O Named Places in Allen County, Indiana

Peter Ohneck House

614 West Berry Street, Street View photo from Google maps

February 2, 2023 post by ARCH, Inc. on Facebook.

Today’s Throwback Thursday post is the c. 1850 Greek Revival style Peter Ohneck House on West Berry Street. Ohneck was a painter. Other occupants included Frederick McCulloch, the second son of Hugh McCulloch. Frederick was in the hardware business and served in the Civil War. A later owner was William McKinnie who operated the McKinnie House, a railroad restaurant and hotel. The houses’ outstanding features include a large, wrapped cornice, the semi-circular window in the attic on the main elevation and a wood front door with sidelights. Ohneck died in a hunting accident. According to a November 27, 1867, Fort Wayne Daily Gazette article, Ohneck was hunting between Fort Wayne and New Haven. While climbing a fence, his gun was accidently discharged. “The contents of the barrel passed through or near his heart.“

 

Lindsey House, 614 W. Berry St.   1962 image in the Indiana Landmarks Wilbur D. Peat Collection at the Indiana Memory Hosted Digital Collections at IN.gov.

Old Aqueduct Club

Street View photo from Google maps shows monument in Orff Park with Carole Lombard House on the right in the background.

The Wabash & Erie Canal Aqueduct posted March 22, 2021 by Friends of the Rivers on YouTube.

January 17, 2023 post by The History Center with several photos of their 2023 Sculpture display on Facebook.
Relief Carving, Sugar pine wood carving. Wabash & Erie Canal Aqueduct at St. Mary's River, Fort Wayne. Signed RHW, Ralph Wehnert 1984.

Page 364 shows the WABASH AND ERIE CANAL, AQUEDUCT AT FORT WAYNE in The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.
WABASH AND ERIE CANAL, AQUEDUCT AT FORT WAYNE. The Wabash and Erie canal crossed the St. Mary's river in the town of Fort Wayne at a point between the present two Nickel Plate railroad bridges. The picture is after a drawing made by Ellis Kaiser, now of Springfield, Missouri, presented in 1916 to Louis S. C. Schroeder.

  1. The location of the Aqueduct at Fort Wayne is shown in a blurry image of a hand drawn map labeled: The Old and the New A Composite Sketch of the Aqueduct, Canal, Mill, and Bridges. Site S. Marys River Fort Wayne IND Dedicated to Louis S. C. Schroeder From Memory & Present by ? From 18?? to 1925 posted July 12, 2021 by the Canal Society of Indiana on Facebook stating: The St. Marys aqueduct in Fort Wayne was only 160 feet long and was roofed. The enclosed diagram shows the aqueduct, the large basin to the west and the Orff Mill that operated using the water from the canal. The canal water came from the St. Joseph River via the 6½ mile feeder canal. They have several Facebook posts on aqueducts.
  2. Fort Wayne Aqueduct Covered Bridge with drawing and maps on BridgeHunter.comDescription The depth of the water on this aqueduct was 4.5'. The roof blew off in 1872 and was never replaced. In 1882 the aqueduct was razed to make room for the construction of Nickel Plate Railroad Bridge. Some of this information may be from lostbridges.org.
  3. Fort Wayne Aqueduct, Allen County on LostBridges.org. Comments: The Aqueduct Covered Bridge carried the Wabash & Erie Canal over the St. Mary's River one block from the West Street Covered Bridge. It was 17 feet 6 inches wide and had a water depth of 4 feet 6 inches. It was built in 1834 by the Canal Trustees. When the roof blew off in 1872 it was never replaced. It was lost in 1882 when the same location was needed for a railroad bridge. The old Aqueduct Covered Bridge must have been a substantial structure, as the Nickel Plate Railroad needed to use dynamite to remove it. Coordinates are approximate.
  4. AQUEDUCT COVERED BRIDGE on CountyHistory.com now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine stating: The Aqueduct Covered Bridge is no longer standing … it carried the Wabash & Erie Canal over the St. Mary's River in Allen County and was most likely located in Congressional Township 30 North, Section 2, Range 12 East, one block from the West Street Covered Bridge. Built in 1834 by the Canal Trustees, this Burr Arch Truss structure probably consisted of 2-spans measuring 204 feet in total length with a portal clearance 17 feet 6 inches wide and the capacity for a water depth of 4 feet 6 inches. When the roof blew off in 1872 it was not replaced and the old covered aqueduct was removed when its location was needed for a railroad bridge in 1882; although nearly 50 years old, dynamite had to be employed to remove the structure. The common numerical identifier used to reference the Aqueduct Covered Bridge is 14-02-01.

