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 the Old Fort.
The majority of the 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: Parking is available in the empty lot across from the fort. Please use extreme caution when crossing Spy Run to access the fort.
Nouvelle Annee 1744
Empire on the Eve of Conflict
Saturday, January 27, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The winter of 1744 draws ever closer. Rumor is that war has begun anew in Europe. His Most Christian Majesty and the Kingdom of Prussia dispute the succession of the Throne of Austria. Now Britain has been drawn into conflict, which means it is only a matter of time until aggression comes again to the Colonies.
The coming of this new war meant shortages, disruption of trade and strained relations with the Native Tribes. What will happen when there are no goods in Le Magasin? Can the new leaseholder of the Post ever regain his investments in trade profits? Scarcity and uncertainty loom on the horizon for Post des Myaamia in 1744!
1812 Officer & NCO Training Garrison
Saturday, February 17, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
A winter posting in a frontier fort focuses on military drills and training. The Officer and NCO Training Garrison is a gathering of 1812 officers and soldiers to learn about the skills needed to lead troops at the company and battalion levels. Soldiers wishing to become an officer, and current officers wishing to become more proficient, will participate in maneuvers and drill sessions. Winter survival also depends on daily duties and work details. Visit with soldiers and witness what it was like to live in a frontier fort during the cold months of winter.
Revolutionary War Garrison
Saturday Only, March 2, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Harsh temperatures and snow make daily life difficult during the winter months! Continental soldiers and militia will be performing daily duties and work details. Civilian refugees and local inhabitants will be plying their trades, cooking, sewing, and mending. Military drills and training will take place weather dependent. Come warm yourself by the fire. Witness how an army survives the winter months on the frontier.
Civil War Garrison
Saturday Only, March 23, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
It is March of 1864. The men of the 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry are on garrison duty in Northeastern Alabama on the verge of setting off on spring campaigns. Come and talk to the soldiers about their daily life in a garrison. Observe the daily duties and responsibilities as the regiment maintains its watch on the surrounding area. Morning parade, drills, and guard mount will occur throughout the day, weather permitting.
Muster on the St. Mary’s –
A Timeline Event
Saturday, May 11, 10:00 am. .-5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 12, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Did you know that the first fort built in the area was a French Post? What was life like in the 17th and 18th centuries? What types of uniforms have soldiers worn throughout history? Why are most uniforms made of wool material? How have weapons changed from war to war? Find out answers to these questions and much more as historical reenactors converge on the Old Fort this weekend. Observe demonstrations on period cooking, gardening, military life, and much more. Experience first-hand the life and activities of the people from across the ages. Each year is unique so be sure to come out!
Unit Commanders converse in Post Miami Camp.
Children of Colonial America
Encampments outside the fort walls.
World War I camp at the Muster on the St. Mary's - Timeline of Several Centuries Event.
Musket demonstration during Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown.
Ghost stories around the campfire during Fright Night Lantern Tours.
Regimental soldiers in front of the barracks during Christmas at the Fort.
Mending clothes in front of a warm fire.
Gathering more firewood for the fireplace.
The Commander inspects the units.
Food is being prepared in the Commander's Kitchen.
Smoking fresh fish over an open fire.
Enjoying a meal on the porch.