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Allen County, Indiana Genealogy
R Named Places in Allen County, Indiana
Perry and Winifred Randall owned and operated the Randall Hotel in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Read more on The Randall Circle website or 58 page pdf book a collection of assorted photos, newspaper articles and memories from various family members. Fort Wayne's first hotel in 1823, was managed by Winifred Randall. Before managing the hotel, she was the first woman in the United States to manage a lumber mill. She also helped found Fort Wayne's chapter of the DAR. Copied from a July 5, 2018 post by The Landing Fort Wayne on Facebook.
- 1828 Jacob Fry tannery location, 1870 Robinson Hotel became the Grand Hotel, 1889 Perry A. Randall bought and renamed the Randall Hotel. Razed in 1963. Read more in Indiana’s Best $2 Hotel by Tom Castaldi published June 27, 2013 in History Center Notes & Queries blog.
- The Randall: Best $2 hotel in the state by Michael Hawfield from the Cityscapes archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
The History Center images
A May 15, 1964 closure and auction of the hotel posted May 15, 2019 by The History Centeron Facebook Stated: Hotel accommodations in downtown Fort Wayne abounded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Options ranged from the large and extravagant Hotel Anthony to the small and humble Hedekin House. One of the better known mid-range hotels in the city was the Randall Hotel. The hotel held the names of the Robinson House, Hotel Grand and Hotel Brunswick before being purchased by local attorney, Perry A. Randall in 1889. After becoming a largely residential hotel in the 1930s, the Randall closed and was razed in 1963 with the death of Winifred Randall. One year following the closure of the Randall, an auction of the hotel's contents was held, fifty-five years ago today, on May 15, 1964. Several items were purchased by citizens of Fort Wayne at the auction and subsequently donated to the Historical Society. As the demand for downtown hotels increases, today we share some memories of one of the grand old hotels of Fort Wayne’s past. #sociallyhistory.
#3 - ALEXANDER TAYLOR RANKIN HOUSE. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: c. 1841. Located at 818 S. Lafayette St., the structure appears to be fairly non-descript, but was constructed by one of the leading abolitionist personalities of the 19th century. Built in the Greek Revival style, the brick home also may have served as a school at some point in its history. The interior retains most of its original features, including wall and trim finishes as well as a period staircase and railings. Alexander T. Rankin took part in the Underground Railroad that smuggled slaves from the south into the north. The home is the only standing structure in Fort Wayne that is known to be connected to abolition and the Underground Railroad. It is the current home of ARCH. (Photo courtesy of ARCH).Copied fromFORT WAYNE FIVE: Oldest city structures on the National Register of Historic Placesby Justin Kenny posted January 4, 2018 at The News-Sentinel newspaper.
See our National Register of Historic Places page.
818 Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne, c. 1840 house was built by Alexander Taylor Rankin, an abolitionist minister. Is stop #46 on the Heritage Trail as the Alexander T. Rankin House from ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage). The only known Fort Wayne underground railroad site on the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD SITES: FORT WAYNE at IN.gov. The house registration was certified October 26, 2004 and added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is #3 of the FORT WAYNE FIVE: Oldest city structures on the National Register of Historic Places by Justin Kenny published January 4, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Was discussed January 23, 2018 on I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Facebook and January 23, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. A video on the Rankin House History was posted by Fort Wayne's NBC Focused on the Fort originally WKJGon Facebook. Was discussed in Invest in history for our future: ARCH takes different approaches to restore historic properties by Emily Dwire posted: Dec 7, 2021 by CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
Rea Magnet Wire
3400 Coliseum Blvd, Suite 200, (800) 732-9473. In 1929 Victor Rea was named manager of Dudlo Company. In 1933 he forms Rea Magnet Wire read their History and timeline on their web site www.reawire.com. See Facebook page.
Rea Magnet Wire Company, Inc. is one of the world's largest manufacturers of magnet and nonferrous wire products. Rea produces copper, aluminum and brass-insulated magnet wire and bare wire used in the manufacture of motors, transformers and coils. Rea also manufactures a number of specialty wire products. Copied from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Jim Vann, majority shareholder of Rea Magnet Wire Co. Inc., has donated the manufacturer's former headquarters and surrounding 141/2 acres at 3600 E. Pontiac St. to the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department.Copied from Rea donating former HQ to city Park officials want community input on southeast-side siteby Sherry Slater published June 27, 2021 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
- Rea Magnet Wire Company, : founded 1933, the story of a special organization in a unique industry Author: Slater-Putt, Dawne
- A history of Magnet Wire : its influence in the community of Fort Wayne and the founding of the Rea Magnet Wire Company Inc Author: Boeshore, Jay F. at the Allen County Public Library.
