Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation

Fort Wayne's parks and boulevard system : a centennial perspective Pelfrey Todd-21 Oct 2011-000 36-page paper in the Quest Club Papers at the Allen County Public Library.

705 E. State Blvd. Street View photo from Google Maps
https://www.fortwayneparks.org/, Fort Wayne Parks Department Podcasts

2023 Fort Wayne Parks Department - Parks at a Glance

Since 1905. The Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System was significantly shaped by landscape architects George Kessler, Arthur Shurcliff, and Adolph Jaenicke. Two successive presidents of the independent Board of Park Commissioners, Colonel David Foster and Fred Shoaff, ensured that the combined vision of these designers developed into the 1960s by influencing the selection of landscape architects in both the public and private realms.

George Kessler’s 1912 master plan organized and expanded upon the city’s urban landscape, incorporating the three rivers that converge in Fort Wayne and connecting existing parks with new boulevards and parks, providing incentive for residential and commercial development. Kessler also designed Rudisill Boulevard, created a plan for Lakeside Park, and designed several features in existing parks. Copied from the Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System page by The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

BEAUTY SPOTS IN FORT WAYNE PARKS on page 26 The Griswold-Phelps handbook and guide to Fort Wayne, Indiana, for 1913-1914 by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927, Publication date 1913 on Archive.org.

January 7, 2011 post by ARCH, Inc. on Facebook:

Breaking News: FORT WAYNE’S PARK AND BOULEVARD SYSTEM NOW ON NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Fort Wayne Park Board President Rick Samek announced today that the city’s Park and Boulevard System Historic District is now listed on the National Register. It is the second such designation for a park system in Indiana and joins a small number of systems listed nationwide.

Comments:

ARCH played a small part in this victory by first preparing the large research document (called a Multiple Property Document) to determine which parts of the system were eligible. It's great to see that work coming to fruition now with the listing on the National Register!

The City of Fort Wayne and Parks and Recreation were responsible for the National Register nomination. It was prepared by the fabulous Westerly Group, led by Camille Fife, who worked as consultants for the project.

  1. 54 page Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System Historic District at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
  2. 267 page Indiana MPS Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System Historic District National Register of Historic Places Registration Form in the Catalog at The National Archives.
  1. May 17, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    As Fort Wayne grew in the mid-1800s, the dwindling amount of green space for relaxation and recreation became apparent to city officials and citizens. In response, the first city park, Old Fort Park, was established in 1863, through the gift of land from Henry Williams. An urban park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation. Parks may consist of grassy areas, rocks, soil and trees, but may also contain buildings, monuments, fountains or playgrounds. Throughout the remainder of the 1800s, five other parks were established in Fort Wayne. Northside Park (today known as Lawton Park) was purchased in 1866 to be the home of the Indiana State Fair. In 1869, Colonel Thomas Swinney leased his family land to the city and they in turn established Swinney Park. Between 1876 and 1886, the city purchased or was given 3 additional parks: Hayden Park (today known as Nuckols Memorial Park), Reservoir Park, and McCulloch Park. In the 1890s, Colonel David N. Foster, the father of Fort Wayne’s parks, oversaw the formation of the park board and believed that every home should be no more than 10 minutes from a public park.#sociallyhistory

    This is the first in an ongoing series dedicated to the parks in Fort Wayne. Join us in celebrating the beginning of wonderful park system, 1800-1899!

     

    Old Fort Park discussed in Fort Wayne’s First Park by

    Tom Castaldi, local historianposted May 8, 2014 on History Center Notes & Queries blog and
  2. June 28, 2019 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    Summer is a time when families begin to seek out amusements. Long before people started making the trek to amusement parks in our neighboring states, the citizens of Fort Wayne took advantage of our local amusement park. The Fort Wayne Consolidated Railway Company established Robison Park as a way to increase its revenue by charging fares for the seven mile trip to the park, an extension of their trolley lines serving Fort Wayne. Originally known as Swift’s Park, the park formally opened to the public 123 years ago today, on June 28, 1896. Set in a rural landscape seven miles north of the city along the St. Joseph River, Robison Park featured lagoons for boating, landscaped picnic areas, and walkways for leisurely strolls. The impressive 110’ by 125’ three-story pavilion was the first major attraction at the site, a place to buy refreshments, socialize, dance and gather for scheduled events. Other attractions were added over the years such as Trier’s Dance Hall, amusement rides, a zoo, water slide, theater, bowling alley and a baseball field. In the late 1890s, 25 summer trolleys with open sides (or curtained as needed) were available to transport up to 1,200 people each hour if necessary. It became a popular summer venue for 23 years, closing for the final time at the end of the successful 1919 season. Today we celebrate the still often talked about Robison Park and the summer amusements that it afforded the people of Fort Wayne. #sociallyhistory

