2110 McConnel Drive, New Haven, IN 46774, (260) 493-6585. O.G. “Bud” Steinman founded AAA Auction Service in 1972 and passed away in 2000. AAA Auction Service conducts estate and commercial/industrial auctions and appraisals in the greater Fort Wayne area and throughout the Midwest. Copied from web site History. See Facebook page.
Near the corner of what is now Edsall and Raymond Avenues, once sat a popular place of healing: the Abbott Magnetic Mineral Well. Hobbyist historian Mark Linehan spent months compiling obscure information after discovering the topic, during his research on the gas boom in Indiana. “In 1888, William T. Abbott… he owned al this land here,” Linehan said, gesturing to large acreage southeast of downtown Fort Wayne. “All the locales wanted to strike a natural gas well, because that’s essentially free power.” Nine deep bore wells were drilled, though no gas was found. But Abbott wasn’t close to giving up. “He was spending a lot of money and time and had experts come out. At one point, the newspapers started to kind of make fun of him for going so deep, and not finding gas,” he added. “Finally at about 1900 feet down — that’s pretty deep — he found a well of artisan water.” Is the first two lines for the video and of the article 21Country: The Abbott Magnetic Mineral Well Fort Wayne’s healing spa between 1888-1913 by Daniel Beals at ABC WPTA21.com TV station.
One of the first companies to advertise tungsten filament lamps for Christmas light use, they later changed their name to Anthony Wayne Lamp Company. A November 16, 2022 post on Facebook by The History Center with over 20 photos stated: Christmas lights have played an important role in Fort Wayne’s history, from the manufacture of lights by A. C. Mannweiler and the Anthony Wayne Lamp Co., to the lit Wolf & Dessauer Santa and the Fantasy of Lights. Lighting is a relatively new addition to holiday décor. The trend of lit Christmas trees did not take hold until the 19th century. In 1856, President Franklin Pierce displayed the first Christmas tree at the White House, which was lit with candles. The first use of electric Christmas lights can be traced to 1882, when an associate of Edison, Edward H. Johnson, created a display on his Christmas tree. In 1895, the White House featured its first electrically lit tree, and by 1900 businesses began using string lights in shop windows. It was not until the 1930s that the average American was able to afford electric Christmas lights. Through the remainder of the 20th century, Christmas lights increased in popularity, and lighting displays appeared on houses, buildings, and in public places, becoming ever more elaborate and festive. Visit the History Center to see our new temporary exhibit “Christmas Lights.”
Manufacturers Histories at OldChristmasTreeLights.comhas a comment stating: Dick Cook visited this site recently, and wrote to offer the following details about the A.C. Mannweiler Company: "I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the A.C. Mannweiler shop was up on the corner from where we lived. Mr. Mannweiler had passed away before I was born, but I knew his only daughter, and everybody called her Mrs. B. She and her husband took over the business after Mr. Mannweiler died. I remember as a child going to their store with my parents where I would get them to purchase some of the Mannweiler miniature based Christmas lamps. I believe Mrs. B and her husband continued to make at least some of the Mannweiler Christmas lamps into 1940 or 1941. As of August, 2001, the building where the company was still stands." "After Mrs. B died, her only living relative gave me her personal papers which has some data pertaining to the Mannweiler Company, including advertising pamphlets and a photograph of Mrs. B as a child with her mother and father alongside a Christmas tree festooned with Mannweiler lamps. Among the papers was a patent number for a design patent for a Christmas candle lamp." Here is a picture of that 1921 patent.
Ethyle Bloch, one of ACRES twelve founders, was instrumental in protecting land and waterways in Indiana.
She and her closest friend, Jane Dustin, brought attention to the pollution of Indiana's waterways. They pursued the development of state waterway regulations and water quality standards. Thanks to their efforts, and the efforts of other ACRES members, Indiana's waters are much healthier!
Ethyle also served on the Water Resources Committee for the League of Women Voters during the 50's, was the first woman President of the Indiana Izaak Walton League, was a Board Member of the River Greenway organization, and was President of the Hoosier Environmental Council.
Thank you Ethyle for sharing your passion with Indiana and ACRES, your legacy continues to inspire us today!
📷 Left to right: Bill Bloch, Ethyle Bloch, John Klotz, Jane Dustin
At one time, the neighborhood southeast of downtown Fort Wayne was home to many of the city’s Black residents. As the business district expanded following World War II, commercial buildings, offices, and parking lots claimed many of the area’s older houses. One unlikely survivor serves today as home of the African/African-American Historical Society Museum of Fort Wayne, founded in 2000 to share the cultural heritage of Africa and the achievements of Blacks locally and nationally.
Located at 436 E. Douglas Avenue, the duplex that houses the museum’s collection has its own story to tell. It is the only building still standing in Fort Wayne once listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for African Americans published between 1936 to 1967 to chronicle businesses safe to visit. Listed as “Mrs. B. Talbot’s Tourist Home,” the large Victorian residence offered shelter for Black travelers who were not welcomed in local, white-owned hotels.
The museum includes the area’s largest public collection of African art, as well as documents, photos, and artifacts highlighting Allen County’s Black and African American history from 1809 to present day. Read more about the museum, including how a recent grant is helping protect its collection: https://www.indianalandmarks.org/.../grant-helps-african.../
Saturday, April 28, 1951, 11 people were killed when a United Airlines DC-3, Flight 129, departed Cleveland, Ohio heading for Chicago, crashed on approach to Baer Field, killing 8 passengers and a crew of 3. There was a severe thuderstorm in the area, when the aircraft was east of the airport the wind increased to 60-65 miles per hour with gusts to 85 miles per hour and a heavy rainfall began, accompanied by lightning and severe static. See Accident Description on AviationSafety.net.