Rea Magnet Wire, a local employer founded 90 years ago, has been sold to a German company in what is being described as “a perfect match” of operations. Terms of the sale, which closed Friday, were not disclosed. Elektrisola plans to retain the Rea name, the company’s five manufacturing plants, its leased corporate offices in Fort Wayne and all of its employees, officials announced Friday in a news release. Rea Magnet Wire employs about 800, including about 230 in Fort Wayne. Along with Indiana, the company has operations in Connecticut, Virginia and Mexico. ... Victor Rea, who founded the company, sold it to Alcoa in 1960. Vann was among a group that bought it from Alcoa in 1986. Elektrisola employs about 4,000 worldwide at 14 plants in seven countries. The manufacturer, which bills itself as the world’s largest manufacturer of fine copper wire, was founded in 1948 in Germany.Copied from Rea Magnet Wire's North American magnet operations sold; employees to be retained Sherry Slater | Journal Gazette Mar 31, 2023
Ream Steckbeck paint company
Longtime local paint company Ream Steckbeck closes Was founded in 1923 by Kevin Leininger published December 20, 2012 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
Discussed April 6, 2017 including a Comment from Steven Redding April 8, 2017 and then September 21, 2017 when Steven Redding's obituary was shared from his Facebook page on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
History Center March 14, 2019 Facebook images
A March 14, 2019 post with photos by the The History Centeron Facebook stated:
In the world of groceries, the modern supermarket reigns supreme. However at the turn of the 20th century, it was the local neighborhood market that was the center of the grocery shopping scene. One local store, Redding’s Market, 1102 Rivermet Avenue, began serving the Lakeside Neighborhood in 1911. Elzie Redding ran the grocery with his wife, Della, and their two sons Dale and Forest. In the 1920s, the Redding’s purchased a farm which became a valuable source to the store and provided Lakeside with the freshest produce and dairy. In 1960, Elzie Redding passed ownership of the grocery store to his son Forest and grandson Steven. This multigenerational business served the community for almost a century, before closing in 2003.Visit the History Center to see artifacts from Redding’s Market.
Reformed Orphans Home
1914 - "Reformed Orphans Home, Fort Wayne, IN" Allen County Public Library Digital Collections Image
Several photos are found for Reformed Orphans Home in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
See Allen County Children's Home, Allen County Orphan Home, Allen County Poor Farm, Crossroad Child & Family Services, Fort Wayne Children's Home, Fort Wayne Developmental Center, Reformed Orphans Home, and St. Vincent Villa Catholic Orphanage.
Crossroad Child & Family Servicesis at 1825 Beacon Street. Their Facebook page states:In 1883, The Reformed Church in the United States established “The Reformed Orphan’s Home of Fort Wayne, IN.” In October 1883, nine-year-old Hermann Leisering came to live with our first Superintendent, Rev. John Rettig, and his wife. Over many decades, hundreds of orphans and other children in need of a home came here to live on the land on which we were founded and still stand on today. As the need for orphanages began to diminish after World War II, we adapted by providing a home for unwed mothers known as Woodhaven and services for emotionally troubled children. More than 1,000 unwed mothers came to Woodhaven from 1959 to 1973 to live until giving birth. Members of supporting churches adopted most of the infants. The need for these services diminished in the early 1970s as it became acceptable for unwed mothers to remain in their family homes. However, we continued to work with troubled children, expanding our services and making a name for ourselves in the Midwest as one of the finest treatment providers for emotionally troubled young people. For many years we were known as The Fort Wayne Children’s Home. We started using the name Crossroad in 1975. In 2010 our legal name became Crossroad Child & Family Services, Inc. Today we provide a full spectrum of services in residential, outpatient, home-based, and community settings. David Mullins became our President and Chief Executive Officer in 2021. He is the thirteenth administrator of our agency.
The Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana has a page in the Members Only section with histories of the Fort Wayne Children's Home listing records for the Fort Wayne Orphan's Home of the Reformed Church and Fort Wayne Children's Home of the United Church of Christ Crossroad 14-page October 1983 Centennial History and Messenger Newsletter for the Crossroad Child & Family Services from 1950 erratically thru the present.
Orphans in Indiana (1830's-1900's) [in progress] Submitted by Dawne Slater-Putt, CG at Indiana Genenealogical Society . Description:
This database is about individuals who were raised by someone with a different surname than their own. These include children who were adopted from orphanages, raised by a relative with a different surname, lived in the house of someone to whom their relationship is not known, or any number of other situations. Some of these individuals were not literally orphans – defined as a person whose parents were both deceased. In one case, the child lived with his mother but his surname was changed to match that of her subsequent husband, his stepfather.
The information has been culled from a variety of sources, but primarily from published county histories and genealogical society newsletters. More entries will be added periodically.
August 25, 2022 by Crossroad Child & Family Services on Facebook:
#TBT from the #CrossroadArchives: We're throwing it all the way back to the very beginning. Pictured here is the last known surviving photograph of Sunrise Cottage. This building, for the first several years of our existence, was the entirety of what came to be known as the Reformed Orphans Home of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
In 1883, nine-year-old Hermann Leisering came to live with our first Superintendent, Rev. John Rettig and his wife in this very building. Over many decades, hundreds of orphans and other children in need of a home came here to live on the land on which we were founded and still stand on today.Originally sitting on 200 acres in 1883, much of the land has been sold off and now contains Parkview Hospital Randallia, Parkview Behavioral Health, Byron Wellness Center, the Fort Wayne VA Hospital, and dozens of other businesses, nonprofits, and private residences.
In the modern era, we provide a full spectrum of services in residential, outpatient, home-based, and community settings.
A photo posted April 16, 2013 on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook and 3 photos of Reformed Orphans Home from Randy Harter October 27, 2013 on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group.
March 2, 2023 post by Crossroad Child & Family Services on Facebook:
#TBT from the #CrossroadArchives: Crossroad was founded nearly 140 years ago as The Reformed Orphans’ Home of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Our founders purchased 57 acres with a farm house and hired The Rev. and Mrs. John Rettig (pictured here) as the first Superintendent and Matron. The Rettigs served the home for more than 15 years. Many of the children we helped were true orphans, some were children who had lost a parent and the remaining parent could not take care of them, and some were children left in the care of the Rettigs temporarily while families got back on their feet during difficult times. On February 21, 1899 Rev. Rettig died very suddenly leaving the home without a Superintendent.
The Board of Directors moved very quickly to fill the leadership position. On March 9, 1899, they elected Rev. Berchtold Ruf to replace Rev. Rettig. Ruf went on to serve the organization until 1913.
