An Early History of Fort Wayne, IN

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The sexual assault lawyers of Fort Wayne presents to you this informative article on our local city of Fort Wayne.

History of Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is a city in the county of Allen, Indiana. The seat of the county, it is the second-most populous city in the state of Indiana and the principal city of the metropolitan area of Fort Wayne. The area that is now Fort Wayne was once home to the Kekionga settlement of the Miami tribe, who had set up their village at the confluence of the St. Marys, St. Joseph, and Maumee rivers.

In 1697, Fort Miami was built by the French as part of a group of forts and trading posts between Quebec and St. Louis. In 1721, it was replaced by Fort St. Philippe des Miamis a few years after the death of the outpost commander Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes. When the French ceded the area to Great Britain after the French and Indian War, the Native American nations in the area rebelled in Pontiac's Rebellion, and the Miami tribe took back control of Kekionga.

In 1790, the United States Army was ordered by President George Washington to conquer and pacify the tribes. After three rounds of attack from General Josiah Harmar, General Arthur St. Clair and General Anthony Wayne, respectively, the confederacy warriors led by Miami war chield Little Turtle was no longer able to withstand the fight. On August 20, 1794, the warriors were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. General Wayne and his soldiers proceeded to burn the native towns as they marched up the Maumee River. At the site of the former Kekionga village, Fort Wayne was ordered to be built.

Several years later, as the Native Americans ceded more land to the government in the 1818 Treaty of St. Mary's, those land were put up for sale by a federal land office in 1822. In 1823, a village was platted at the Ewing Tavern. As an important frontier outpost, it was incorporated as the Town of Fort Wayne in 1829. On February 22, 1840, it was incorporated as the City of Fort Wayne and nicknamed the "Summit City" because of its location at the highest elevation on the Wabash and Erie Canal. However, when the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railway, the city's first railroad, was completed, the canal was no longer in use.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Fort Wayne's economy thrived as German and Irish immigrants moved to the city in search of industrial and railroad jobs. Manufacturing became a big part of the city, with notable inventions and developments such as the gasoline pumps, the refrigerator, and the first home video game console.

After going through the Great Depression and the economic boom of post-World War II, Fort Wayne was hit with deindustrialization in the 1980s, bringing increased crime, urban blight, and a decrease in blue-collar manufacturing jobs. In the 1990s, local leaders began to concentrate on redevelopment, crime reduction and economic diversification. Through the following decade, development, renovations and expansions were done in the city. This includes:

  • Headwaters Park
  • Parkview Field
  • Jefferson Pointe
  • Grand Wayne Convention Center
  • Allen County Public Library
  • Fort Wayne Museum of Art
  • Parkview Regional Medical Center

In the 21st century, its economy is centered on transportation and logistics, distribution, professional and business services, financial services, leisure and hospitality, healthcare, and the defense industry. As of the 2019 census, it has a population of 270,402 people.

Learn more: Evansville, Indiana, Through the Centuries

Jefferson Pointe

Jefferson Point is the first open-air lifestyle shopping center in Fort Wayne. Opened in August of 2001, it was designed by Klover Architects, developed by RED Development and is currently managed by the United Commercial Realty. The center feature over 60 stores and services. Some of which are AMC CLASSIC Jefferson Point 18, Smokey Bones, Michaels, Eddie Bauer, Trader Joe's Panera Bread, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, Victoria's Secret & PINK, Von Maur, Soma, Ulta Beaty, Summit Sports, Comics & Games, Talbots, Barnes & Nobles, Painting Fun Spot, Red Mango, and many more.

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