In the late 1950's, Lt. Art Ivan, from Leo, crashed an Air Guard jet but bailed out and survived. No information was found online.
Was on Bluffton Road in 1917 across from what is now Quimby Village. Designed by Marshall S. Mahurin. The Genealogy Center blog St. Vincent Villa Sources Online posted February 09, 2015 says The records of the Allen County Children's Home were “lost” many years ago and their Remembering the Flood of 1913 blog by Dawne posted March 22, 2013 mentions children drowning from the home also mentioned below including sources of information.
Some of the Bricks were used to build Waynedale United Methodist Church. The barn was then used to house a riding stable, there is a crossing built into the river you can still make out so they could take the horses over to Foster Park and ride the Bridle Trail (now the hiking trail that runs along the rivers edge). It's where the seats pavilion is now. You can still see the carriage house there. March 26, 1913 it was flooded, 60 children were stranded, with 3 drowning during rescue attempts to evacuate the building.
The first Allen County Courthouse, built in 1831, was deemed to be a safety hazard and was ordered to be replaced by county officers. In response county officials received plans in 1840 for a new courthouse. This building was to be in the Greek Revival style and be comprised of a central building with wings on either side. On the first floor were an entry hall and a large public meeting room in the middle and two offices in each wing. The second floor was comprised on two more offices in each wing and the courtroom. Though county court officials abandoned the building in 1841, officials decided to not use these plans and instead use temporary quarters, until the completion of a differently designed courthouse in 1847.#sociallyhistory
The centerpiece of every Indiana county in the late 19th and early 20th century was the county courthouse. In Allen County it became apparent by 1890 that the 1861 courthouse needed to be replaced. By the summer of 1897, the previous building had been demolished and the new courthouse was begun. At two in the afternoon on September 23, 1902, exactly 120 years ago today, the magnificent new Allen County Courthouse was dedicated to public service. The citizens of Allen County were extremely confident at the turn of the 20th century and built a majestic courthouse on the scale of a state capital. The courthouse is built out of Bedford Limestone and Vermont Granite and is in the Beaux-Arts architecture-style. Interior decorations include four 25-by-45-foot murals by Charles Holloway, twenty-eight different kinds of scagiola (a plastering technique that creates the illusion of marble) covering 15,000 square feet, bas-reliefs and art glass. Each of the court rooms has its own color scheme. The final cost of the new courthouse was $817,553.59, in today’s money that is over $250 million. It is rumored that the budget for decoration of the new courthouse exceeded the total budget for many of the other courthouses in Indiana. #sociallyhistory
It's #waybackwednesday! Take a look at these then and now photos, courtesy of the Daniel A. Baker Collection in our Community Album. The photos show Calhoun Street south from Columbia Street in Fort Wayne in 1905 and the same view in 2017.
On Sept. 27, 1947, steeplejack Joe Miller of Wabash supervised a team of men who removed the statue “Miss Liberty” from its perch atop the Allen County Courthouse. The project took nearly 11 hours as it was removed from the dome and slowly lowered on a cable to a truck parked on Court Street, an area that is now part of the Courthouse Green. It was the first time the copper statue – around 13 feet tall – had been removed from the courthouse since its installation 47 years earlier. It was constructed as a weather vane.
Further on in the article:
Over the years, various repairs were made to the works that allowed the statue to act as a weather vane. In the 1960s, the sword Miss Liberty held in her left hand fell to the roof. According to a 1996 Journal Gazette story by Nancy Vendrely, the sword was stored in the basement but later disappeared. It was replaced in 1994, but positioned differently from what is seen in photos from the 1930s and '40s. In the photos, the sword pointed up; the replacement pointed down. The statue was removed in 1995 ahead of a five-month restoration project that repaired damage to its left hand, right wing and left foot. After repairs, including restoring three fingers that had fallen off and fixing what appeared to be bullet holes, she was placed on the first floor of the courthouse while the building was undergoing repairs. Miss Liberty was returned to the courthouse dome in April 2001 – sword pointing up.
The current courthouse exterior is impressive, inside gets national recognition. More than 15,000-square feet of scagliola, or faux marble made from plaster, adorns columns, walls, pilasters and moldings. Read World-Class County Courthouse with photos back to late 1800s published February 20, 2014 and June 19, 2014 with a couple different photos both by Tom Castaldi on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
Restoration Celebration Saluting 100 years of justice at the Allen County Courthouse was a 16-page special insert with photos, history, and stories in the September 22, 2002 The Journal Gazette newspaper.
Go on a History Center Tour with a trained docent or self-guided tour. Tour lasts approximately one hour and a donation of $2 per person is recommended. To schedule a tour, contact the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust office at (260) 449.4246 or email.
Little courthouse upkeep Scaffolding goes up for repairs on murals, stained-glass windows - From 1995 to 2002, the county spent $8.6 million, most of it from private donors, restoring the Allen County Courthouse... by Frank Gray published January 17, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
Primetime39 - May 19, 2017 Season 2017 Episode 1418 | 27m 33s Topic - Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust Guests - Robyn Zimmerman, Executive Director, Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust; Don Oxsee, Board Member, Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust
PrimeTime39 - August 9, 2019 Season 2019 Episode 26 | 26m 52s History of the Allen County Bar and Courts. Guests - Rachel Blakeman, Donald Doxsee, and Jack Lawson. This area’s only in-depth, live, weekly news, analysis and cultural update forum, PrimeTime 39 airs Fridays at 7:30pm. This program is hosted by PBS39’s President/General Manager Bruce Haines.