February 24, 2023 post by Crossroad Child & Family Services on Facebook:
#TBT from the #CrossroadArchives: In this postcard from around 1900, you can see a young girl standing at what used to be the main entrance to the campus of what was then called the Fort Wayne's Orphans Home. Despite being open for less than 2 decades at this point, the campus was home to several beautiful, ornate buildings that echoed much of this area's architecture of the time.
Renaissance Pointe Neighborhood
Once known as Hanna-Creighton. In March 2005, then-Mayor Graham Richard announced what was then called the Synergy project, by 2007 it was called Renaissnace Point. Read more in New Renaissance Pointe homes are all rented and Neighborhood rebirth 8 years in the making by Dan Stockman of The Journal Gazette newspaper December 7 & 8, 2012.
Ivan Lebamoff Reservoir Park 2300 South Clinton, city block bounded by South Clinton on the west side, East Suttenfield on the south side, Lafayette Street on the east side, and Creighton Avenue on the north side. 13.1 acres. Since 1880 from City of Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation. In 2009 was renamed for former Mayor Lebamoff who helped find funding to rebuild it in the mid 1970s.
2300 S. Clinton Street was built in 1880, it supplied the city's first municipal water system, provided recreation, fishing, sledding and in 1916 hosted a week-long festival commemorating Indiana's centennial in a 14,000-seat theater built on the side of the hill. Read more in The story behind the hill in the park by Kevin Leininger published August 29, 1981 inCityscapes from the Archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
Reservoir Park June 1916 By Randy Harter Fort Wayne Reader 2016-12-15 [with photos]
Fort Wayne celebrated Indiana’s 100th birthday in 1916. As part of the centennial event, which began the second week of that June, the largest temporary construction project in the city’s history was completed at Reservoir Park to host an ambitious historical pageant. Designed to hold 14,000 people, the seating for the historical pageant rose from the edge of the artificial lake to the top of the reservoir hill. A noted dramatist was brought in from Chicago to write the play, and lighting was rigged so that the performances could be presented at night. Over 1,000 local costumed citizens participated in the six-act play named “The Glorious Gateway of the West” on the pylon-flanked stage. Tickets to the pageant were fifty cents each. Some of the play’s highlights included a large replica set of the fort as a backdrop, an Indian village complete with wigwams, the actor playing Anthony Wayne arriving on stage uniformed astride a white horse, and the rousing finish with all the participants and audience jubilantly singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a giant American flag slowly rose over the stage. The play was performed six times during the two weeks of the celebration and was seen in total by an estimated 50,000 people. As well as the pageant, the stage was used on the first Sunday afternoon of the celebration by 600 choristers from local churches and singing societies performing to the packed amphitheater for a free-admission concert of religious and inspirational patriotic music. The city also celebrated with a visit and talk by former President William Howard Taft, a giant parade thorough the gaily festooned downtown, and an industrial and business exposition featuring 200 booths just north of downtown near the League Park baseball stadium (in today’s Headwaters Park) which included adjacent free rides and amusements.
Randy Harter is a Fort Wayne historian and author of two books on local history.
- Lots of Reservoir Park photos on Google images.
- A photo with the description: Sol Koble machine excavating preparatory to constructing new Three Rivers Park Reservoir. Photograph appeared in the Journal Gazette on 4/27/1931. Photo by Clippinger. on Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
In 1900 Ivan Lebamoff Reservoir Park began its life as a reservoir built to maintain a safe water supply. Early in the 1960s a new water filtration plant was built, and the old reservoir was demolished and integrated into the famous 50-foot hill, popular with winter sledders. In 2009 the park, at 2300 S. Clinton St., was renamed after the former Mayor Lebamoff, who helped find funding to rebuild it in the mid 1970s. Do you have a memory of this urban park?was posted September 20, 2015 on Friends of Parks of Allen County on Facebook.
- A 1905 photo taken from the reservoir hill towards downtown to the north facing Creighton Street posted August 15, 2018 , June 21, 2016 discussion with various postcard photos, comments, and history with his Fort Wayne Reader post shown above by Randy Harter, Fort Wayne historian and author, December 18, 2016 and colored lights August 31, 2017 , around 80 photos posted September 3, 2017, and general Reservoir Park Search on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
In the summer of 1916 Reservoir Park was the center of a city-wide celebration of the state’s 100th birthday and it was incredible. A massive stage was built over Res Park lake and bleachers for 14-thousands spectators were constructed up the slope of Res Park hill. 1100 Fort Wayne citizens volunteered as actors in an extravaganza titled ‘The Glorious Gateway of the West’. Read the rest in The Day Res Park was the Center of the World by Eric Olson, 21Country Featured Reporterpublished February 9, 2017 on ABC WPTA21.com TV station.
- LEBAMOFF RESERVOIR PARK RESTORED by Cindy Cornwell posted May 11, 2018 at The Waynedale News.com.
- A December 28, 2022 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook stated:
In these photos, Ft. Wayne residents enjoy the snow and ice skating at Reservoir Park. Allen County residents have long flocked to the park in winter months. A 1911 article in the Fort Wayne Sentinel notes skating season was officially opened on Dec. 28 that year. "The intense cold of last night froze the water in the lake just barely enough to allow juvenile skating and early this morning every home in the neighborhood of the park was supplying its quota to the crowd which grew in numbers as the day wore on." #waybackwendesday #snow #iceskating #winterwonderland #bundleup These photos are courtesy of our Community Album. Check out more pictures from the collection here: http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/ (1911, December 28) “Skating Season Formally Opened at Reservoir Park”. Fort Wayne Sentinel, p. 1.