  3. June 6, 2022 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    At the turn of the 20th Century, Fort Wayne continued to grow and the demand for public parks increased. From 1900-1920, over one dozen parks, including several substantial areas, were established in Fort Wayne to serve the growing community. Lakeside Park was created out of land donated by Fort Wayne Land and Improvement Company in 1908 and opened to the public in 1912. Additionally in 1908, the city purchased 15 acres of forest for $10,500 for the establishment of Weisser Park. In need of direction, in 1909 city leaders engaged Charles Mulford Robinson to create a preliminary plan for the development of the city’s parks and boulevards. In 1911, the park department furthered these plans through the work of George Kessler. The famed landscape architect laid out a larger system and designed three features of the parks, Theime Drive Overlook, Three Rivers Park (never built) and the original layout of Foster Park. In 1912, brothers, Samuel and Colonel David N. Foster donated 110 acres along the St. Mary’ River for Foster Park. Between 1916 and 1920, the city continued to improve our parks system. This included, but was not limited to, placement of a memorial to Johnny Appleseed in Swinney Park, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Foster Park, opening of the first swimming pool in Lawton Park, and the leasing of West Swinney Park to George Trier, who established Trier Amusement Park. In 1917, one of the longest serving parks superintendents, Adolph Jaenicke, began his tenure in Fort Wayne and his masterful creations would serve as jewels throughout the city for the next three decades. #sociallyhistory

    This is the second in an ongoing series dedicated to the parks in Fort Wayne. Join us in celebrating our wonderful park system, 1900-1920!

  4. October 23, 2018 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    One-hundred and eight years ago today, Blanche Scott became the first American woman to make a solo public flight, doing so at the Fort Wayne Driving Park. In front of a crowd of over 10,000 spectators, Scott flew solo in public as part of the Curtiss Aviation team during an automobile and air meet at the Driving Park. This was not her first pioneering feat. She was the second woman to drive an automobile cross-country, and the first to do so travelling from East to West. In addition, some consider Scott to be the first American woman to pilot an airplane solo, a feat she achieved on September 6, 1910. While the Early Birds of Aviation recognize her flight as the first, the Aeronautical Society of America did not accredit her initial solo flight as entirely intentional, thus creating controversy regarding who was the first American woman to fly solo. She later joined the Red Devils, a nationally traveling aviation exhibition group, and became the first woman to ride in a jet plane in 1948. She was posthumously featured on commemorative airmail stamps and envelopes in December 1980. #sociallyhistory

  5. August 18, 2021 post by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Facebook:

    There’s a new way to explore all the murals and sculptures in Fort Wayne, including at some of our parks! Introducing the Fort Wayne Public Art Trail — a free, digital guide to Fort Wayne’s vibrant public art.
    See the trail at VisitFortWayne.com/PublicArtTrail
    #PublicArtFW

