brief overview of the first part of this trip as something to do that will allow you to learn more about the city in which you live.

Begin at the Swinney Homestead on West Jefferson where Jefferson and Washington make the split and become two one-way streets. This home of the Swinney Family was once the home of the Historical Society. The Settlers maintain this property and offer events throughout the year. You can keep up with the Settlers via their website at: http://www.settlersinc.org/.

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Then head down Thieme Drive toward Main. Stop along the way at the marker for the Old Methodist College. OMC was once the center of education in northeast Indiana. In 1893 it moved to Upland, IN and became Taylor University. The marker is right by the river and very close to the turn for Wayne Street.

As you look across the St. Mary’s River, you’re looking at the Camp Allen Area where young men were trained for battle in the Civil War. Camp Allen Park was the location of the first professional baseball game ever played on May 4, 1871. Fort Wayne won. See http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/camp-allen-park-play-ball.html for more information.

As you come to the intersection of Thieme Drive and West Main, you will see the Aqueduct Marker. This monument, one of a number in Fort Wayne, is dedicated to the young men who swam in the Old Aqueduct. According to the OFN article, “The Aqueduct was a huge covered wooden structure which carried the waters of the Wabash and Erie Canal across the St. Mary’s River. It was located where you now see the bridge of the Norfolk and Western Railroad crossing the St. Mary’s River.”

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On the corner of Main and Union, you will see the house where actress Carole Lombard was born. Don’t know who Carole Lombard was? Read this blog post from Tom Castaldi: http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/jane-alice-peters-aka-carole-lombard.html

Drive on down Main Street to the corner of Main and Van Buren. The Rockhill House once stood on this site, the hotel where Stephen Douglas stayed in his campaign visit to Fort Wayne on October 2, 1860. See http://www.aroundfortwayne.com/blog/2008/10/02/148-years-ago-tonday/ for a little more information about this event or The Old Fort News article “The Douglas Has Come!” Stephen A. Douglas and the Presidential Campaign of 1860 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. John D. Beatty. 72:2, 2009, 18 pages.

Turn left onto Van Buren, crossing the railroad tracks, and continuing about two blocks. Here you’ll find the site of the first French fort, established around 1700 as Fort Miami and an historical marker noting this. For more on this site, see http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/signs-of-history-times.html

It’s easiest at this point to turn around and take Van Buren to Superior Street, turning left. A little way down on your left (about a block to Fulton) will be large grey house with white pillars. This was once the home of Hugh McCulloch, the father of modern banking. McCulloch was Secretary of the Treasury under Lincoln, Johnson and Arthur. His home once faced the Wabash and Erie Canal. Learn more about McCulloch at http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-father-of-modern-banking-hailed.html

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As you travel on down Superior Street to the east, you can turn right on Ewing (which becomes Fairfield) and then left on Main. At the southwest corner of Main and Webster is the Edsall House. Built in 1839, it’s considered the oldest structure still standing in central Fort Wayne. William Edsall was the original owner and after his death, the house became Fort Wayne City Hospital, the precursor of Parkview.

From there, continue on Main to Calhoun and turn left. Travel north to Superior Street, turn right and stop one-half block on the south at the Canal House. You can learn more about the canal… and another idea for a day trip from Tom Castaldi’s blog post http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2011/05/take-drive-on-route-of-wabash-erie.html.

“The Canal House was built in 1852 by John Brown, a stone mason and building supply dealer. The date of construction and Brown’s name can still be seen above the doorway. The ground floor was used as a place of business. Apparently the upper floor was rented as living quarters. In 1971 the Norfolk and Western Railroad gave the building to the city. It was renovated under the auspices of the Fort Wayne Bicentennial Commission” and later became offices for Arts United of Fort Wayne, which is now housed in the Auer Center. (OFN, Vol. 41, No. 1)

Continue down Superior Street to Barr and turn right. Drive under the railroad elevation and park near Freimann Square. Here you can relax a bit and get a close up view of the Anthony Wayne Statue. See http://historycenterfw.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-anthony-wayne-statue.html and the latest edition of the Old Fort News with a photo of the statue on the cover. The railway elevation that you drove under runs along the site of what was the Wabash and Erie Canal. Two blocks to the west along Columbia Street was “The Landing”, where canal boats loaded and discharged passengers and cargo in the 1840s and 1850s.