February 19, 2023 post by Hidden View Photography on Facebook:
"Ivan Lebamoff Reservoir Park." South side #fortwayne
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July 10, 2020 post byHistoric 07 District - Fort Wayne on Facebook:
Built in 1924, the Rialto Theatre was one of Ft. Wayne ’s most popular neighborhood movie houses. Here is some information about the workers who helped this theater thrive.
It was built by Greek Immigrant, James Heliotes, who began his business career in the United States as owner of the Columbia Candy Kitchen, a restaurant and sweet-shop in downtown Ft. Wayne .
James, “the Mister,” as he was commonly referred to, had owned the Broadway Theatre and later sold it to open the Rialto. He also purchased the building north of the Rialto to house the Rialto Furniture Company.
James made his home at 1840 Florida Drive and raised two sons, the eldest being George, who was Business Manager of the theatre. The younger son, John took care of the furniture store. John and his wife Violet had one daughter, Jan.
Also prominent at the Rialto was John Gater. John was a long-time employee, having worked at the Broadway. John was Theatre Manager and was responsible for operations. John opened and closed the theatre every day, usually working seven days a week. He would come in around 9 or 10 a.m., open the theatre at Noon, and would take some time off in the afternoon, returning around 4 p.m. and working to closing.
Another individual who bears remembering was Nickolas Pouletsis. Nick just kind of “hung around,” sometimes cashiering or taking tickets and trying to be useful. Nick also went by his pen-name, Nick Penn. He was the artist who designed and drew the cartoon strip, “Little Lulu.” He sold his cartoon creation and left Chicago to come to Ft. Wayne. Nick’s wife, Laura worked for an engineering firm on West Main St. Find the newest electrical panel in the Rialto switch room and you’ll see the labeling on the switches in cartoon lettering style. That was Nick’s handiwork.
Thank you Cinema Treasures and Jack Dold for posting this information. The picture is from the 1950s.
- Rialto Theater Timeline, Photos, and Comments including from a former employee at Cinema Treasures.
- Rialto Theater at Waymarking.com.
- Rialto Theater Fire Prevention Marquee photo from Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
- Reclamation Project in its 10th year at Rialto Theater had a 2 minute video by Ellie Bogue June 5, 2013 of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
- January 28, 2017 and January 29, 2017 discussion and Name Search on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
- Historic Rialto Theater up for sale by Frank Gray published December 9, 2015 in The Journal Gazette newspaper now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
- Reclamation Project looks for a buyer to finish the Rialto Theater published December 18, 2015 was in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
- See local Theaters such as the Broadway Theatre, Clyde Theatre, Embassy Theatre, Holiday Theater, Jefferson Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Palace Theatre, Paramount Theatre, and Rialto Theatre.
February 8, 2023 post by Genealogy Center on Facebook:
Then & Now - The Rialto Theater
It's #waybackwednesday! The 700 seat Rialto Theater had its grand opening at 1 pm, on August 20, 1924. The $150,000 building ($2.5 million in today’s money) was designed by O.C. Brunswick of Chicago.
In a Fort Wayne News Sentinel article from the time, various architectural and design features were described, including the outer lobby and box office which were “finished in terra cotta with polychrome terra cotta walls and barrel ceilings. Massive drinking fountains add to the attractiveness”. The building was equipped with “octagonal lighting fixtures throughout” and the “latest type screen was installed to ensure bright and clean pictures. A large pipe organ was located in the orchestra pit”.
After more than 60 years, the theater closed its doors in 1989.
Photos courtesy of the Daniel A. Baker collection: http://contentdm.acpl.lib.in.us/.../collection/p16089coll88
(1924, August 19). New Rialto Theater to be Thrown Open to the Public Tomorrow. Fort Wayne News Sentinel, p. 12.
Discussed February 8, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
1235 E. State Blvd. started in 1957 as Nick's Rib Bar 2 doors east of current location. Von Filippou and Nick Stamanis bought out Del-Mar bar to start Nick's Rib Bar. Read more of The Rib Room History on their web page. Discussed January 31, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook
1130 Wells Street • Fort Wayne, IN • 260.424.4012.
For nearly 80 years, Richard’s has baked and fried Fort Wayne’s best donuts. From their 2011 About pageon the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Chief Richardville House
5700 Bluffton Road, Phone: (260) 426-2882. The Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville House was built near Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1827 It is one of only two National Historic Landmarks in Allen County. Subsidized by the U.S. federal government through the 1826 Treaty of Mississiniwa was, it is believed to be one of only three treaty houses built east of the Mississippi River. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on March 2, 2012. Chief Richardville, the principal chief of the Miami from 1812 until his death in 1841, signed several treaties with the United States government as it negotiated with the Miami tribe for its eventual removal as a recognized nation. Lands were reserved for Richardville's personal use, and $600 was provided for the building of a home. The house sits on land that was negotiated for by Richardville in the 1818 treaty between the Miami Indians and the U.S. government. The Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society acquired the one-acre property and house in 1991. The Greek revival-style house was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and as a National Historical Landmark in 2012. Copied from Richardville House on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. See Richardville House web page at the The History Center
#1 - RICHARDVILLE HOUSE. YEAR CONSTRUCTED: 1827. Construction of this home was subsidized by the 1826 Treaty of Mississinwas, which compensated the Miami tribe with money for land for settlement. Chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville, the primary chief of the Miami from 1812 to 1841, was awarded $600 by the U.S. government to help fund a house along the St. Mary's River. The structure reflects both Greek Revival and Federal styles. The History Center is the current steward of the property, which sits off Bluffton Road. (News-Sentinel file photo).Copied from
FORT WAYNE FIVE: Oldest city structures on the National Register of Historic Placesby Justin Kenny posted January 4, 2018 at The News-Sentinel newspaper. See our National Register of Historic Places page.