A few different angles and edits of Fort Wayne's courthouse.
Allen County Courthouse Green
715 South Calhoun Street, the historical Court Street was vacated to create the Courthouse Green. It was dedicated October 15, 1999. The Courthouse Green is one acre of lush grass and landscaping on the east side of the Allen County Courthouse in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne. See photo of The Courthouse Green monument on Google map.
Built on Carroll Road in 1989, website http://allencountyfairgroundsin.com/, Facebook. The Allen County Fair started in the 1940s at the old Fort Wayne Speedway, then bounced between Huntertown and Woodburn, until they found a home in the Coliseum, until it expanded and moved to Carroll Road. The Allen County Fair is the only county that does not receive state funding for the fair, as funding is entirely from one week of fair each July.
In 1847, the first Allen County Jail, constructed out of logs, was destructed by fire and no official action was taken to replace it. On April 7, 1849, exactly 173 years ago today, city council ordered the mayor to procure a building to be used as a jail. Subsequently a committee had a jail constructed for $270 on the northeast corner of Harrison and Berry Streets, while plans for a more permanent structure were considered. The new jail and sheriff’s residence was finally completed in 1852 at the cost of $4,955.34 and was located on Calhoun Street across from the current jail. Though there were several escapes from this new jail, it served the people of Allen County for 20 years until its successor was completed in 1872. Copied from April 8, 2022 Facebook post with photos by The History Center.
Built in the 1850s, the previous brick jail served from the 1850s until early 1981, when the first section of the current jail opened across the street. The building was razed soon thereafter, and its long history includes being the site of perhaps the county's most notorious public hanging.An estimated 15,000 people watched Samuel McDonald die in the jail's courtyard on Oct. 9, 1883, after being convicted of murdering Louis Laurent. Because the fall did not break his neck, it took McDonald 17 minutes to die of strangulation. The noose used to hang McDonald and the hatchet he used on Laurent are in the collection of the History Center, as is an iron door from one of the old jail's cells. Copied from Site of old county jail, infamous hanging could be used for downtown development by Kevin Leininger published February 10, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
Revised site plans for the proposed Allen County Jail are available on the county website at allencounty.us/jail under the “Update” section.
After a meeting with residents from nearby neighborhoods in January, the Board of Commissioners asked Elevatus Architecture to revise site plans in response to neighbors’ concerns. Some of the most significant updates include the building shift of 75 feet to the west for even less visibility to nearby neighbors, the inmate drop off and release point moved to the south end of the building while staff parking moved to the north and fencing was added to create a continuous border from the woods to Meyer Road.
The new plans will be presented at the next Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 5:30 pm.
The Allen County Orphans' Home once stood where Indian Village Park sits today. This, as the name states, was a home for children who would be placed with willing parents. Today is a short history of this orphanage. In 1894 a private, non-profit, charitable corporation was formed by the citizens of Fort Wayne. This voluntary association had shareholders, each of whom paid $1 per share to support what would become the "Allen County Orphans' Home." Seeking a location, the Board led by Thomas Ellison worked with the County to construct a building on the grounds of the then-current poor farm. Ellison, a prominent city attorney, served as an Indiana state senator from 1896 to 1899, helping to author many Indiana laws requiring care for dependent children.
From November 19, 1894, to April 1, 1920, the expense of maintaining and operating the home for orphans was borne and met by association. The amounts paid to the association by the County for the care of children were barely sufficient and were sometimes insufficient to meet the cost of food alone. To pay all the expenses of maintaining the home, the voluntary association was accustomed to soliciting contributions and help from the public. Unfortunately, it became too much to bear, and the Orphans' Home ceased operations by ceding maintenance and control to the Allen County Board of Commissioners.
Shortly after, in 1925, the City and Suburban Building Company purchased the land, which included the poor farm and orphanage. Eventually, while building Indian Village, the Company traded the 10.5-acre area back to the County in exchange for the city funding the swinging suspension bridge across the St. Mary's River. The only known remains of the original orphanage are the brick buildings in the Indian Village Park today and the Waynedale United Methodist Church. The Church purchased one of the buildings, dismantled it, and used the bricks for their future congregation in Waynedale around 1927. Copied from an August 20, 2022 post byHistoric 07 District - Fort Wayne on Facebook. Some of this information is in the legal case Most Reverend Noll v. Lincoln National Bank & Trust Co., 117 Ind. App. 554 (1946) Dec. 12, 1946 · Appellate Court of Indiana · No. 17, 422 117 Ind. App. 554 In re Lowe's Estate Most Reverend John F. Noll, etc., et al. v. The Lincoln National Bank and Trust Co. of Ft. Wayne, etc., et al. Rehearing Denied March 6, 1947. Transfer Denied October 8, 1947. at Caselaw Access Project at Harvard Law School.
Indiana Orphanages by Indiana Genealogical Society, Inc. April 3, 2023
Apr 3, 2023 #familyhistory#genealogy#indiana This was an IGS Facebook Live Event from February 2022. We discussed Indiana orphanages with Diane Steproe. As an experienced genealogist and researcher, Diane has extensive knowledge of the history and genealogy of Indiana orphanages. During our discussion, we learned about these institutions, as well as the impact orphanages had on Indiana's social history. Don't miss this insightful conversation with Diane Steproe! The Indiana Genealogical Society is proud to host the IGS Facebook Live events, which are held on the first Tuesday of every month. For updates on our upcoming events, please visit our Facebook page at @indianagensoc. And if you have ancestors from Indiana, be sure to check out our website at www.indgensoc.org for more resources and information on how to connect with your Hoosier roots.
