The Old Fort
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.
2023 Summer Hours
May 31 - August 19
Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
The Old Fort will be open for tours this summer Tuesday through Sunday! Learn the history of the forts in Fort Wayne. Tour the fort buildings and walk the grounds. Talk with a soldier about military life. Visit with a local artisan on Thursdays when available (check our Facebook page for specific details and schedule updates). Personal tours will be available. For larger groups, please call (260) 437-2836 to schedule. Admission is free but donations are gratefully appreciated.
**Special events take precedence over these hours and may cause the fort to close early on those Fridays. Check upcoming events for those dates.
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: 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.
Siege of Fort Wayne 1812
Saturday, June 10, 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 11, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
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. The Native Confederation allied with the British clashed with the American forces to decide 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, reenactors from across the country will recreate the Siege of Fort Wayne during the War of 1812. Experience the battle! Observe musket and cannon demonstrations. Visit with period artisans and enjoy children’s activities.
Trading Post on the Northwest Frontier
Saturday, July 22, 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 23, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
The East coast was in open revolt in the late 1770s. 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. Interact with civilians and merchants as they trade their wares while the garrison keeps a close eye out for the British. Demonstrations will include military and civilian life, period cooking, artisans, and weapons.
Post Miami 1755
Saturday, August 26, 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 27, 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Witness the 1700s come alive! During the French and Indian War, the Old Fort was a French outpost known as Post Miami. This weekend, 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 historical artisans. Take a tour of the Old Fort.
Napoleonic Days 1804-1815
Saturday, September 2, 10- 5 p.m.
Sunday, September 3, 10- 4:00 p.m.
The Napoleonic era was a time of epic land battles naval engagements, political unrest, and widespread revolution. It was an era defined by one legendary general, Napoleon Bonaparte. Witness the battles that shaped the course of history. See the French and Coalition armies meet on the fields of glory outside the historic Old Fort. Come and experience this dramatic military period! Observe both military and civilian reenactors engage in daily life, unit displays, and drills.
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.