- Chief Richardville House on Visit Fort Wayneblog.
- June 27, 1997 was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See National Park Service Registration Form.
- March 2, 2012 Designated a National Historic Landmark by the Sectretary of the Interior. See application including photos and maps NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK NOMINATION USDINPS NRHP Registration Form [Rev 8-86] OMB No 1024-0018 NPS Form 10-900 AKrMA PrNsr\ryA AWIIKI (CHIEF I Inifed States DeDartrnent of the Interior. National Park Service JEAN.BAPTISTE DE RICHARDVILLE HOUSE)
- 111 page form Indiana SP de Richardville, Chief Jean-Baptiste, House National Register of Historic Places Registration Form in the Catalog at The National Archives.
- As the oldest building in Northeast Indiana, the Chief Richardville House is only the second site in Allen county to be named a National Historical Landmark. The other honor belongs to the Allen County Courthouse. The Chief Richardville House is now the 38th landmark in Indiana and one of only a few Native American landmarks in the country. Copied from Chief Richardville House Becomes National Historic Landmark published March 2, 2012 on The Fort Wayne Downtown Insider Blog.
- "Forgotten Pronunciations" by Tom Castaldi, local historianpublished December 2, 2010 on History Center Notes & Queries blogfor a little more on Chief Richardville. In 2011 his house became the fifth Native American landmark in the country, the first east of the Mississippi River.
- The Voice of the Miami by Nancy McCammon-Hansen published April 19, 2012 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
- Observations on the Chief Richardville House National Historic Landmark Designation by Nancy McCammon-Hansen published April 27, 2012 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
- A brief overview of Chief Richardville by Nancy McCammon-Hansen published January 23, 2013 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
- Chief Rchardville Housephotos by Nancyha3717 posted May 20, 2013 on flickr.com.
COULD IT BE A SPIRIT TREE?By The Waynedale News Staff published May 10, 2013 on the The Waynedale News.com.
There are plenty of trees on the grounds where Chief Richardville lived, but there are two Silver Maple trees sitting at the entrance that are extra special. The trees are huge and old, possibly over 100 years old, with branches growing every which way.
- Richardville House of Celebration by Tom Castaldi published August 7, 2014 on History Center Notes & Queries blog.
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Riegel's Pipe and Tobacco
Located on 3 East Main Street and 39 (later 631), now 624 S. Calhoun Street (1874– ), (260) 424-1429, in Covington Plaza and in Georgetown Square - the oldest continuously run family business in Indiana. Twitter page.
The Red Front Cigar Store was founded September 14, 1874, by proprietor John Carl. Mr. Carl's business was located at the northeast corner of Main and Calhoun Street. ... Al Riegel bought the Cigar Store January 12, 1905. Copied from the History page on Riegelscigars.com. See also Preserving family history Riegel’s Pipe and Tobacco prepares to change hands to fourth generation by Jaclyn Youhana The Journal Gazette newspaper March 17, 2013. See Riegel’s Pipe and Tobacco on IndianaHistory.org. March 1, 2023 post had several Riegel's photographs from Frank Bougher who posts many Riegel photographs on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
215 East Berry Street between Clinton and Barr Streets, now the Standard Building originally called the Electron Building, was erected in 1869, lasted 20 years, then became the Academy of Music. The rink attracted good skaters by Kevin Leininger published February 2, 1982 in the Cityscapes archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper. See Photos and discussion September 24, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
Ringling Brothers Circus
July 22, 1911 The Journal Gazette newspaperarticle discussed February 13, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. Circus elephant train ready for unloading in Fort Wayne was shown in an August 3, 1954 photo THIS DAY IN HISTORY: August 3 in photos by Dan Vance published August 3, 2018 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
The Riverfront at Promenade
Website: https://www.riverfrontatpromenadepark.com/. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Riverfrontpromenadepark
The website states:
Located on the 'Downtown Urban Trail' adjacent to Promenade Park, Riverfront at Promenade Park is designed illusively of all glass windows on one side, 15,000 square feet of retail space, 25,000 square feet of office space, and a 900 space parking garage. This community boasts private courtyards, gathering space, expansive patios and so much more with views of Downtown, Promenade Park, and the river for all of our future residents.
February 27, 2023 post by Greater Fort Wayne Inc. on Facebook:
Rivergreenway Trail System
River Greenway web site, Facebookpage, a 24 mile long park trail in Fort Wayne and New Haven, Indiana. A part of the larger 100 mile Reigional Trail System. The trail is along the banks of the three Fort Wayne rivers St. Marys, St. Joseph and Maumee Rivers including Aboite New Trails web page and Aboite Trails on Facebook.
Admission was Free! Trolley rides cost 20 cents. Opening day was July 4, 1896 with 35,000 people packing every trolley car going to the park on a 30-40 minute ride into the undeveloped country side north of Fort Wayne. It once stood in what is now the North Pointe Woods subdivision along the St. Joseph River across the river from the Riverbend Golf Course on St. Joe Road. The North Pointe Woods clubhouse has a nice collection of artifacts including pictures from Robison Park. There is a marker at 8202 Riveroak Drive. The Daredevils, a roller coaster, 900 seat playhouse for vaudeville acts, dancing, popular water ride "shoot-the-chute," all drew conventions and group tours from Chicago, Indianapolis and Detroit. "In 1897, he (Louis Heilbroner) brought Edison's new "Projectorscope" to Fort Wayne and began regular movie showings. Huge Independence Day and Labor Day picnics were organized, and on German Day, 10,000 people came for a singing competition." The park died when automobiles became poplular and closed in 1919. The Cyclone roller coaster was taken to West Swinney Park the following year where it thrived for another 25 years. Robison Park, 1896-1919 - Bates, Roy Monroe, Reprinted from Old Fort news, v. 29, no. 2-3, June-Sept. 1956 by permission of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society on Archive.org.