  6. January 27, 2023 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    From 1921-1950, the Fort Wayne Park System continued to grow with the addition of eight new parks, three playlots/parks, a youth center and a Japanese Garden, including several substantial areas. In 1921, Franke Park was created out of the 80 acres donated by John Franke, owner of Perfection Biscuit Company. S.F. Bowser and his wife gave a tract of land surrounding their factory to the city “…for the comfort and pleasure of our neighbors and their children for all time…”, since 1923 this land has been known as Bowser Park and Playgrounds. In 1928, the Japanese Gardens (name changed to Jaenicke Gardens in 1942) opened to the public and later included a Japanese tea house. This attraction was popular with the people of Fort Wayne for several decades. 1932 saw the opening of Study Park, located behind Study Elementary School. In 1937, two parks were established: McMillen Park and Packard Park. The original 74 acres of McMillen Park were donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Dale W. McMillen, Sr. The former Packard Piano building was purchased by the city, who tore it down and created Packard Park out of the property. Mr. and Mrs. Alfred W. Kettler (namesake of Kettler Hall at PFW) donated land to form Kettler Park. In this time, in addition to new parks the city continued to improve our existing parks. This included, but was not limited to, placement of a statue of General Henry Lawton in Lakeside Park, the opening of the first municipal golf course at Foster Park, the formation of Shoaff Lake in Franke Park, opening of the new swimming pools in Memorial and McMillen Parks, and the construction of the Foellinger Theatre in Franke Park. #sociallyhistory

    This is the third in an ongoing series dedicated to the parks in Fort Wayne. Join us in celebrating our wonderful park system, 1921-1950!

  7. The statue of David N. Foster continues to watch over Fort Wayne from the corner of Swinney Park. Known as the “Father...

    Posted by Input Fort Wayne on Friday, March 17, 2023

    Friday, March 17, 2023 post by Input Fort Wayne on Facebook:

    The statue of David N. Foster continues to watch over Fort Wayne from the corner of Swinney Park. Known as the “Father of Fort Wayne’s Parks,” Foster once declared that there should be a park within a 10-minute walk of any resident of the city. While this may ring true in certain neighborhoods of Fort Wayne, the Parks and Recreation Department has identified several areas still in need of parks and associated facilities.

    Every five years, the Parks and Recreation Department publishes a “master plan,” which helps the department remain eligible for grants from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The master plan provides a generalized outlook of actions that the park department will take over a five-year period, and the department plans to release its newest five-year plan in the coming weeks.

    The most recent plan, published in 2018, identified six areas of the city that lack adequate park facilities, including large swaths of the Northeast, Northwest, and Aboite Planning Areas.

    The department recently added a playground on Sheldon Drive in the northeastern “New Facility Zone;” however, this map from the master plan only provides a general idea of where park facilities are needed. It primarily relies on raw park acreage to identify zones, rather than a community-by-community analysis of needs.

    For example, the “New Facility Area” in the Northeast Quadrant nearly borders Shoaff Park, which offers the most amenities of any park in the city system. Additionally, the map identifies relatively little area for expanded facilities in the Southeast Quadrant, but the parks in this area are typically smaller and offer fewer amenities.

    Alec Johnson, Deputy Director of Park Planning and Development, says a better idea of what is needed in each planning area will be brought to light with the completion of a new “comprehensive plan.” This long-term plan will guide new facility developments based on a more detailed analysis of what each community needs, as opposed to the generalized master plan.

    Learn more about how public input and support are important to new and existing park amenities: Community input and support are essential to expanding the reach of park facilities

  8. May 12, 2023 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    From 1951-1970, the Fort Wayne Park System continued to grow with the addition of ten new parks, three playlots/parks, a memorial and a reservoir, including several substantial areas. In 1953, Lions Park was created out of the 14.35 acres gifted to the city by the Central Lions Club of Fort Wayne. The large lion statue was dedicated to Henry and Wilhelmine Franke. The Pi Chapter of Psi Iota XI Sorority purchased and developed 8.9 acres of land in the Indian Village addition, later donating it to the city as Psi Ote Park in 1953. In 1955, nearly all of the land that comprises the 186.5 acres of Shoaff Park was purchased with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Fred B. Shoaff. 1957 saw the addition Waynedale Park, located across the street from Waynedale Elementary School. In 1959, a memorial to Little Turtle was dedicated near his burial site on Lawton Place in the Spy Run Neighborhood. In 1966, Fort Wayne Community Schools donated the grounds of the former Hanna Homestead for the creation of the Hanna Homestead Park in the heart of the East Central Neighborhood. 1966 also saw the development of Kreager Park in northeast Fort Wayne. It was created out of the Seyfert Farm property (an old potato farm), it was later expanded and reached its current size in 1997. Buckner Park, on Bass Road, was purchased in 1969 from Marie Buckner. During its lifetime it has served the community in several capacities, including public farm land, military training ground, as well as a variety of other uses. Today it offers a modern playground, sprayground, and shelter amidst nearly two hundred acres of natural open space. In this time, in addition to new parks the city continued to improve our existing parks. This included, but was not limited to, construction of a golf clubhouse in Foster Park, the first artificial ice rink in Indiana in McMillen Park, the opening of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and the Diehm Museum of Natural History in Franke Park, and the opening of the McMillen Park Golf Course. #sociallyhistory