Now that you’re in Freimann Square, it’s just a short walk over to the History Center where you can explore your city’s history in more detail. Remember, we have free admission on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the summer when the Barr Street Market is open.

Enjoy this, and other historic walking tours as you discover Fort Wayne!

The History Center

About

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.

There’s Something Delicious For Everyone at Our Daily Brew

If you’re a tea or coffee lover, or know someone who is, then you should make a stop at Our Daily Brew!

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What time is it? Time for coffee and tea!

This quaint coffee and tea shop has been in Fort Wayne for over 30 years.  It is located in Times Corners on Jefferson Blvd, making it easy for employees at the nearby businesses to pop in and grab a drink throughout the day.

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Each time I walk through the door, I instantly feel better!  The scents of the various coffees and teas and the beautiful décor have lifted my spirits each time.

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During my past few visits, several customers stopped by on their way to and from doing some shopping at Jefferson Pointe, the shopping center just down the street.

I was impressed by the wide varieties of teas and coffees. 

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Our Daily Brew offers all types of international tea flavors and coffee grounds, and the store even lets customers sample teas before purchasing them.

When I purchased a hot drink, I signed up for the store’s mailing list.  In return, I received an offer for a free drink on my next visit. Clearly, Our Daily Brew understands hospitality!

This is an ideal place to purchase gifts, too.

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I like trying international foods and drinks, so I think these books would be interesting!

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For your own pleasurable experience, visit Our Daily Brew.

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Stop in at 5906 W. Jefferson Blvd., online here, or go to its Facebook page.

260-434-0520

Amanda Reusser

About

Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.

Wine and Canvas: Paint the Town!

Wine and Canvas is a great way to spend time with friends and family and you can find them throughout the area in the coming months!

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All Wine and Canvas events are $35 per person except for the Open Studio events. Artists can come to paint anything they wish for $25 on selected dates. They also host Wine and Canvas events at their studio at 6410 W. Jefferson Blvd in southwest Fort Wayne.

Wine and Canvas is a great way to spend time with friends and family! The artists are friendly and provide simple instruction at a brisk, but easy to follow pace. Their facility off Jefferson Boulevard has ample space for a party. I know painting can be intimidating for people who don’t think they are artistic, but Wine and Canvas creates a fun experience for all. Everyone at the event paints the same basic picture, but it could come out so many different ways. Every painting is wonderfully unique.

For those who want specific guidance, the artist stands on a stage and walks everyone through the steps to creating the painting. Essentially, the process was like a color-by-number puzzle from my youth. This time you have the advantage of a live person leading you through the steps.  If you feel like branching out, you can change the colors in your painting. Or you could add background, even characters to your painting! Enjoy wine, snacks, and conversation throughout the evening. Because the instruction is so easy to follow, it creates a relaxing atmosphere. You can chat and laugh and make jokes with those around you, without losing your place in the process.

Specifics: The easiest way to find out when events are scheduled and what days are open for private parties would be to check out the website: http://www.wineandcanvas.com/fort-wayne-in.html.

Holly Perry

About

Holly moved to the Fort Wayne area in 2012 and have enjoyed exploring all of the nifty "things-to-do" around the city! She is an aspiring writer and is currently working on her first novel. Holly lives with her husband, two crazy cats, a bearded dragon, and a ball python. She enjoys exercise in all forms and setting out on adventures during the day, then reads anything and everything she can get her hands on all night!

Beth Moore’s Living Proof Life–This Weekend!

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This weekend, on September 13th, Beth Moore will be in town for Living Proof Life. She is an author, a speaker, and an inspiration to Christian women all over the world.  While many have had the opportunity to read her books or participate in a Beth Moore bible study, Saturday is an opportunity to come together and experience her teachings live.

