Overview/History of Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne is a historic city that has continuously flourished even through the worst economic problems. Today, it is the seat of Allen County which was established in the year 1824. Did you know that Fort Wayne has over 200 years of history and many of them are still very well preserved?
Fort Wayne easily garnered attention due to its strategic location in the 1800s. Three rivers - the St. Mary's, the St. Joseph, and the Maumee Rivers - converged by Fort Wayne who later made it a famous crossroads for travelers and settlers. Fort Wayne kept its name way after the emergence of the railroad, garnering the title “Altoona of the West.” It became a strategic location for the Great Pennsylvania Railroad which encouraged immigration of individuals from other parts and helped boost growth.
The name Fort Wayne originates from a bold military leader who led the decisive victory of the famous Battle of the Fallen Timbers, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. He later built a fort in 1794 at the convergence of the three rivers, hence, the name Fort Wayne. While retaining its position as a crossroad, after Allen County was established, the Wabash and Erie Canal was finished in 1855, and this earned the city its new nickname of “Summit City.”
Since its establishment, the city has proven itself to be one of the biggest manufacturing cities across the United States. In over 30 years since the 1900s, industrial output of the town has increased more than 7 times, reaching an impressive value of almost $100 million by 1929. It also became the center of the magnet wire industry in the United States during the 1960s, manufacturing for nearly 90% of magnet wire used in North America.
Through the Great Depression, the city was negatively impacted, but it did not stop it from becoming the house of many great companies and businesses. Immigrants and job seekers flood in, looking for a chance to land something big in the flourishing city. As a matter of fact, it proved itself by working together with other towns within the Rust Belt region, and as such,
General Motor was born.
Culture-wise, Fort Wayne is famous for the Embassy Theatre which is the home of Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. The theatre was finished in 1928 and seats more than 2,400 people. The Cultural District was then established in 2010, followed by various art centers that host dances, exhibitions and choir production.
The city itself today is the second biggest in Allen County with over 250,000 residents currently living in it. It has numerous architectural designs of the olden days and historical marks spread around the city. The rivers themselves are living witnesses of the glory and battles that occurred in this very location.
Fort Wayne is also known as the City of Churches with over 360 churches in the city, and many of them are open for tourists. It was also a three-time winner for All America City Award and was praised for the high living standard coupled with low living cost. Today, it is a city with numerous tourists each year visiting various historical sites, attractions and arts centers.