21Country: What’s the story behind Fort Wayne’s smallest park? by Daniel Beals uploaded Nov 12, 2021 on YouTube
21Country: What’s the story behind Fort Wayne’s smallest park? At 0.02 acres, Orff Park protects the legacy of the Old Aqueduct Club has a video with Tom Castaldi, local historiandiscussing the Wabash and Erie Canal and Old Aqueduct club published November 9, 2021 on 21AliveNews.com.

Iimage on the right is a 1912 newspaper article Boys of Long Ago Will Meet Again about forming the Old Aqueduct Club in the Saturday 23 Nov 1912 The Fort Wayne Sentinel on Newspapers.com.

Formed in 1912 by several citizens who as boys played and swam in the aqueduct that had served the canal and not used for a quarter of a century. A statue was erected in 1927 in Orff Park 900 West Main Street, corner of Rockhill Street & Thieme Drive near the Carole Lombard Memorial Bridge by the members of the unique Fort Wayne civic group that numbered around 500 in the 1930s. On page 552 of the The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River under the title ACTIVITIES of 1912 it states: The Aqueduct club, composed of men who, as boys, "went swim- ming" in the old Wabash and Erie canal aqueduct, which spanned the St. Maiy's river, was organized.

  1. See John Orff, Orff Mill, or Orff Park.
  2. Aqueduct Club Monument by ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage).
  3. Old Aqueduct Club Memorialat The Historical Marker Datatbase HMdb.org.
  4. Old Aqueduct Club Monument, (sculpture) is at the Smithsonian Institution.
  5. “Old Aqueduct Club” by Tom Castaldi, local historianpublished October 3, 2013 on the History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  6. February 7, 2017 discussion on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
  7. On July 16, 1927, a monument in Orff Park was dedicated by the Old Aqueduct Club. It is a statue of two young boys dressed in the coveralls of the 1870s with an inscription that simply reads: “Let’s Go Swimmin.” The Old Aqueduct Club was a unique Fort Wayne group that celebrated childhood memories of the canal era. The aqueduct carried the main channel of the Wabash & Erie Canal across the Saint Mary’s River just north of Main Street. After the canal ceased operation, the aqueduct was abandoned until it finally collapsed during a terrible ice storm in 1883. The Old Aqueduct Club was formed in November 1912 and the rules of the club stated that members had to be male persons forty-five years of age or older who had lived west of Calhoun Street before 1872 and had gone swimming in the old aqueduct. The Club annually held a dinner meeting and by the 1930s there were as many as 500 members who claimed to have met the requirements. Members of the Old Aqueduct Club used the gavel during their annual dinner meetings. By 1955, there were only eleven members left to attend the banquet and the club was dissolved. Copied from a July 16, 2018 post with photos by The History Centeron Facebook.
  8. A photo posted July 12, 2021 by Canal Society of Indiana stated: The boys of the West Central neighborhood loved to swim in the old St. Marys aqueduct. At that time the roofed structure was a perfect place to swim, but they had to watch for approaching boats. The statue pictured below was funded by members of the Old Aqueduct Club and was installed in 1927. It still stands today in little Orff Park south of Main Street near the site of the aqueduct. The statue was created by Fort Wayne architect Marshall S. Mahurin.
  9. Photos labeled Aqueduct Club Holds 'Swim' and Oldest Swimmers are shown on the page Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Scrapbook No. 6 029_Newspaper Clipping (1950.09.15)at Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  10. The Old Aqueduct Club was briefly mentioned on page 7 of Fort Wayne Pioneers by Richard T. Blitz presented to the Quest Club on April 26, 1957 and on page 6 of The public art of Fort Wayne, Indiana by Angie Quinn presented to the Quest Club on March 28, 2014 at Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  11. Was discussed November 24, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook with release of new book Crossroads of History: Strolling through Fort Wayne's Parks by Joshua Schipper.
  12. Thieme Park Overlook

    March 5, 2023 post on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook:

    Discussion with photos of the old covered bridge, Thieme Park/Overlook near Orff Park and the old Wabash & Erie Canal aqueduct, 1913 Flood and more.

     

     

     

     

     

     

Old Apple Tree

Apple trees are discussed on our Johnny Appleseed page. There is also a 200+ year old Centennial Oak Tree with a 1797-1987 plaque on Baker Street in downtown Fort Wayne.

The 'old apple orchard' was mentioned in the discussion of the day the 1852 daguerreotype photograph of the last fort was made when 'Charley Munson' was driving his cow to the pasture in the 'old apple orchard' in the present Lakeside shown on page 143 of The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

An Old Apple Tree of Fort Wayne Lore (“Along the Heritage Trail with Tom Castaldi” – June 2015, No. 125) published September 13, 2016 on The History Center blog is a fun read describing the appletree in what is now the Lakeside Neighborhood the birth location of Little Turtle and how it appeared in many publications in the 19th century.