Living Proof Life is only taking place in 11 cities in this year.  Each location was intentionally chosen and prayed for in the planning for this event. There will be a unique message prepared for the women of our area, discussion about how the bible applies to our every day lives, and praise and worship with Travis Cottrell.

While this event is great for women who are already in the Fort Wayne Area, it’s not too late for a quick trip to The Summit City! General admission tickets are sold out, but Club Seats may still be purchased by calling The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum directly.  And don’t worry, many local hotels still have availability for this weekend!

If you are in need of fellowship with other women, a break from your busy schedule, and are ready to learn more about navigating the world we live in as a Christian woman, then Living Proof Life is for you.

Living Proof Life will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and the schedule is as follows:

  • 9:30 a.m. Event Begins
  • 11:30 a.m. Lunch Begins
  • 1:00 p.m. Event Resumes
  • 3:00 p.m. Break
  • 3:30 p.m. Event Resumes
  • 4:15 p.m. Event Concludes

You’ll also want to have $5 cash handy for parking.

We all need to make more time for ourselves, so do something for your spiritual life this weekend!

Mallory Carter

About

Mallory Carter is a Middle Tennessee State University graduate with a degree in Organizational Leadership. In 2011, she and her husband made the move to Fort Wayne all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. Mallory is a newlywed, advocate for chronically ill patients, member of the Junior League of Fort Wayne, volunteer, Mad Ants fan, and lover of all things Fort Wayne. By day, she can be found working as an administrator turned marketing professional at Three Rivers Dermatology. In her spare time Mallory enjoys exploring the city and trying new restaurants with her husband, setting and achieving new fitness goals, writing, and cuddling with her sweet Chihuahua, Ellie. You can read more of her musings at www.chronically-inspired.com.

A Unique Dining Experience Awaits You at The Bean Café and Teahouse!

What do hula hoops, yoga lessons and a unique plethora of tea and coffee flavors have in common?  They can all be found at The Bean Café and Teahouse on Wells Street.

This is one of my new favorite places in Fort Wayne, and it’s definitely one of the most unique and fun coffee shops I’ve ever discovered!

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Choose a seat anywhere!

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Enjoy a cozy corner

I was immediately intrigued by the retro, funky décor; a Bob Marley painting and toy action figure hanging by the drink menus, and an assortment of vintage furniture creates seating nooks for customers.  I also enjoyed the friendly barista’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt – a throwback to my own childhood.

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Unfortunately, I had to order a drink to go and couldn’t stay to enjoy the funky ambiance.  I ordered a hot, Raspberry White Mocha to go, and it was delicious to the last drop!  I’ll have to return soon to sample other delicious coffee flavors on the menu, like Cupcake, Toasted Marshmallow, and Italian Eggnog.  (Bacon is even on the menu for adventurous coffee lovers!)

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Besides the welcoming, laid-back atmosphere and delicious tea and coffee drinks, guests can also engage in yoga lessons on Mondays (donations accepted) and hula hoop workshops on Tuesdays.  Open Mic nights are also on Tuesday evenings, from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

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There is something for everyone to enjoy here, and I can’t wait to return!  For a savory drink in a memorable, bohemian atmosphere, The Bean Café and Teahouse is the place to be!

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Check out the Café’s Facebook page for current events.  Visit the Café in-person at 1008 N. Wells St.  (Beside the Wells Street Bridge)

Hours: 

Mon: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Tue: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Wed – Thu: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Fri: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

Sat: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Sun: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

 

260-420-5000

Amanda Reusser

About

Amanda Reusser is a 2006 graduate from Taylor University-Upland. She has spent the past 6 years living and teaching Drama, English and ESOL in Florida, Indonesia and Austria. While it was fun and insightful, she is very glad to be back home in Indiana. Amanda loves traveling, trying new foods, and learning cultural dances. She enjoys getting to know new people, teaching teenagers, and being involved with her home church.