April 26, 2016 post by the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook :
- After only 20 years at Robison Park, their now over one-hundred-plus-year-old handcarved masterpiece G.A. Dentzel Menagerie Carrousel was relocated to Spencer Park in Logansport, Indiana and was one of only three still surviving in the world in 2012. See a photo and read about the Carousel History at the Cass County Dentzel Carousel web page and Cass County Carousel at Visit Cass County.
- Robison Park amused thrill seekers by Carol Tannehill in the 1900-1909: THE ERA OF OPTIMISM archives of The News-Sentinel newspaper.
- In the June 20, 1994 Cityscapes by Michael Hawfield he wrote about Robison Park, now in the archives for the The News-Sentinel newspaper.
- August 13, 2013 the Main Pavilion postcard was discussed on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
- Photo with discussion showing remnants of the trolley car bridge over Swift Creek June 26, 2014 on You know you've lived in Fort Wayne too long when... Private Facebook group.
- Discussed in City Scapes Trolley whisked thrill-seekers to park June 20, 1994 by Michael Hawfield from the archives of The News-Sentinel.
- The area was originally called Swift Parkand here is a Ft. Wayne & Wabash Valley Traction Co. ticket from Robinson Park to any point in Fort Wayne both from the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook.
- Blue Streak roller coaster, built in 1912, A Blast From The Past - Robison Park's Blue Streak on June 3, 2010 newsplusnotes.com.
- The Trier family bought the Blue Streak renaming it the Cyclone roller coaster installing it in their own Trier Park where it lasted another 20 years before the entire park burned down. See June 12, 2016 discussion and The route to Swift's Park (Robison Park) July 1, 2016 photos and discussion and February 3, 2017 , over 40 photos in album Robison Park: 1896-Present Day and photos of ruins posted October 29, 2017on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
- See aerial photo of roller coasters posed June 19, 2017 by Allen County Public Library on Facebook.
- Robison Park 1896 – 1919 by Randy Harter published May 19, 2018 in Fort Wayne Reader discussed May 20, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
- Robison Park: Then and Now! with historic and more recent photos showing what remains by Casey Drudge an archived website from early 2000s on oocities.org.
- June 28, 2019 post on Robison Park by The History Centeron Facebook.
- July 3, 2019 The History Centerposted several photos and some history on Facebook.
- Fort Wayne, IN: Canal Feeder Dam and Robison Amusement Park, 1896-1919 posted February 5, 2020 on Towns and Nature blog.
- Remembering Robison Park – the former Fort Wayne amusement park by Nathan Gidley posted May 31, 2022 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. The story with many historical photos mentions a 30-page history by Casey Drudge called Robison A Fresh Look published in
The History CenterOld Fort News in 2000 that is available for sale.
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Rock n' Roll Stories
- Rock n' Roll Stories from Fort Wayne's Past - from February 6, 2011 Fort Wayne Reader.
- The 1960's Classic Rock in Ft. Wayne, Indianpublished August 20, 2010 on thesoulsonfire blog.
- Jersey Chains - Ft. Wayne 1966 - 67 published February 27, 2011 on Indiana-Bands-60s blog.
- Swingin' Gate discussions on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
Mary Rockhill-Tyler House
918 Van Buren Street, just north of Washington Boulevard, is a brick building built in 1840 when Abraham Lincoln was a young man. It is the oldest house within the West Central neighborhood and one of the oldest in Downtown. See Mary Rockhill-Tyler House photos and information on ARCH ( Architecture and Community Heritage) who has restored the majority of this house, including the entire first floor.
May 9, 2023 post by ARCH, Inc. on Facebook:
Preservation and restoration of historic buildings is a key goal for ARCH Inc., and the 2021 completion of the project to bring the c. 1840 Mary Rockhill-Tyler House in West Central back to life as a home for the first time in more than a century was the culmination of significant effort and investment for us. The last time the hall-and-parlor-style house was lived in, before being turned into a garage for a more modern home nearby, it needed no plumbing, water or electricity, and it was heated by a Franklin stove. Now it has all the 21st century facilities and conveniences, and it is leased to a resident with the rental income providing support for ARCH’s programs and operations. Learn more about this lovely old house and ARCH’s work to restore it to life at archfw.org, where you can also join the others who support ARCH as members and donors, without whom accomplishing this goal would have been impossible.
Established in 1944 photo of original grocery store location at the corner of Jefferson and Webster discussion Febraury 13, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.
Roller Dome North is at 444 W. Coliseum Blvd, orginally out in the country at the corner of Lima and California Roads. Roller Dome South 4540 Bluffton Road opened in 1972 and closed August 9, 2015. See Roller Dome North discussion in Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne photo. Roller Dome North has a Facebook page. South-side skating rink to close 43-year run on Bluffton Road to end Aug. 9 by Jeff Wiehe was published July 22, 2015 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. See Marg Wall in our People section who started Roller Dome with her husband Jim Wall.
May 17, 2023 post by WANE 15 on Facebook:
The new store will pay homage to Roller Dome South and be called The Rink.
