The History Center (aka the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society) is one of the oldest and largest historical agencies in the Midwest. We are delighted that this nonagenarian organization is taking another leap into the 21st century through this blog. Local history is not all tarnished statues, plaques marking the site of long ago happenings, vaulted bastions of dusty artifacts, or pages yellowing with age. To the contrary! Our history is a vibrant, dynamic, and powerful force of heritage that has shaped our community’s physical and ethereal character for many generations and continues to affect each of our lives today.
Where would be if the Miami Indians had not recognized the supreme importance of “That Glorious Gateway?” Where would we be without President Washington’s order to General Wayne to “occupy Kekionga” or Samuel Hanna’s unrelenting promotion of a swampy confluence as an internationally significant center for commerce and transportation? Where would we be without the explosion of creativity, innovation, and industry (vestiges of our frontier ruggedness and do-it-yourself-ness) that impelled Fort Wayne to greatness in the 19th and 20th centuries, and continues to the present day? Where would we be had Philo not gazed upon the fields or Silvanus not cranked the well bucket or Ethel and George not fallen in love over the enameller? Where would we be without the hardships and setbacks that we overcame together, or the opportunities and challenges we experience today?
Without all these, the vast majority of us would not be where we are now; however, it is precisely because of these common experiences that we are who we are today. These stories, both broad and minute, are our stories because this is our history. Every day those of us at the History Center enjoy telling these stories…it is our passion. We hope that through this blog you can partake in that appreciation as we share tidbits of knowledge that illustrate where we have been and define who we are as a people.