Also known as the County Asylum. The Allen County “Poor Farm,” as it was originally called, was established in 1853 and was first located in the wilderness of section 29 of Wayne Township (in the area of present-day Elmhurst High School, north of Lower Huntington Road). In that year George L. Parker was employed to keep the paupers at the Poor Farm for an annual sum of $600, and John A. Robinson was retained to build a house for the inmates for $750. These facilities were enlarged in 1854 and again, extensively, in 1860, during the directorship of James M. Read. In these years the director was required to furnish a team of horses, a wagon and harness, four cows and such farming equipment as would be necessary. The county, in exchange, paid Read $800 and furnished clothing and provisions for the inmates.
In 1864, at the height of the Civil War, the entire facility was moved closer to Fort Wayne. An infirmary was built as the centerpiece to the new farm, in the area just west of the present-day Bluffton Road Bridge, in what today is known as the Indian Village neighborhood and the Quimby Village Shopping Center. The new infirmary building was completed in June 1865, for $14,468, and James Read, the former overseer of the Poor Farm, was named Superintendent of the Allen County Asylum, as it was now called.
Expansion of the infirmary space was again required in 1871, and under Superintendent John Spice provisions were made to offer care "for the convenience and better management of the different classes of inmates" (History of Allen County, 1880, p.54). This is the facility that, in 1902, William Johnston came to superintend. Today, in Allen County, the descendant of the old county Poor Farm and Asylum is the Irene Byron Health Center. Behind the Main Building and connected to it with a covered porch was the Insane Ward. North of the Main Building was the Power House and Laundry. South of the Main Building was the Bakery and farther south were the horse and cattle barns, the horse barn being nearest the road. Copied from I WAS RAISED AT THE POOR FARM posted March 9, 2005 in The Waynedale News.com. Most of the same text is found including photos on Allen County Infirmary at Asylum Projects.org.
I WAS RAISED AT THE POOR FARM posted March 9, 2005. The following is a memoir written in 1986 by Carl C. Johnston, a reprint from the Old Fort News 1986, provided by The History Center, Fort Wayne courtesy of Marilyn Horrell. The memoir, which includes some recollections of his aunt, Gladys Marie Young of Fort Wayne, concerns his youth at the Allen County Asylum under the superintendency of Carl’s grandfather, William H. Johnston, who governed the institution from 1908 to 1920. THE ALLEN COUNTY ASYLUM The Allen County “Poor Farm,” as it was originally called, was established in 1853 and was first located in the wilderness of section 29 of Wayne Township (in the area of present-day Elmhurst High School, north of Lower Huntington Road).
THE POOR FARM SCHOOL I WAS RAISED AT THE POOR FARM - Continued by Cindy Cornwell posted March 23, 2005. The following is a memoir written in 1986 by Carl C. Johnston, a reprint from the Old Fort News 1986, provided by The History Center, Fort Wayne courtesy of Marilyn Horrell. The memoir, which includes some recollections of Carl C. Johnston’s aunt, Gladys Marie Young of Fort Wayne, concerns his youth at the Allen County Asylum under the superintendency of Carl’s grandfather, William H. Johnston, who governed the institution from 1908 to 1920.
The county home in Indiana : a forgotten response to poverty and disability by Hassett, Kayla at Ball State University. ABSTRACT: The county home is a rapidly disappearing building type in Indiana. Also known as the poorhouse, poor asylum, or county farm, the county home was Indiana’s first unified response to poverty and disability. County homes were built in each of Indiana’s ninety-two counties, but today, over half of these buildings either sit vacant or have been demolished. This thesis includes a survey of Indiana’s remaining county homes, recording forty-eight buildings in forty-seven counties. Information regarding each building’s architectural significance, condition, and current use is noted. Though reuse can be difficult, often due to large building size or rural location, it is possible. Several successful examples of adaptive reuse of county homes exist across the state, as this thesis illustrates. See her 353 page paper with photos THE COUNTY HOME IN INDIANA: A FORGOTTEN RESPONSE TO POVERTY AND DISABILITY A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE MASTER OF SCIENCE HISTORIC PRESERVATION BY KAYLA HASSETT (VERA A. ADAMS) BALL STATE UNIVERSITY MUNCIE, INDIANA MAY 2013.
County homes, once known as "poor asylums" posted September 1, 2018 on the Archives of Hoosier History Live podcast on Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m. ET on WICR 88.7 FM introduction starts with: In 1816, the first Indiana Constitution required counties "to provide one or more farms to be an asylum for those persons who by reason of age, infirmity or other misfortunes may have a claim upon the beneficence of society." Jim Glass.By the 1850s, "poor asylums" (as they were called then) had been opened in all 92 counties. According to Indianapolis-based historic preservationist Jim Glass, most of these residences - which later came to be known as county homes - had an adjacent farm. The houses were adapted to shelter the indigent and elderly; sometimes orphans and people with mental illnesses stayed in them as well. Most of the county homes closed after the creation of Social Security during the 1930s. But ten continue to operate across Indiana to this day.