Page 22 shows The Old Apple Tree in the History of Fort Wayne from the earliest know accounts of this point, to the present period Embracing an extended view of the aboriginal tribes of the Northwest, including, more especially, the Miamies ... with a sketch of the life of General Anthony Wyane; including also a lengthy biography of ... pioneer settlers of Fort Wayne. Also an account of the manufacturing, mercantile, and railroad interests of Fort Wayne and vicinity by Wallace A Brice with an 1868 historic apple tree drawing. on Archive.org

Page 492 in The pictorial field-book of the war of 1812; or, Illustrations, by pen and pencil, of the history, biography, scenery, relics, and traditions of the last war for American independence by Lossing, Benson John, 1813-1891, Publication date 1896, on Archive.org

Shown as Stop #51 Tacumwah & the “Old Apple Tree” on the ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage) Heritage Trail Kekionga map. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, about three hundred yards westward from Harmar’s Ford, on the site of the Indian camp, was a venerable apple-tree, full of fruit, its trunk measuring fifteen feet in circumference. Under this tree Chief Richardville, to whom allusion has been made, was born a little more than a hundred years ago. It was a fruit-bearing tree then, and is supposed to have grown from a seed dropped by some French trader among these Twightwees, as the Miamis were called in early times. In the sketch of the apple-tree the city of Fort Wayne is seen in the distance. The spires on the left are those of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. Copied from page 44 of The pictorial field-book of the war of 1812; or, Illustrations, by pen and pencil, of the history, biography, scenery, relics, and traditions of the last war for American independence by Benson John Lossing, 1813-1891.

About three hundred yards westward from Harmar’s Ford, on the site of the Indian camp, was a venerable apple-tree, full...

Posted by Indiana News 1 on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This apple tree image was discussed May 13, 2015 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook:

About three hundred yards westward from Harmar’s Ford, on the site of the Indian camp, was a venerable apple-tree, full of fruit, its trunk measuring fifteen feet in circumference. Under this tree Chief Richardville, to whom allusion has been made, was born a little more than a hundred years ago. It was a fruit-bearing tree then, and is supposed to have grown from a seed dropped by some French trader among these Twightwees, as the Miamis were called in early times. In the sketch of the apple-tree the city of Fort Wayne is seen in the distance. The spires on the left are those of the Roman Catholic Cathedral.

One Comment: Harmar's Ford happened on the Maumee River. There is a historical marker near the intersection of Dearborn and Edgewater Avenue in Fort Wayne. From there, you could pretty accurately guess the site where the old apple tree grew.

In keeping with the Johnny Appleseed festival in Fort Wayne - it seems appropriate to mention the Old Apple Tree that...

Posted by Military History of Fort Wayne on Sunday, September 19, 2021

September 19, 2021 post by the Military History of Fort Wayne on Facebook:

In keeping with the Johnny Appleseed festival in Fort Wayne - it seems appropriate to mention the Old Apple Tree that stood witness to many years of Kekionga's history and early Fort Wayne's history and predated John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) himself.

This tree was said to have existed long before the foundations of Fort Wayne were laid and to have had a trunk circumference of some 12 feet and was still bearing fruit into the 1850s. Apple trees are not native to North America so its likely it was planted by French traders when they first came to Kekionga and at least 100 years old when George Winters sketched it in 1848.

The Old Apple Tree survived the destruction of the villages and crops by Josiah Harmar's forces in 1790 and then looked on as Josiah Harmar's forces were themselves destroyed by Miami, Shawnee and Delaware warriors led by Little Turtle.

Chief Richardville was said to have been born near the base of the tree in 1761.

During the Siege of Fort Wayne in 1812, a native had taken to climbing the Old Apple Tree to spy on the inner workings of the Fort and taunt the soldiers that were defending the fort during the siege. Reportedly the native would flap his arms and caw at the soldiers as if he was a big bird in the tree. A marksman from the fort took aim and knocked the spy down from the tree, killing him, at a distance of several hundred yards.

While it's precise location is unknown - it's said to have been close to the intersection of Edgewater and Columbia, near the present day Conjure Coffee shop. The Old Apple Tree was finally felled by a storm in 1866.

Page 161 shows four stanzas of a poem Ode to the old apple tree in Little Turtle (Me-she-kin-no-quah) the great chief of the Miami Indian nation; being a sketch of his life, together with that of William Wells and some noted descendants by Young, Calvin M., 1851-, Publication date 1917, on Archive.org.

The apple tree is discussed on pages 738-739 in Harper's New Monthly Magazine Volume 24 December 1861 to May 1862, Publication date 1862, on Archive.org.

