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.
Christmas at the Fort – A Timeline Event
December 2, 2023
Saturday Only: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Have you ever imagined how Christmas was celebrated during war times throughout American History? What was it like in 1812 in Fort Wayne? What did they do in 1770 in Virginia? Talk with soldiers about how they observed the holidays. Visit with the artisans as they present hand-crafted gift ideas. Pick up a sweet treat from the bake sale and check out the Old Fort merchandise. Welcome the holidays with fun and festivities at the Old 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.
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.