In the nineteenth century, Indiana’s plan for caring for the poor and disabled centered on the development of poor farms, where people in need could work in exchange for housing and food. All 92 counties created poor farms between 1831 and 1860, but as federal agencies supplanted them, county homes gradually lost their purpose, leaving county governments and private owners struggling to find new uses for the historic complexes. Today, only 47 remain. In 2014, Indiana Landmarks supported a multiple property National Register nomination for all of Indiana’s county homes, paving the way for individual homes to be listed, Copied from a August 27, 2022 post by Indiana Landmarks on Facebook. The status of the 2014 project is unknown.
Photo of building at 1800 Broadway, corner of Swinney Avenue, was discussed May 12, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. Culled from the comments it was built around 1950 as Brouwer's Firestone and Texaco in the (late) Art Moderne style. It was a combination of tire store, filling station, service garage, and a small hardware-type retail store. The Brouwer family operated on the site prior to construction of the 1950 building, in a smaller Texaco filling station. Until 1965 was Brouwers Tire and Battery where Ray Ditton was the sales manager for Firestone tires. In the 1960s and 1970s it was a Goodyear tire and GE appliance store. TEKVenture maker lab moved to the block in 2014, then in 2017 moved to 1550 Griffin. There is tax sale information for Swinney Avenue Partners LLC 1800 BROADWAY.
The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is the tri-state area's leading sports, entertainment and tradeshow facility, hosting over 1,000,000 visitors annually. Serving northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio and southern Michigan, the 80-acre Memorial Coliseum and Expo Center complex is host to the Fort Wayne Komets (ECHL), the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBA D-League) and the Fort Wayne Derby Girls (WFTDA). The facility also hosts national concerts, family shows, business and consumer events, the area's largest tradeshows and private gatherings. For more information, visit www.memorialcoliseum.com. (Video production by Mission3 Media)
For "Throwback Thursday" we share this aerial photo of the Coliseum and surrounding area taken sometime before 1952 (Copyright 1959 is on the map). Our friend Randy Harter (local author and historian) had shared on a Fort Wayne Nostalgia page (You are positvely from Fort Wayne, if you remember...) some good information on the Coliseum and we added this to his post! BTW..... A.K. Hofer prepared a survey of the farm where the Coliseum was built in 1941, or about 7 years before the land was purchased in 1948!
Check out this historical photo of the Memorial Coliseum, taken on August 18, 1950! Taken two years before the facility opened its doors, this photo shows the building in the midst of construction. Look at all that farm land and natural vegetation!
May 15, 2019 post by Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Facebook: Check out these photos of the Memorial Coliseum, taken in May 1951 in the midst of construction! Since the facility opened its doors in 1952, we continue to renovate, expand and even "raise the roof" to provide the best experience for our guests! Photo provided - Journal Gazette
Happy 66th Birthday to the Memorial Coliseum! On September 28, 1952, a dedication ceremony was held upon completion of construction, with 10,000 people in attendance. Check out the photo below courtesy of the Journal Gazette archives.
Happy 70th Birthday to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum! 🎂
We're celebrating with a photo from the dedication ceremony held on September 28, 1952. In attendance were 24 area veterans' organizations and 10,000 guests.
(Photo Courtesy of the Journal Gazette) pic.twitter.com/qyUVNilz4I
The Komets have played at the Coliseum since 1952, and the Zollner Pistons played five seasons there before moving to Detroit. It is currently the home of the Mad Ants as well as the venue for a variety of events including concerts, expos and the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. Copied from Throwback Thursday: Memorial Coliseum published September 28, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
The idea behind the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum began in 1944, when the Fort Wayne Junior Chamber of Commerce (now known as the Jaycees) began discussing a proposal "to undertake a project to build a field house in Fort Wayne and dedicate it as a war memorial." Then, buildings in the area were too small to house larger community functions such as sports events and concerts.
The Jaycees, and their wives, worked hard to to garner public support for the project by passing out handbills door to door and distributing buttons to schoolchildren that read "We Want the War Memorial Coliseum." As the country was involved in World War II, the idea of a permanent memorial to Allen County's war heroes appealed to many residents. A county-wide referendum on the Memorial Coliseum passed, despite the $3 million price tag, which was considered a huge sum.
The Allen County commissioners started by purchasing the site - a prime piece of real estate at California Road and Parnell Avenue, near two farms, Johnny Appleseed Park and highway US 30 being constructed nearby (now Coliseum Boulevard). After securing needed financing through a bond issue, the commissioners broke ground for the project in January 1950. Upon completion in September 1952, a dedication ceremony was held, with 24 area veterans' organizations and 10,000 people attending.
The coliseum was intentionally built on the north side in the country to draw development to the north side of the river. Trains on the railroad tracks along the rivers on the north side of Fort Wayne often blocked northbound traffic preventing north side development. In 1947 Mayor Harry Baals proposed elevating the Nickel Plate railroad tracks along the old Wabash & Erie canal in Fort Wayne. Elevation started in 1953 and finished in 1956. North side development started in the 1950s and has never stopped. Mayor Harry Baals legacy is the decades of north side development, but instead became world famous in 2011 when comedian Jimmy Kimmell played a sketch video joking about the pronounciation of the mayors name. Scotty Moore has an interesting history of the early coliseum, especially Evil Presley's 1957 concert with newspaper articles.
Raising The Roof Helmut Cerovsek, P.E. and Chris Rust, February 2003, Modern Steel Construction A steel roof-raising renovation saved time and money for the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, IN is a 4-page document February 2003 in Modern Steel Construction on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
In 1944 the Fort Wayne Junior Chamber of Commerce (now known as the Jaycees) proposed building a fieldhouse/coliseum as a fitting memorial to the men and women of Allen County who had lost their lives during both world wars. While the planning and the building of public support was moving forward in 1945, feasibility and location became an issue as plans were announced by a private company to build a sports arena in the Quimby Village area, a project that ultimately never came to fruition, and there were those that felt the building should be constructed closer to downtown in Lawton Park.