XVL--The Miami Apple-tree At the junction of the St. Mary and St. Joseph rivers, where they form the Maumee River, or Miami of the Lakes, in Indiana, is a rich plain — so rich that Indian corn has been raised upon the same field for a hundred consecutive years without exhausting the soil. It is oppo- site the city of Fort Wayne, that stands upon the site of the Indian village of Ke-ki-on-ga. There was once one of the most noted villages of the Miami tribe of Indians ; and there Afish- i-ki-nak-iva, or Little Turtle, the famous Miami chief, was born and lived until late in life. He and his people have long since passed away, and only a single living thing remains with which they were associated. It is a venerable Apple Tree, still bearing fruit when I visited it late in September, 1860. It is from a seed doubtless dropped by some French priest or trader in early times. It was a fruit-bearing tree a hundred years ago, when Pc-she-wa (Wild Cat) or Rich- ardville, the successor of Little Turtle, was born under it; and it exhibits now — with a trunk more than twenty feet in diameter, seamed and scarred by age and the elements — remarkable vigor. Glimpses of the city of Fort Wayne may be seen from the old Apple-Tree ; and around it are clustered memories of stirring scenes near the close of the last century, when American A short distance from Little Turtle's village, in another direction, lies a beautiful and fertile plain, between the St. Mary and St. Joseph, op- posite Fort Wayne. There, in a garden, near an apple-orchard planted by Captain Wells, the white brother-in-law of Little Turtle (who was killed at Chicago in 1812), is the grave of the chief. That orchard is the oldest in Northern Indiana, having been planted in 1804. Little Turtle commanded the Miamis at the defeat of St. Clair, in the autumn of 1791. He was also in command in the battle with Wayne, at the Fallen Timbers, in 1794. He was not a chief by birth, but by election, on account of personal merits. He died in 1812, when Co-is-see, his nephew, pronounced a funeral oration at his grave. Volney, the eminent French traveler and philosopher, became acquainted with Little Turtle in Philadelphia, in 1797, two years after he led his people in making the final treaty of peace with Wayne, at Greenville. By his assistance Volney made a vocabulary of the Miami language. While in Philadelphia Little Turtle sat for his portrait, and alternated with an Irish gentleman. They were both fond of joking, and sometimes pushed each other pretty hard. On one occasion, when they met at the artist's studio, the chief was very sedate, and said but little. The Irish gentleman told him that he was defeated in badinage, and did not wish to talk. (They talked through an interpreter.) Little Turtle replied, "He mistakes; I was just thinking of proposing to this man to paint us both on one board, and then I would stand face to face with him, and blackguard him to all eternity !"

Patriarch of Fort Wayne's Apple Trees on page 154 of Pamphlets Volume 8 by the Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County, Publication date 1954, on Archive.org
On page 11 of the book: The patriarch of Fort Wayne's apple trees was bearing fruit long before General Wayne appeared on the scene. When Chief Richardville of the Miami Indians was born in a hut near the tree in 1761, the apple tree stood in the midst of the Miami village, Kekionga. The city grew and prospered; late in the nineteenth century the venerable tree perished at an estimated age of one hundred and fifty years. Although the exact location is unknown, it stood in the Lakeside residential district of Fort Wayne. An article in the May, 1862, issue of HARPER'S NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE reveals that the trunk of the ancient tree measured twenty feet in diameter in I860.

As The History Center blog at the beginning of this section on the apple tree discusses is how popular it was in the literature of the time. It also appears on page 616 in the book Genealogical records of the Royer family in America published in 1928. There seems to be some question about the correct parents and age of George Royer and conflicts whether his age was 90 or almost 100 from different newspaper obituaries raising the question whether this apple tree story was even true, and if not why was it in the book at all? Perhaps George Royer was a story teller and maybe why it was included in this Royer family history book.

Genealogical records of the Royer family in America or more especially those of Sebastian Royer's family : Based on original records of Michael Zug by Francis, Jay Gottwals, 1870-, Publication date 1928, on Archive.org.
Page 616, A large apple tree, perhaps the largest in Indiana, stood about half a mile out from Fort Wayne. One day Wayne from the fort noticed an Indian climb up into the apple tree. He said to George Royer: “Go bring my little pocket piece and I will drop that red d — out of that apple tree.” The pocket piece was brought, Wayne aimed, and the Indian was seen to drop out.

Old City Hall

Street View photo from Google maps.

