Looking for something fun to do and want to learn a thing or two along the way? Then you need to be sure to stop by the Old Fort in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Discover Fort Wayne's Old Fort, and what makes this attraction perfect for history lovers and families!
The Old Fort in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Located at 1201 Spy Run Avenue, the Old Fort is a replica of the one built in 1815 for defense against the Native Americans and was the last fort to stand at the junction of Fort Wayne's three rivers.
The Old Fort is run by a volunteer based organization that has developed a historical based education program.
Reenactments at the Old Fort
The Old Fort grounds are open to the public anytime (when an event is not taking place), with someone being staffed at the facility Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, June to August. in the summer from noon to dark.
On special occasions the Fort is alive with activity as they host events that re-enact various wars that took place here in Fort Wayne.
On one such special occasion I took my family to the Old Fort for the afternoon. As my husband, four children (ages 6-12) and I walked up to the Old Fort, we saw men dressed in 1800’s style army attire who were hiding behind trees or laying in the grass preparing to attack the Fort (or preparing to be attacked by the inhabitants of the Fort).
Be sure to stop and take time to watch these re-enactments, you’ll be amazed by all you can learn in just a few minutes. Then, once the war re-enactment is over, take a stroll around the property. Outside the Fort is the blacksmith shop (be sure to stop and ask him about what children in the 1800’s used for games), and inside the walls of the Fort you can go through each building and have a first-hand experience of what life was really like during Fort Wayne's early years.
You will see (and smell) dinner being prepared for the evening (if you are lucky they will offer you a sample of what they are making), and you can see how each member of the Fort contributes to the community.
Don’t be shy, ask questions! They love sharing their knowledge and experiences with you. As you walk from building to building, you can talk with the women who are making yarn, the young men who are cutting wood, the soap makers, candle makers, the children playing games in the common area and my favorite, the man who makes the moccasins. He had a wealth of knowledge to share with us and the kids enjoyed his jokes. He even showed them how to write with a feather-tipped pen.
While my husband and I were still walking around the Fort, my kids went to play “apples” with the children of the Fort. A string is tied around the apple stem and hung from a porch ceiling or doorway. Without using your hands, you need to try and bite the apple. Needless to say, I had trouble pulling my kids away from all the fun they were having when it was time to go.
You're going to love the experience and memories that you will make while you are at the Old Fort.
What are you waiting for? Get down there and create your own memories! Discover their next re-enactment date at www.OldFortWayne.org!
NOTE: The Old Fort is open to walk through, but due to COVID-19, the buildings are closed through July 4th, and events have been postponed until August.
This post was originally published in May 2011 and has been updated.