Due to the building’s projected expense, in 1946 the project was put to a vote by way of a public referendum in that fall’s election. An extensive publicity campaign was undertaken by the War Memorial Commission, and Jaycees, that besides utilizing traditional advertising media also included dropping thousands of leaflets over the city from a plane as well as a torchlight parade on the election eve. When the votes were counted, the referendum had been approved, with 25,000 for and just 5,000 against.
In 1948 100 acres were purchased at Parnell Avenue and California Road adjacent to what was then called the “Municipal Beach,” and local architect A. M. Strauss (Parkview Hospital, Central Catholic, Lincoln National Bank Tower) was hired to design the building. In January 1950, a 3 million dollar bond issue was floated, and Hagerman Construction Company was awarded the construction contract. Due to steel shortages during the Korean War, work did not progress as quickly as anticipated. However, in September of 1952 the Coliseum was completed and its dedication held with 24 area veterans’ organizations and 10,000 people attending.
Since its completion, the War Memorial Coliseum has undergone numerous changes and upgrades. Not the least of these was the building of the 108,000 square foot Expo Center in 1989; raising the 1,200 ton roof 41 feet, 10 inches in 2001 at a cost of 34.5 million dollars that also included a major renovation throughout; and in 2015 the Conference Center to the south end of the building giving the complex a total of over one million square feet under roof.
Throughout the building’s 65-year history it has only had four general managers, Don Meyers, Bob Tenbarge, Phil Olofson, and since 1988, Randy Brown.
Those whose names are now enshrined at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum are Allen County citizens who lost their lives in World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
For "Throwback Thursday" we share this aerial photo of the Coliseum and surrounding area taken sometime before 1952. Our friend Randy Harter (local author and historian) had shared on a Fort Wayne Nostalgia page (You are positvely from Fort Wayne, if you remember...) some good information on the Coliseum and we added this to his post! BTW..... A.K. Hofer prepared a survey of the farm where the Coliseum was built in 1941, or about 7 years before the land was purchased in 1948!
This is a Sidwell aerial from our company files that predates the 1952 photo you shared, as the Coliseum is not yet completed and construction of the Gerberhaus has not been begun. However, you can see the Standard Oil gas station at the corner of California and Leo Roads, which still is in existance. Your question on the building in your photo, Randy Harter, at 11:00 was a mystery???? We have a survey done in 1959 and recorded in Deed Record 554 pages 283-285 by my father, Carl A. Hofer identifying the building in question as the DELUXE-MARINE company! BTW.... we have a survey in our files, prepared by my grandfather, A.K. Hofer in 1941, of 77.17 acres, which was the farm before the Coliseum was built. We started keeping field note records in 1948 or so, can't figure out who it was for!
Randy Harter commented: Very cool Hans. I love that it shows the old feeder canal bed. Nice!
Another conversation: Randy Harter: Hans, are these Sidwell's part drawing, part photograph? How were they produced? Hans Hofer: Randy Harter , yes part drawing and part photograph. We have three Sidwell books that were bought before I started working in 1975. When an area got developed with more subdivisions, they would send an updated version of the map, deleting any of the photography. The books downtown and surrounding area have no photography at all, since they are developed. However ,the books out in the country are still aerial photos, sometimes the whole Section, and sometimes a Quarter Section. Pretty sure the Sidwell Company still exists out of Chicago, although we no longer have a contract with them, with County GIS, etc.
105 East Lewis Street, taped August 11, 1976 American Legion Lincoln Post --Fort Wayne, Indiana
published November 11, 2016 by the Allen County Public Library on YouTube. This clip is a short piece that is part of a longer series of Fort Wayne landmarks documented on open reel video tape in the 1970s. The series was made possible by the Fort Wayne Public Library, now the Allen County Public Library. This segment was recorded August 11, 1976 at 105 East Lewis in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Camera and Editing by Steve Fortriede.
75th anniversary was on January 1, 2013. Inception in 1938, is a sales/service distributor in the weighing equipment business with sales and service capabilities. Headquarters in Fort Wayne with branch offices in both South Bend and Toledo Ohio serve customers within a 75 mile radius of either location. Web site: http://www.antibus.com/
The nine-story, 263-rooms opened in Februry 1908 at 128 West Berry corner of Harrison Street. In 1947 leased to F. Harold Van Orman, president of Fort Wayne Daisies women's baseball team, along with Ernie Berg and Ramon Perry, was the original backer/owner of the newly formed (1952) Fort Wayne Komets. Hotel rebranded as the Van Orman until 1968, rebranded the Anthony and imploded January 13, 1974. See history and discussion posted November 7, 2016 by Randy Harter, Fort Wayne historian and authorand postcard discussion October 7, 2017 and several ACPL photos March 13, 2019 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
On West Wayne Street, 1917-1933 was a co-ed business school. During the Great Depression it served as local headquarters of the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, which provided jobs to depression era unemployed who compiled useful genealogy records of births, marriages, and deaths found on the shelves of the The Genealogy Center, and would build the runways at Fort Wayne’s Smith Field, and the pavilions at Foster Park. It was torn down in 2014 to build the Asher Brokerage world headquarters. No longer online in Doomed Building Played Major Role in City History by Eric Olson March 28, 2014 of Indiana NewsCenter.