Old City Hall is an individual local historic district. The Fort Wayne City Building - was built in 1840 on land donated to the city by Samuel Hanna at Barr and Berry Streets. The sandstone building was built in 1893 in the Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. In 1977, the city of Fort Wayne committed a Federal Grant to rehabilitate the Old City Hall for use as a historical museum that is now the home of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society known as the The History Center. The Old City Hall / History Center Stop #7 on the Central Downtown Trail 19 stops on the Heritage Trail by ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage). The Old City Hall marker photos with Google maps Street View image, and more at The Historical Marker Datatbase HMdb.org. Celebrating the "Hapsburg Horror" by Nancy McCammon-Hansen posted May 9, 2012 and Fort Wayne’s Old City Hall by Tom Castaldi published August 14, 2014 on History Center Notes & Queries blog. DAR honors Historical Society for Shields Room renovation June 20, 2013 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. Historical society honored for restoration June 22, 2013 by Julie Crothers of The Journal Gazette newspaper.

Old Crown Brewing Corporation

25015 Spy Run Avenue, was founded as The French Brewery in 1862 by Charles L. Centlivre (a French immigrant), at 2501 to 2531 North Spy Run Avenue. Wikipedia has this Advertisement from 1905 If You Want to be Well drink beer that is pure and healthful. Our Special ExportBeer is absolutely pure, properly aged and fermented, and is made from the best materials money can buy. We spare neither care, cash nor brains in the brewing of this perfect beer, and the rich, inimitable flavor is the natural consequence. Drink Special Export - the beer that tells. C L Centlivre Brewing Co. Phone 62, Made in Ft. Wayne. The last of the brewery was demolished in 1989. IndianaBeer.com has more photos and information on local breweries at A Brief History of Brewing in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

A video taped August 11, 1976 Old Crown Brewery on Spy Run--Fort Wayne, IndianaNovember 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. Camera and Editing by Steve Fortriede.

Short video posted in a March 31, 2017 discussion on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.

Old Drug Building

Said to be the birthplace of baking powder and the oldest commercial structure still standing in the city. Housed the city’s first drugstore, established in 1848 by Col. Hugh B. Reed. From October 21, 1980 article in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Discussed March 9, 2017 including photo in Comments on Allen County Genealogical Society of Indianaon Facebook.

Old Fort Park

See our Old Fort Park section of Forts of Fort Wayne.

Old Gas House

Gas House
Gas House circa 1913 Don Hall's photo

Photo of the Gas House Circa. 1913 from Photos for Don Hall's Old Gas House on Yelp.com. Since 1955 the location has been Hall's Gas House restaurant on Superior Street of the local Don Hall's restaurant chain. It was the Fort Wayne Gas Light Company for producing gas from coal in the 1850s.

  1. Under the Gas Lights by Tom Castaldi published May 23, 2013 in the History Center Notes & Queries blog.
  2. Coal tar residue from coal processing into gas over a century ago is considered a hazardous waste site near the rivers requiring cleanup - NIPSCO planning for coal tar cleanup this fall in St. Marys River The work will require temporary use of the large grassy area on the Old Fort grounds by Kevin Kilbane published March 9, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspapernow archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
  3. Fort Wayne, IN: Old Gas House (Gasometer) several older photos July 10, 2018 on Towns and Nature blog.

Don Hall's Gas House Restaurant

April 20, 2016 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

Did you know our building started out as a gas plant?! We're full of history..and good food!

— at Don Hall's Gas House.

June 2, 2016 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

Ever recognize this? It originates from the Downtown Fort Wayne City Market on Barr Street dating back to 1910. Prior to the demolition of the market, the head was removed from the concrete pavilion and now sits in our lobby!

June 22, 2016 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

Little pieces of charm to brighten your dining experience.

[ Letter Box from the Van Orman Hotel formerly Anthony Hotel 1905-1974 ]

January 9, 2017 post by Don Hall's Gas House on Facebook:

We have a piece of Fort Wayne historyevery corner.

[ Door from Allen County Jail Built 1874 - Razed 19?7 ]

Old Methodist College - OMC

Was once the center of education in northeast Indiana. See Methodist College. In 1893 it moved to Upland, IN and became Taylor University. A photo of a marker at its location by the river and very close to the turn for Wayne Street is shown on A short historical tour of central Fort Wayneby Nancy McCammon-Hansen published June 28, 2013 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.

Old National Bank

September 1, 2023 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook:

It's #flashbackfriday! Take a look at this photo of the Old National Bank in Fort Wayne, located at 800 South Calhoun at Berry, southwest corner. This building was razed to become a Walgreen’s drug store; current site of the law offices of Leonard, Hammond, Thoma & Terrill.