    This is the fourth in an ongoing series dedicated to the parks in Fort Wayne. Join us in celebrating our wonderful park system, 1951-1970!

  9. October 4, 2023 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    From 1971-1979, the Fort Wayne Park System continued to grow with the addition of eleven new parks, six playlots/parks, including a new Community Center in Downtown. In 1971, development of Freimann Square was begun on 4.6 acres of ground in downtown Fort Wayne. The park was funded in large part by the posthumous donation of Frank Freimann, the former president of Magnavox Company. Mr. Freimann's gift was used for actual park development while a federal grant provided the land for this downtown oasis. 1973 saw the city assume the operation and maintenance of City Utilities and Johnny Appleseed Park in the northeast portion of town. Noll Park was created in 1974 through the gift of 9 acres from Ms. Rose Fox and Mrs. Brett Lashell, the daughters of William F. Noll. In June of 1975, Lindenwood Park, leased from the Lindenwood Cemetery was dedicated as the city’s first nature park. 1978 saw the city acquired the land of the former State School on State Boulevard and they started the creation of North Side Park (renamed Bob Arnold Park in 1999). In 1979, an addition was made to the 63 year old Bloomingdale Park with its extension to the west. Also, in 1979 Jehl Park, located near Georgetown Square, was with the financial assistance of the development company, Jehl Bros. Inc., and a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In this time, in addition to new parks the city continued to improve our existing parks. This included, but was not limited to, the rebuilding (after an arson fire) of the Foellinger Theatre in Franke Park and the opening of the new African Veldt at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. #sociallyhistory

    This is the fifth in an ongoing series dedicated to the parks in Fort Wayne. Join us in celebrating our wonderful park system, 1971-1979!

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation currently has 88 parks and a FortWayneParksYouTube channel.

The Story of Ft. Wayne's Parks. Rupright Jon L-21 Feb 1997-0001 38-page document was prepared for the Quest Club by Jon L. Rupright, Vice President/Chancellor, Ivy Tech College, February 21, 1997 at the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.

Board of Park Commissioners, Fort Wayne, Indiana at The Genealogy Center.

1917  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette image
clipping image
  1. Community Development Library - Parks And Recreation reports and management plans at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  2. Page 141 begins the Report of Superintendent of Parks 1896 in the Annual message of ... , mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind. with annual reports of heads of departments of the city government for the fiscal year ending .. by Fort Wayne (Ind.), Publication date 1896 at Archive.org. On page 142 is a photo of North Side Park which matches a photo Park scene, Fort Wayne posted February 14, 2024 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook from the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
  3.   1917, March 18 - Annual Report of the Fort Wayne Park Board - St. Joe Dam for boating and a park, First Swimming Pool at Lawton Park, Planning for the Anthony Wayne Equestrian Statue at Hayden Park fronting the Lincoln Highway, Johnny Appleseed monument at Swinney Park, Lakeside monument to John Wyllys and brave soldiers killed at Harmar's Ford, Perry Randall monument at Swinney Park, and plan to build a Lincoln cabin replica. Clipped from The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette18 Mar 1917, Sunday, page 7. Clipped by StanFollisFW on 19 Feb 2022.
  4. 1919 Fort Wayne Sentinel image
    clipping image
      1919, March 3 - Park Board Makes Report for 1918 Showing Vast Volume of Work Done. Clipped from The Fort Wayne Sentinel03 Mar 1919, Monday, page 16 Clipped by StanFollisFW on 20 Feb 2022. Hon. W. Sherman Cutshall, Mayor, 45 acres added to Swinney park, Memorial Park, Addition to Lawton Park, Water Supply for Lakes, Anthony Boulevard Pavement, Park Acreage of Indiana Cities, Dedication of Wayne Monument, A List of Fort Wayne Monuments: Soldier's Monument, Spanish War Monument, General Henry W. Lawton, Wayne Trace, Johnny Appleseed Monument, Harmar's Crossing, Perry A. Randall, Commodore Perry, General Anthony Wayne, Proposed Lawton Monument, Changes of Secretary.
  5. Annual Reports at Board of Park Commissioners, Fort Wayne, Indiana:
    from City of Fort Wayne Documents at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Reports may have historical photos of parks and events! Some are found in the Allen County Public Library Digital Collections at the Allen County Public Library.
    1912 Annual Report also as texts Annual report of the Board of Park Commissioners 1912 at Archive.org
    1925 Annual Report
    1926 Annual Report
    1927 Annual Report
    1928 Annual Report
    1930 Annual Report
    1931 Annual Report
    1932 Annual Report a photo of the report was posted July 6, 2022 on Great Memories and History of Fort Wayne Private Facebook Group.
    1966 Annual Report