Anthony Wayne Motor Company
The former 'Anthony Wayne Motor Company' dealership was built in the mid-1920s at the SE corner of Lafayette Street and E Washington Boulevard, along the Lincoln Highway. It was home to the Ford and Lincoln brands. After having sat vacant for a number of years, it was demolished (along with the old 412 Club behind it) in September 2017 to make way for the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission. Fort Wayne, Indiana. Copied from August 25, 2018 photo taken August 7, 2016 posted by Dan Baker on Facebook.
Over 30 photos of various washing methods including Anthony Wayne Washers were posted June 28, 2022 by on Facebook. The first photo in the post was Anthony Wayne Washers showing the cover of a 26 page publication The New Improved "Anthony Wayne Washer." Publication: Buffalo: CM Dunston Lith,1892, was offered for sale, but marked sold in 2022 by Buckinghambooks.com states: 24 mo, 3-1/2" x 5-3/4" pictorial wrappers, 26 pp. (including the covers), illustrated. The Anthony Wayne Manufacturing Co. is in Fort Wayne, IN. The company claims to make their washing machines the best, most efficient, and most valuable washing machines in the country keeping their high standard of excellency that they've gained during the past six years. The Anthony Wayne Washer was first produced in 1886 and in a five year time period 65,000 units have been sold. The front cover is a lithograph of a woman cooking while her oldest child is running the Anthony Wayne Washer while reading, along with a toddler sitting on the floor, creating a happy family atmosphere. The rear cover is a lithograph of another manufacturer's washer and total chaos. On the inside front cover there is an illustration of The New Improved "Anthony Wayne Washer." There are illustrations and descriptions of the following: The Western Star Washer, The New Improved "Western Star Washer," Different Parts of the Gearing, Interior View of No. 2 & 3 Anthony Wayne Washers, and Interior View of No. 1 Anthony Wayne Washer. There are 16 pages containing satisfied dealer and customer testimonial reviews. There is another illustration of The New Improved "Western Star Washer" from a different angle on the inside rear wrapper. Stamped twice with the name Stockton & Allen, General Hardware in the body of the text, else a fine, bright copy of an elusive item. Page 64 of the September 16, 1893 The Metal Worker shows the price at $42.00 per dozen.
Rankin House: Little House, Big History by ARCH Inc., posted August 11, 2020 on YouTube/
ARCH Inc. presents a virtual, video tour of the historic Rankin House. This tour is possible because of the support of the Community Foundation of Greater Foundation and our generous donors to the #GivingTuesdayNow project. Join them in supporting ARCH Inc. and its historic preservation work in the Fort Wayne area by visiting archfw.org. Invest in history for our future.
ARCH Inc. presents a virtual, video tour of the historic Rankin House. This tour is possible because of the support of the Community Foundation of Greater Foundation and our generous donors to the #GivingTuesdayNow project. Join them in supporting ARCH Inc. and its historic preservation work in the Fort Wayne area by visiting archfw.org. Invest in history for our future.
Website: www.archfw.org, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/archfw/, YouTube: ARCH Inc. - Architecture and Community Heritage since 1975. ARCH Endangered Structure List of 2012’s most endangered structures, with the number decreasing from 10 to eight since last year. Topping the list is the Merchant-Huxford House at 520 Tennessee Ave., the home of one of Fort Wayne’s earliest mayors. According to legend, the house contains timbers from the last fort in the city. The list also included the S.F. Bowser building on Creighton Avenue vacated by the Fort Wayne Police Department, then torn down in 2016. From ARCH endangered-structure list dips to 8 by Sarah Janssen of The Journal Gazette newspaper November 16, 2012.
At 1415 West Washington Boulevard. In 1994 it was included on the "Fort Wayne Bicentennial Heritage Trail" as one of the outstanding homes in the celebrated West Central Neighborhood. From An Archbishop’s Home by Tom Castaldi, local historianpublished January 29, 2015 in the History Center Notes & Queries blog.
List of public art in Fort Wayne, Indiana at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. This list applies only to works of public art accessible in an outdoor public space. For example, this does not include artwork visible inside a museum. Most of the works mentioned are sculptures.
In 1961, the architect Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Fine Arts Foundation to design and develop a large arts complex. ... By the summer of 1970, Kahn’s office had completed the working drawings for the theatre, and construction proceeded shortly after. In the end, only the Theatre of Performing Arts was completed out of the nine proposed buildings for the Fine Arts Center of Fort Wayne. The theatre was officially inaugurated in 1973, a year before Kahn’s death in 1974. See Fort Wayne AD Classics: Arts United Center / Louis Kahn by Evan Pavka published April 16, 2018 on ArchDaily.com. The path of Kahn Famed architect's imprint on Arts United Center unmistakable with several photos by Miriam Morgan published December 09, 2018 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
Fort Wayne hasn’t shown any great love for architectural accomplishment. There is only one small Frank Lloyd Wright building in town, and other famous architects seem to have generally taken the bypass around our city. However, shortly before his death, Albert I. Kahn designed the exquisite Arts United Center, first known as our Performing Arts Center. Some of the most remarkable buildings on the planet bear Kahn’s signature, and we are fortunate to have one of them. But the “Kahn” name also shows up in at least one other Fort Wayne building of note – the former International Truck Engineering Center at 2911 Meyer Road [Street View photo], proposed site of the new Allen County Jail. A plaque on the building proclaims that the structure was designed and built by Albert Kahn Associates, a firm noted around the world, particularly among vehicle manufacturers. Copied from Proposed, current jail sites spur thoughts on aesthetics by Richard B. Hatch posted December 9, 2022 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
April 27, 2015 post on Facebook: Check out our latest snapshots from downtown Fort Wayne! We know construction moves quickly - be sure to look at the Weigand Construction webcam for nearly up-to-the-minute views of progress.