This image comes from the Goldstine/Wesner Collection in our Community Album. Browse here: http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/

Old U.S. Post Office

The old Federal Building at the SE corner of Berry and Clinton which housed the Post Office and Federal Courtroom. Built in 1889 and razed in 1938, it was replaced by the new Federal Building on Harrison in 1932 from Old Post Office, circa 1900 image shown below in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library. It was a noble looking structure made of Michigan bluff sandstone and included a bastion tower with a turret that soared 115 feet above the street. The Postal Service occupied the 1st floor, copied from A Fort Wayne Architectural Landmark by Tom Castaldi August 27, 2014 on the History Center Notes & Queries blog. Was discussed March 3, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook with one comment: The reason it was torn down in less than 50 years is it was (according to contemporary accounts) horribly built. Nothing fit properly, it leaked, it was drafty, and was sinking, no one in city government was happy with it. I found anecdotal evidence that the city tried to sue the contractors.

Fort Wayne Post Office 1889 – 1932

By Randy Harter

Fort Wayne Reader 2018-10-05

Old Post Office, circa 1900
ACPL Digital Collection Image

Our city’s first post office was in Hanna & Barnett’s general store at Barr and Columbia Streets. Samuel Hanna, appointed in 1820, was our first postmaster. The post office would go on to have a few other locations, including on Court Street facing the Courthouse, before this magnificent building pictured here was completed in 1889. The site of this post office (also known as the Federal or Government Building) was at the southeast corner of East Berry and Clinton Streets; the lot was purchased in 1883 for $34,000. However, due to the wait for further appropriations, it would not be until 1885 that construction began.

Designed in Washington, D. C. under the direction of Mifflin E. Bell (Supervising Architect of the U. S. Treasury Department) in the Richardsonian Romanesque style popular in the late 1800’s, the building’s turret reached a height of 115 feet above the ground making it among the tallest structures in the city when it was completed at a cost of $215,000.

To the chagrin of officials in Indianapolis, rather than being built of limestone from southern Indiana, it was constructed of buff sandstone from the Stony Point, Michigan quarry owned by Fort Wayne businessman Steven B. Bond. Bond later also supplied the sandstone for the City Building (now the History Center) one block east, completed in 1893.

In addition to the post office on the first floor, beginning in 1903, the building also housed the Federal Court on the second floor as well as other federal offices including the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Marshal’s office. This building was replaced by the new post office and federal courthouse building on Harrison between Douglas and Brackenridge in 1932. The pictured old post office building was razed in 1938 and the site is now part of the parking lot for Citizens Square.

(Image Courtesy ACPL)

A tip of the hat to research by Hon. Judge William Lee and postal historian John Kalb.

Randy Harter is a Fort Wayne historian, author of three books on local history and the history/architecture guide for Fort Wayne Food Tours.

Olds, O. L.

July 13, 2023 post by Mitch Harper on Facebook:

Olds cast iron commercial front on Calhoun Street.

#historical

Olinger's Grocery

Lewis and Hanna Streets in early 1900s. 1905 photo in the October 23, 1965 The News-Sentinel newspaperand discussion September 24, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

One Summit Square

Built on the old 1960 Wolf & Desauer location. Indiana Michigan Power Center on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Discussion October 22, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

O'Neils Glass

Photo and discussion of thier upside down sign July 17, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

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Orange House Restaurant

Four photos from 1955 posted on The Indiana Album from July 6, 2017 post on Facebook. Photo and discussion October 23, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

Orff Mill

Page 338 top image shows the Edsall (Orff) mill on the St. Mary's river and other industries were operated by water power from the canal. The two principal basins of the canal were those at Harrison street and at Lafayette street. from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

Page 366 shows THE ORFF (EDSALL) MILL. The drawing, from a photograph, shows the Orff, or Edsall, mill (known later as the Empire mill and commonly called "the old stone mill") as it stood while the machinery was operated by waterpower furnished by the Wabash and Erie canal. An over-shot wheel was used. The erection of the mill was begun in 1843 by Samuel Edsall. Milford Smith was admitted as a partner, and later the business passed to Orff, Armstrong && Lacy, but John Orff afterward became the sole proprietor; later, it passed to his sons, John, Jr., C. E. and Montgomery Orff. In later years the mill was operated by steam power. It stood on the east bank of the St. Mary's river, a few rods north of the Main street bridge. from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