Opened in 1972 on Bluftton Road, closed in August 2015, but now will see new life as a vintage and antique mall. Roller Dome North continues to welcome skaters. Antiques, collectibles store coming to former Roller Dome South location Jamie Duffy May 17, 2023 CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
Roots Camp and Ski Haus
On North Clinton Street discussed on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. No longer there.
The concrete pillars that stand at the intersection of Columbia and Harrison Streets are from the Wayne Hotel. According to the photo on the right posted February 15, 2019 by
The Landing Fort Wayne on Facebook. Harrison and Columbia streets. Built as the Wayne, sold and renamed Jones, then Rosemarie Hotel.
Designed by local architect Frank B. Kendrick, and built in 1887 on the site of Dana Columbia’s original 1831 twenty-room Columbia House hotel (for whom Columbia Street is named). See October 12, 2017 post by
Randy Harter, Fort Wayne historian and authoron You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook. Fire of 3 February 1975 photo on Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library. Canal Hotels on Rosemarie Alley by
Tom Castaldi, local historianpublished February 27, 2014 on History Center Notes & Queries blog. See February 3, 2017 photo and discussion on Allen County Public LibraryFacebook page, shared February 3, 2017 and general discussion July 4, 2017 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebookand February 5, 1975 newspaper clippingat Allen County Public Library. A staff photo by John Sorensen published on page 2A in the February 5, 1975 The Journal Gazette newspapershowing the lobby of the Rosemarie Hotel on The Landing that had been restored to elegance over the previous 10 years after a fire on February 3, 1975 was posted August 16, 2018 and a different article posted August 23, 2018 by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook. Throwback Thursday: February 1975, fires on The Landing published with photos August 30, 2018 on The Journal Gazette newspaper. A story about fires in the 141-year-old Rosemarie Hotel and the five-story Old Fort Draperies office building, at Columbia and Harrison streets on The Landing on February 3, 1975 and then a second fire in the Old Fort Draperies and a separate blaze about the same time at Third Presbyterian Church on Harrison the next day February 4, 1975.
Arson was suspected in both office building fires and the hotel blaze. Both buildings were eventually razed. The Old Fort Draperies site is now a parking lot, and the Rosemarie Hotel site was later replaced by an ivy covered structure that has recently been torn down as part of a project to revitalize the one-block stretch of Columbia Street between Harrison and Calhoun streets.
1515 North Harrison Street, former Desoto car dealership from newspaper article Restaurant Notes extra: Hop River Brewing Company hoping to open in December by Lisa Esquivel Long published October 24, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
Indiana Archives and Records Administration at in.gov photo
Summit City Soap Works was
First established in the late 1877, the company struggled almost immediately. When new ownership finally arrived, Summit City Soap Works became a very profitable business, especially with the introduction of their latest and greatest product, Rub-No-More Washing Powder. After several years, the company changed their name from Summit City Soap Works to The Rub-No-More Co. Business skyrocketed and sales were through the roof! In the mid 1920's, the once then local soap manufacturer decided to sell all rights to Proctor and Gamble and was manufactured and sold under their label for several more years. Copied from Summit City Soap Works About page. The Fort Wayne Beer page about the Berghoff brothers states: Gustav's soap company had been renamed, "Rub-No-More" in 1912 and was extremely successful, eventually selling trademarks and formulas to Proctor and Gamble for the sum of $325,0000 in December of 1926, but retaining ownership of the building and grounds. With no actual operating business in the Rub-No-More facility the Berghoffs incorporated as the Berghoff Properties Inc. In 1928 Gustav purchased the Wayne Home Equipment Co. and formed Wayne Oil Burner Co. in 1932 which would be located in part of the Rub No More facility. In Jan 1933 with the end of prohibition approaching Gustav along with his sons: John , Walter, and Edward raised capital and incorporated The Berghoff Brothers Brewery Inc, to be located in the soap works buildings on Glasgow Ave. In the 1920s the Board of Health was seeking a permanent injuction against the soap manufacturer operations because of the
offensive odors given off from page 302 in the book Soap Gazette and Perfumer. A 1925 ad says since 1883, sells five-cent Water Softener, Floating R-N-M White Naptha Soap and Spotless Cleanser in extra-large ten cent can is satisfying millions in the middle western states. Originally posted February 26, 2013 but no longer found on the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. Gustav Berghoff sold Rub—No—More Soap Company in 1927 from Berghoff Brewery — German page at
200 @ 200 2016 Bicentennial items at
The History Center. Business letterhead photos were posted April 4, 2019 by the Indiana Archives and Records Administration at IN.govon Facebook. “Washed Up:” A Discovered Artifact and the Rub-No-More Soap Company by Justin Clark published June 29, 2021 at the Indiana History Blog by the Indiana Historical Bureau of the Indiana State Library.
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2010/11/14: Jim Sack on Rudisill Boulevard, segment 1 , segment 2, segment 3, segment 4, segment 5 were published November 22, 2010 YouTube.
Rudisill Grist Mill
In the autumn of 1830, Henry Rudisill and Henry Johns erected a flouring mill on the right, or west, bank of the St. Joseph River in the southwest quarter of Section 36, Washington Township. At the time of the mill’s erection, it was located about three-quarters of a mile north of the village of Fort Wayne on what is now Spy Run Avenue, then known as the east branch of the Lima Road. The site of the mill is directly across the street from the present Indiana Service Corporation’s shops.
Henry Rudisill was born in 1801 at Lancaster, Pennsylvania and came to Fort Wayne as a representative of Barr & McCorkle, of Baltimore, Maryland, who prepared the original plat of the City of Fort Wayne.
