The fort constructed by Major John Whistler and his men during 1815-1816 was the last of three American forts to stand at the junction of the St. Mary’s, St. Joseph, and Maumee Rivers. It was designed to be easily defended against a Native American attack by a garrison of only 50 to 75 men. With two lines of pickets, heavy gates, and well-placed blockhouses, it was impossible to penetrate. This fort was by far the most sophisticated and carefully designed all-wooden fort ever built in North America. It was not fear of the Native Americans, but rather the rapid westward movement of the frontier that caused Fort Wayne to be abandoned after only three years of use. It was decommissioned April 19, 1819.
The Old Fort is a faithful copy of the post built by American troops under the command of Major John Whistler. Through the efforts of many dedicated citizens of modern Fort Wayne, it was reconstructed on a plot of ground less than a quarter of a mile from the original site. It opened to the public on or around July 4, 1976.
Historic Fort Wayne, Inc took over operations in October 2004. With the assistance of the Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department this community asset remains open to the public during certain days and special events held throughout the year. Here, life in the last frontier Army post of Indiana is being recreated.
Historic Fort Wayne, Inc is a 501 not-for-profit organization founded in 2004. We are dedicated to developing a historically based education program housed in the Old Fort. Our goal is to educate the community about the Old Fort and its significance to the Old Northwest Territory, the State of Indiana, and the United States during the 17th and 18th centuries through interactive programming.
Most of our events are free to the public. We are a 100% volunteer organization. We do not receive any federal or state funding. Programming is funded by generous private and corporate donations.
We are excited to welcome visitors to Historic Fort Wayne for the 2022 Season. We continue to monitor the COVID virus information provided by the Allen County Board of Health Department, the City of Fort Wayne, and the CDC. To ensure everyone’s experience is enjoyable and safe, we ask that you follow the posted Health and Safety Guidelines while visiting the fort.
These events are open to the public at no charge. Donations are accepted. For more information call (260) 437-2836.
The Old Fort is located at 1201 Spy Run Ave Fort Wayne, IN 46805.
Please note: The bridge on Spy Run Avenue is undergoing construction and is often down to one lane. Expect traffic delays when visiting the Old Fort. For the safety of our visitors, we strongly encourage you to park at Headwaters Park or Lawton Park. Otherwise, please use extreme caution when crossing Spy Run Avenue. Construction is expected to last until the end of the year.
Check our website www.oldforwayne.org, facebook.com/HistoricFortWayne, or call (260) 437-2836 for schedule updates and information.
Muster on the St. Mary’s – Timeline of Several Centuries
Saturday, May 7, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Do you know what uniforms soldiers have worn throughout history? What were the French Settlers like when they inhabited this area? How did weap- ons change from the War of 1812 to World War II? Historical re-enactors representing times from the early Romans through World War II converge on Fort Wayne’s Historic Old Fort this weekend. Demonstrations will be given on period cooking, gardening, military life, and much more. Every year is unique! Stop in and experience first-hand the life and activities of the people from across the ages.
Siege of Fort Wayne 1812 – June 11-12
Saturday, June 11, 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, June 12, 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
While now a peaceful area, the confluence of the Three Rivers was once the front line in a battle that could have decided the fate of the entire Northwest Territory. Reenactors from across the country will recreate the Siege of Fort Wayne during the War of 1812. The clash of American forces against the Native Confederation allied with the British decided the fate of one of the last US outposts on the frontier. Had Fort Wayne fallen, Great Britain would have controlled the entire western border of the United States. This weekend at the Old Fort will include musket and cannon demonstrations, period artisans, and children’s activities.
Colonial America – July 16-17
Saturday, July 16, 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 17, 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The east coast was in open revolt in 1775. But what was happening on the frontier? Take a trip to a trading post in what was called the "Northwest Territory" at the time. Witness what it was like to live in a post garrisoned by troops of the Continental army. Watch as merchants trade their wares while the garrison keeps a close eye out for the British. Demonstrations will include military and merchant life, period cooking, period artisans, and weapons.
Post Miami – August 27-28
Saturday, August 27, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 28, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Witness the 1700’s come alive! During the French and Indian War, the Old Fort was a French outpost known as Post Miami. This weekend at the Old Fort, the French and British forces clash for control of the area. In addition, fur traders, Native Americans, civilians, and soldiers will demonstrate daily activities. Experience the battles and infantry drills. Watch a cannon being fired. Visit the merchants and talk with historic artisans. Take a tour of the fort.
World War I camp at the Muster on the St. Mary's - Timeline of Several Centuries Event.
The fort Sutler displays his wares for the soldiers and civilians of the Revolutionary War.
A woman dressed in period attire for Post Miami.
The gardener snips herbs from Whistler's Herb Garden located outside of the commander's kitchen.