Page 373, The opening of the Wabash and Erie canal brought hundreds of pioneers to the thriving young city. Among these were John Hough, Jr. (born in Middlebury, Vermont, in 1818), attorney and leader in many public enterprises; John Orff (born in Bavaria, in 1821), merchant and miller; Nathaniel P. Stockbridge (born in Freeport, Maine, in 1821), who purchased the D. W. Burroughs book store and continued in business for thirty-eight years ; Horace Durvey, who founded the hardware house which later became the establishment of Morgan and Beach ; Josiah King (born in Quebec, in 1834), John Jones (born in Wales, in 1835), W. B. Felt (born in New York, in 1823), Peter Bobay (born in France, in 1838), George W. Linden (born in New York, in 1828), and Thomas Tiernan (born in Waddington, New York, in 1828), who entered earnestly into the life of the town, and Dr. Lewis Beeeher, physician and druggist. . . . Among the industrial and commercial enterprises launched during 1843 were the tannery of Henry Work and Samuel Hanna on the north side of the canal west of Barr street ; the flouring mill of Hamilton and Wines, on the canal ; the linseed oil mill of Henry Rudisill and Henry Wolke; the large flouring and grist mill of Samuel Edsall, on the St. Mary's river, and the canal, known also as the Empire or "stone mill," and later as the Orff mill, and the cooper shop of Ball and Johnson. . . . W. S. Edsall was named as register of the canal land office. . . .

Page 538, St. Rochus's hospital for the treatment of tuberculosis was established with the pur chase of the John Orff home on West Main street ; it has been conducted in connection with St. Joseph hospital.

XXXII. ORFF'S MILL - (Known also as the Edsall Mill, Empire Mill, and The Old Stone Mill) of the water-powered mills located on the Wabash and Erie Canal in Fort Wayne, were erected in the period from 1841 to 1845. Orff’s Mill was located on the right bank of the St. Marys River immediately north of the present West Main Street Bridge and derived its power from the canal.

When the Wabash and Erie Canal was constructed through Fort Wayne, a considerable amount of land in the western part of the town was owned by William Rockhill, who deeded to the canal company a right-of-way through his land for the canal. He, in turn, received from the company a lease for water rights.

In the years 1842 and 1843, Mr. Rockhill and his partner, Samuel Edsall, erected two saw mills. In July, 1843, Mr. Rockhill withdrew from the partnership and Mr. Edsall started construction on a large grist mill, which was completed two years later. A few rods north of the mill, the waters of the canal were conveyed over the St. Marys River by means of a long covered acqueduct, which for several reasons became the rendezvous for hundreds of young swimmers in the western part of town. The memory of this acqueduct has been perpetuated by the formation in 1912 of the "Old Aqueduct Club,” whose membership is composed of those men who, as boys, swam and "chawed beef” within the acqueduct’s protective walls. In 1927, a memorial was erected to these young swimmers in nearby Orff Park. Mr. Calvin K. Reimen, of Fort Wayne, now heads this group, whose ranks are rapidly thinning.

Changes of ownership of many of these early mills was frequent and this mill was no exception. Shortly after the erection of the grist mill, Mr. Edsall admitted Millford Smith as a partner, the firm being designated as Smith and Edsall. In 1856, the property was offered for sale and was purchased by a group under the name of Orff, Armstrong & Lacy. Mr. Lacy died shortly after the forma- tion of this partnership. The firm then operated under the title of Orff & Armstrong. John Orff acquired Mr. Armstrong’s interests in 1858 and continued as ihe sole owner of the business. A number of years later, the business passed to John Orff’s sons, John, Jr., C. E., and Montgomery Orff. The mill was badly damaged by fire in 1888 and on September 11, of the same year, the property was purchased at sheriff’s sale by John Orff.

In 1872 Mr. Orff equipped the mill for steam operation, which permitted the use of water or steam for power, until the abandonment of the canal cut off the water supply. The mill’s water lease expired in 188. John Orff, Sr., died in 1896, and the mill quit business in 1897. The Orff homestead is now occupied by the Jim Eby Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and is located at the end of West Main Street adjacent to Lindenwood Cemetery.

The Kingman Brothers’ History of Allen County, Indiana, published in 1880, [EMPIRE MILLS page 117] gives the following account of the mill’s equipment at that time: "Until recently, the power has been derived from an overshot wheel. In 1862-63, Mr. Orff built a grain warehouse, immediately east and adjoining the mill, with six bins, with a capacity of 5000 bushels per bin. In 1872, Mr. Orff added a steam engine and such additional machinery as the change required. He did not, however, dispense with the water wheel. He now uses steam or water, as the circumstances may require. In 1876, he built a very commodious office adjoining the grain warehouse. Under the old process, this mill turned out 175 barrels per 24 hours. Under the new, minimum capacity is 175 per 24 hours. The following is an exhibit of the size, capacity and business of this mill: Mill (stone) four and one half stories, 50 feet by 60 feet; Grain Warehouse, first story stone, two stories plank, 40 feet by 45 feet; Grain Warehouse storage capacity 30,000 bushels; number of run of stone, five size of stone, one three foot, four, four and one-half; Number of hands employed, twelve; amount of flour manufactured in 24 hours, 175 barrels; horse power of engine, 100; horse power of wheels, 110; capital invested, $40,000." Copied from page 22-23 of the The water-powered mills of Allen County, Indiana by Bates, Roy M.on Archive.org.