This mill began operations with but one set of buhrs, which was increased in later years to four sets. The mill was generally known as the "Johns Mill,” until the death of Mr. Johns, when the sole ownership passed to Mr. Rudisill. Mr. Rudisill died February 6, 1858, and ownership of the mill passed to his son, H. J. Rudisill, Jr., who continued its operation until 1866, when he moved to California, leaving the operation of the mill in the hands of John E. Hill, Jr., who later formed the John E. Hill, Jr., Co.
From the time of its erection until about 1880 the mill was equipped with an over-shot wheel, after which Leffel and Little Giant wheels were installed. The mill produced about sixty-five barrels of flour per day and employed about seven men. During the flood of February, 1876, the dam was severely damaged but was soon repaired and the mill again placed in operation.
John H. Bass and Oscar Simons purchased the mill property November 4, 1879, and a few years later the Water Works Committee of the City of Fort Wayne recommended that the City of Fort Wayne condemn the property for its water rights but were restrained from doing so by the owners on September 11, 1884. The question of a new city water supply was a paramount issue at the time.
In the fall of 1887, Bass & Simons completed the rebuilding of the dam, placed heavy walls in the mill race and made other repairs to the property. On November 25, of the same year, the property was purchased by the Jenney Electric Light and Power Co., along with the entire canal feeder for the sum of $67,000.
The mill was shortly afterwards abandoned but the building was not demol- ished until early in the present century. One of the stone buhrs of this mill now reposes on the premises of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society Museum.
A photo for the wooden dam for Rudisill's grist mill, 1830-1850 on the St. Joseph River was published October 25, 1979 in The News-Sentinel newspaper posted December 20, 2014 in the original Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne, Indiana page on Facebook. The post stated:
Wooden dam on St. Joseph River: lower water uncovers wooden dam near saw mill of Henry Rudisill (1830-1850). Published in News Sentinel, 25 October 1979.
Father and son, Henry Wolf and Henry John, on pages 38-42, in Two Henry Rudisills by Shirley Poinsett Slater in the December 2017 Allen County Lines quarterly publication in the Membership section of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana website. It was reprinted from Henry J. Rudisill's Vineyard published in the 1871 Fort Wayne Sentinel newspaper.
An October 30, 2022 post with several color photos similar to the 1979 photo were discussed on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook. Additional photos and comments show where the dam is currently located near McDougal Avenue and St. Jospeh Boulevard. Using the 1979 photo showing a house with a sharp pitched porch roof and Google map Street View it appears the dam is located near 1820 St. Joseph Boulevard. One takeaway from this 1979 photo is that since the remnants of the Rudisill mill of the 19th centuary is currently underwater, the river today, thanks to the current Hosey dam further upstream, is deeper than it was in the past.
Rudisill Mill is shown on the cover of Intensive Archaeological Survey for the Proposed Fort Wayne Flood Control Project at Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana Conducted for: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District Contract No. DACW35-88-D-0049 Delivery Order No. 0004 DTIC Selected Jan 30, 1990.CCRG Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group 6928. https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA218222.pdf
Pages 73-74 - Erected in 1830, the Rudisill Mill continued in operation for over 50 years, into the 1880s. Historical documentation identifies it as being the second grist mill constructed in the Fort Wayne area. It's importance to the community at that time is in part suggested by the fact that much of its construction was reportedly carried out on a COE-oR-oo?6.CH? 73 volunteer basis by local farmers (Griswold 1917:606). As a technological variable this mill represents a significant phase marker in the transition of local economic adaptation patterns, from a forest procurement system based largely on the fur trade to a production oriented setting dependent on agricultural produce. Although initially based on local market production/consumption needs, the opening of the Wabash and Erie Canal during the late 1830s would have expanded the distribution potential of the mill's products to outlying marketing centers in the Great Lakes and Ohio River regions. This far flung distribution potential, in turn, would have had a discernable impact on local farm development as an economically viable pursuit. Whether or not access to outside marketing centers would have affected the financial arrangement of the Rudisill Mill operations, representing a potential transition from a custom to merchant mill status, is not indicated in the available published sources. In the same sense, while it is likely that the mill was a water-powered birdstone operation throughout its 50 year lifespan, the possible introduction of the iron-roller system of flour processing, in wide use throughout west Central Europe prior to 1840, is worth entertaining, considering Rudisill's concentrated efforts in fostering German immigration into the Fort Wayne community (Poinsatte 1969:55-56, 162)
Data provided in Poinsatte's study of Fort Wayne during the canal era contain specific indications of the availability of detailed accounts relating to Henry Rudisill's business activities. These could potentially provide more specific information relative to mill construction and operation features. At the time of Poinsatte's study (1969), these documents were reportedly in the possession of the Rudisill heirs (Poinsatte 1969:54). The availability of primary source documentation represents a critical research element associated with the Rudisill Grist Mill location, one not readily replicated in most preindustrial processing/production site situations. Additional archival work could potentially provide more specific information relative to mill construction and operation procedures. However, because of the disturbed nature of the site and the limited remains that were discovered, it is doubtful that further investigations would yield significant information. The majority of the remaining survey area also has been greatly disturbed by residential construction activities and landfill operations.
Ruoff Home Mortgage
Sponsors of 2017 Indy 500 champion race car. Indy 500 winner sponsored by Fort Wayne mortgage company by Angelica Robinson published May 30, 2017on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15. Fort Wayne's own Ruoff Home Mortgage enjoying Indy 500 sponsorship win by Justin Kenny was published May 30, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper. Sponsorship of Indy winner 'like a dream' by Sherry Slater published May 31, 2017 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.
Russ Moore Transmission
Transmission Repair Specialist 1989 Good Old Days YouTube video from russmooreinc.
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