535 W. Wayne Street, founded in 1974, founder Tim Borne and president Tom Borne still maintain highly visible roles even after they sold the business to a holding company based out of Tennessee a few years ago. Website: asheragency.com
Aspy's BestOne Tire & Auto Care
14808 Minnich Road, Hoagland, New Haven area, 58th anniversary on January 1, 2013, website: www.aspytire.com
Aunt Millie's has been baking Sunbeam Bread since 1957. Today we received one of the nicest compliments ever, from Jeff Snow. Here is an excerpt:
I was in Kokomo July 12th and 13th for Indiana Sprintweek. We bought a loaf of Sunbeam Giant bread that was hands down the best loaf of bread we had ever eaten. I figured it was from Aunt Millie's and flipped it over and confirmed that thought. I’d swear it felt and tasted like it was fresh out of the oven...
You guys are doing something right when three guys watching sprint car races are talking about the quality of your bread!
Generations of Allen County residents have memories of the smell of baking bread wafting through downtown Fort Wayne. John B. Franke established the Wayne Biscuit Company in 1901, producing Perfection Wafers (P.W. Crackers) and later bread, cakes and cookies. In 1923 it became the first bakery in Indiana to offer wrapped bread. Always a family affair, after Franke’s death in 1927 his son-in-law H. Leslie Popp took over the running of the bakery (the Popp family still owns the bakery). By the mid-1950s the cookie and cracker lines were phased out. Since 1957 the iconic animated sign, featuring slices of bread falling fresh from the loaf, has been a landmark in downtown Fort Wayne. The aroma of baking bread began to waft over the city when Perfection Bakeries began making Sunbeam Bread in 1946 and Aunt Millie’s in the 1990s. Perfection Bakeries changed its name to Aunt Millie’s Bakeries in 2005. In 2017, it was announced that the Fort Wayne bakery would be closing. However, as a continued mark of its dedication to Fort Wayne, Aunt Millie’s announced that their corporate headquarters would remain at their Pearl Street location. #sociallyhistory
Recently we sat down with John H.D Wagner from 21Alive to discuss the Sunbeam sign at our corporate office in Fort Wayne, IN. Indeed, it is just that simple.
Automotive & Industrial Supply Co., Inc.
Serving Fort Wayne with 3 NAPA locations 58th anniversary on January 1, 2013.
The hotel was built in 1863 at the southeast corner of Calhoun and Berry streets by Francis Aveline. Fire May 3, 1908 killed 12 people. The main entrance was on Berry Street with a Ladies Entrance on Calhoun Street. From Death of the Aveline House by KEVIN LEININGER from the archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
#ThrowbackThursdays in downtown Fort Wayne featuring a photo from May 3, 1908. This photo was taken after the fire at Aveline Hotel that used to stand at the corner of Berry St. and S. Calhoun St. Eleven people died in the fire. #TBT
On this day in 1908 Fort Wayne's Aveline Hotel burned, killing 12 people. "In its day, the Aveline House was the city's most elegant hotel. In the end, it was the city's most elegant deathtrap." It was on the southeast corner of Calhoun and Berry streets and was built in the 1860s with a fifth floor added in the 1880s. Read more from the archives of The News-Sentinel Death of the Aveline House.
Fort Wayne, circa 1960 - Azar's Big Boy Restaurant and Coffee Shop, with its wonderful accordion roofline and colorful modern sign (that you can almost see, even in a black-and-white photo), was located on the NW corner of Calhoun and Berry Streets, opposite the Allen County Courthouse. Today a PNC Bank is on the site.
This futuristic design was known as Googie architecture, named for the now-defunct Googies Coffee Shop in Hollywood. Characteristics include sloping roofs, boomerang-modern signs, geometric shapes, and an exaggerated use of steel, glass, and neon. Popular from 1945 until 1970, especially for roadside buildings such as restaurants and motels, the style sometimes used Space Age motifs such as satellites, atomic bursts, and rocket shapes. The flashy style fell out of favor by the 1970s when the ecology movement ushered in wood and stone structures that blended into a natural environment.
Same photo was posted December 31, 2020 by Indiana Album in a larger post requesting more photos on Facebook: Fort Wayne, circa 1960 - Azar's Big Boy and Coffee shop stood on the NW corner of Calhoun and Berry Streets. More recently, PNC Bank has occupied this corner. Seen to the right is the Allen County Courthouse.
November 1, 2021 post by The History Center in a larger post about welcoming immigrants to Fort Wayne on Facebook stating: Some of the most influential groups are those who came from geographical locations under the rule of the Ottoman Empire or formerly under its rule. These groups include, but are not limited to, the Lebanese-Syrians, Romanians, Macedonians, and Greeks. with photo labeled: Azar’s Big Boy Drive-In, Operated by the Azar family (Lebanese-Syrian).
MYSTERY AZAR'S - Does anyone recognize this Azar's Drive-In and Restaurant from the 1960s? We believe that this was in northeastern Indiana. Azar's (a franchisee of Big Boy) was founded by Alex and David Azar of Fort Wayne in 1953. This design of sign and building was used as early as 1963. It is very similar to the Angola Azar's building at 309 N. Wayne (see picture in comments), but the sign was on the other side of the building. Any suggestions? (The Indiana Album: Johnson Brothers Sign Company Collection)