Orff Park

Orff Park, 0.02 acres, since 1892. See Old Aqueduct Club.
Orff Park is located at the intersection of Main and Rockhill and is close to the scenic Rivergreenway. 
For more detailed location information, check out the General Park Map  or Orff Park Map.
History: Orff Park was purchased from John Orff in 1892 and is our smallest park. It was once larger, but two-thirds of its original area was allocated to the West Main Street Bridge. The park features "Let's Go Swimming", an Old Aqueduct Club memorial. Copied from Orff Park at City of Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation

Pge 528, ACTIVITIES OF 1892 - The city purchased from John Orff a piece of ground on the east bank of the St. Mary's river for the relocation of West Main street when the present iron bridge was built. This ground, and the triangular piece which was given the name of Orff park, was valued at $5,550. Copied from the book The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on Archive.org.

Orf Park discussed November 24, 2022 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook with release of new book Crossroads of History: Strolling through Fort Wayne's Parks by Joshua Schipper.

Orphan Trains

Started in the 1850s when orphans and destitute street children from the east coast were put on trains headed west. Most children were placed with farm families who needed their labor and would treat them as their own. By the the 1930s, as many as 200,000 boys and girls had been relocated, from New York, Boston and other Eastern cities. “The largest number came to Indiana,” says Templeton, 69. “Apparently, the railroad that runs from Fort Wayne and comes to Huntington and Wabash was a main line for bringing the kids west.” Read about "Michael Young, 61, of Columbia City recalls his grandmother, Ethyle Gale Young, telling him the story of her father, Henry Gale. Even as a child, he says, he knew the story was remarkable. Gale came to Indiana from upstate New York on an orphan train in 1864." in Boy arrived at 7, became farmhand and more in Untraveled history Indiana was top stop for ‘orphan trains’ both stories by Rosa Salter Rodriguez of The Journal Gazette September 20, 2012. Alfred James Pembrook, born in 1884, came west on a train with his sister Ida Pembrook, born in 1881, around 1890. He lived in Fort Wayne, then moved to St. Petersburg, Florida according to Laura Plato Pembrook Children under Pembrook Childrenon Indiana Orphans Train Project.

Orpheum Theater

1409 South Calhoun at Montgomery, 1915 photo posted November 22, 2014 onthe original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. Discussed with postcards September 26, 2015 and night time photo added October 3, 2015 on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group.

O'Reilly Office Supply Co., Inc.

Now doing business as A.M.O. Office Supply Go AMO. 90th anniversary was on January 1, 2013

Oyster Bar

Street View photo from Google maps
1830 South Calhoun Street Fort Wayne, IN 46802, phone: (260) 744-9490.
Website: https://fwoysterbar.com/; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fwoysterbar/.

  1. The original saloon first opened at 1830 South Calhoun in the summer of 1888. The proprietor was the honorable Ferdinand Oetting. Two years later, in 1890, a fireman for the Pennsylvania Railroad, W.T. Harvey, purchased the saloon. W.T. hired a bartender by the name of Joseph J. Schnee. In 1894 Joseph purchased the saloon, thus beginning the longest family ownership of the establishment. Rosina and Joseph lived above the saloon until approximately 1910. First two sentences copied from a fairly long The Oyster Bar History at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  2. Page 352, Oetting F D, 354 Calhoun in the 1888 Fort Wayne City Directory on Archive.org
  3. Page 363, Oettig Ferdinand D, bartender D W Keefer, bds 354 Calhoun. in the 1889 Fort Wayne City Directory on Archive.org
  4. Oyster Bar posted by Visit Fort Wayne as more on their TAKING A TOUR OF FORT WAYNE'S HISTORICAL RESTAURANTS! By Heather Q. on Jan. 10, 2013.
  5. The Oyster Bar – A Fort Wayne Favorite for 60+ Years by Tina Bobilya published January 26, 2017 on Visit Indiana Indiana Insider Blog.
  6. LOREN SHAUM: Historic Oyster Bar is a Fort Wayne jewel posted Apr 17, 2021 on The Goshen News.
  7. it has had a handful of owners and operated under various names. It even survived the prohibition, but did close for three years during The Great Depression. In 1956, oysters were first introduced and in 1975 the name officially became “The Oyster Bar.” The Oyster Bar is under new ownership for first time since 1987 by: Rex Smith posted: Dec 5, 2022 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
  8. The Dish: Fort Wayne man makes dream of owning Oyster Bar a reality by Kimberly Dupps Truesdell posted Dec 14, 2022 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

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