    1967 Annual Report
    1968 Annual Report
    1969 Annual Report
    1970 Annual Report

  6. April 5, 2018 post by Hofer and Davis, Inc. Land Surveyors on Facebook:

    For "Throwback Thursday" we share this page from the 1930 BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS report. A look at the names and you have the basis for one of the best park systems in all of the U.S.A.! Names like Foster, Shoaff, Wolf, Hattersly, Trier, Ackerman, Yarnelle and Jaenicke...and BTW...A.K. Hofer was the Department Engineer in 1930.

    Page shown is page 3 from the 1930 Annual Report link above.

    Shared April 5, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

  7. Crossroads of History: Strolling through Fort Wayne's Parks Paperback – November 22, 2022 by Joshua Schipper (Author), Lydia Reuille (Editor) on Amazon.com.
  8. Schipper’s research made an impact on one particular park well before the book’s online release. After analyzing old newspaper clippings and the gravestones of the donors, he realized that Sieling Park had been misspelled as “Seiling” for around 60 years. After presenting his evidence to the Parks and Recreation Department, the park signage soon changed to reflect the correct spelling. Copied from Strolling Through Fort Wayne’s Parks December 5, 2022 book review by The Waynedale News.com Staff.
  9. March 17, 2023 post by Input Fort Wayne on Facebook:

    The statue of David N. Foster continues to watch over Fort Wayne from the corner of Swinney Park. Known as the “Father of Fort Wayne’s Parks,” Foster once declared that there should be a park within a 10-minute walk of any resident of the city. While this may ring true in certain neighborhoods of Fort Wayne, the Parks and Recreation Department has identified several areas still in need of parks and associated facilities.

    Every five years, the Parks and Recreation Department publishes a “master plan,” which helps the department remain eligible for grants from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The master plan provides a generalized outlook of actions that the park department will take over a five-year period, and the department plans to release its newest five-year plan in the coming weeks.

    The most recent plan, published in 2018, identified six areas of the city that lack adequate park facilities, including large swaths of the Northeast, Northwest, and Aboite Planning Areas.

    The department recently added a playground on Sheldon Drive in the northeastern “New Facility Zone;” however, this map from the master plan only provides a general idea of where park facilities are needed. It primarily relies on raw park acreage to identify zones, rather than a community-by-community analysis of needs.

    For example, the “New Facility Area” in the Northeast Quadrant nearly borders Shoaff Park, which offers the most amenities of any park in the city system. Additionally, the map identifies relatively little area for expanded facilities in the Southeast Quadrant, but the parks in this area are typically smaller and offer fewer amenities.

    Alec Johnson, Deputy Director of Park Planning and Development, says a better idea of what is needed in each planning area will be brought to light with the completion of a new “comprehensive plan.” This long-term plan will guide new facility developments based on a more detailed analysis of what each community needs, as opposed to the generalized master plan.

    Learn more about how public input and support are important to new and existing park amenities: https://www.inputfortwayne.com/.../communityinput-parks.aspx

  10. May 27, 2023 post by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Facebook:

    There's a lot to know about Fort Wayne Parks. Here's an up-to-date sampling in just two pages.

    https://www.fortwayneparks.org/.../Parks__a_Glance_FINAL... [two page graphic]

  11. December 21, 2023 post by the City of Fort Wayne Government on Facebook:

    Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation recaps a successful 2023 of capital improvement projects and programs.

    Read more: FORT WAYNE PARKS AND RECREATION RECAPS 2023 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS

  12. Exciting test run for a needed specialty mower to keep the more dangerous areas trimmed.

    Posted by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Monday, April 22, 2024

    Monday, April 22, 2024 post by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Facebook:

    Exciting test run for a needed specialty mower to keep the more dangerous areas trimmed.

    Monday, April 22, 2024 post by Brandon Hooven is with Ryan Schaefer in Fort Wayne, IN

    Beyond thrilled to welcome Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation to team Gravely as they took delivery of their new Ovis 40 RC Flail Mower today! None of this would be possible without Ryan Schaefer of Schaefer's Indiana Turf and the incredible relationships they’ve built! Taking care of Government, Commercial, and Residential customers alike, making sure they can keep the tall grass short!!

    I can’t wait to see this machine keeping the parks, trails, riverbanks, and the rest of Allen County Indiana beautiful for us permanent residents to enjoy!

    Thank you to AriensCo for investing in this industry, and always bringing new, innovative, and exciting products to market for our customers!

    This unit has already been appropriately named, “Mow-Be Wan-Kenobi!” Perhaps we should have delivered this beast on May the 4th! 😉

    #Gravely #AriensCo #Landscaping #RemoteControl #ItsAllGravelyBaby #FromTheCradleToTheGravely

    Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Trees Indiana and other tree enthusiasts gathered today to celebrate Arbor Day. Fort...

    Posted by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Friday, April 26, 2024

    Friday, April 26, 2024 post by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Facebook:

    Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Trees Indiana and other tree enthusiasts gathered today to celebrate Arbor Day. Fort Wayne has been named a Tree City USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation for the 34th consecutive year in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. Read more Fort Wayne Awarded Tree City USA by Arbor Day FoundationFort Wayne Awarded Tree City USA® by Arbor Day Foundation 2024 marks 34th consecutive year for award

  13. From 1980-1999, the Fort Wayne Park System continued to grow with the addition of three new parks and the acquisition of...

    Posted by The History Center on Tuesday, June 18, 2024

    Tuesday, June 18, 2024 post by The History Center on Facebook:

    From 1980-1999, the Fort Wayne Park System continued to grow with the addition of three new parks and the acquisition of four others properties, including the Lindenwood Nature Preserve after the end of its lease in 1988. In 1981, construction began on the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, which opened to the public in 1983. Gren Park, donated by Jack Gren in 1981 as gift memorializing his childhood, was added to the parks system. 1982 additions to Foster Park, with the opening of the Community Gardens on Bluffton Road and the purchase of Foster Park West on Winchester Road. August of 1982 also brought the end of an era as the 64 year old Lawton Pool, built in 1917 and the oldest in the city, was closed for the last time and replaced the following year by a new pool constructed in the new North Side Park. In 1984, the Rivergreenway was first opened to the public and has since grown into 26 mile linear park in Fort Wayne and New Haven, running along the three rivers. Historic Fort Wayne, operated as a living history museum from 1976-1993, was purchased from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society in 1994 and was renamed Historic Old Fort. In 1996, the Salomon Family donated their 125 year old farm to the city for use as a historic working farm and park. Salomon Farm Park has since grown into a popular park featuring the family homestead, original barn and the new Wolf Family Learning Center. In addition to new parks and properties the city continued to improve our existing parks. This included, but was not limited to, the opening of the new Australian Adventure (1987) and Indonesian Rainforest (1994) at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, completion of the Bridal Glen in Foster Park, construction of the Kids Crossing playground at Lawton Park and the renovation and expansion of the Botanical Conservatory. #sociallyhistory

    This is the sixth in an ongoing series dedicated to the parks in Fort Wayne. Join us in celebrating our wonderful park system, 1980-1999!

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