Monday, April 11, 2011

The billboard said it was only 15 minutes away...

From 2011-04-11
Today, I had a couple of things on my agenda.
If you've been reading my past posts, You've probably realized that Fort Wayne was a settlement point even in the Native American days. The main reason for this is that this is shortest point between the Great Lakes system and the Mississippi River system (The Second shortest point is also in a Major City: Chicago).
It started out what is know West Swinney Park on the Saint Mary's River(which goes to Maumee and Lake Erie):
, and you follow what is now US 24 , and 7 miles later, you're at the Little River - (which goes to the Wabash, and then the Ohio, and the Mississippi, and then the Gulf Of Mexico.)
From 2011-04-11
The Concrete here is from an old interurban railroad. Actually the portage route hasn't been that well preserved - a lot of folks thinks it went to a tributary that starts behind the General Motors pickup plant.
Speaking of Trucks:
From 2011-04-11
This is the Old International Harvester Plant - they built trucks. I was reminded of my friend's Tom Logsdon's quite about his hometown of Pico Rivera, CA - that was the only town that had a UAW hall without a plant. Well, Fort Wayne still has a UAW hall, primarily because International still has some operations here.
The tourist guide at my hotel said the Auburn Cord Duesenburg Museum in auburn, In was only 15 minutes away.
From 2011-04-11
These were three makes, all of which died off during the Great depression - Duesenburg gave us the expression "It's a Duesy" since it competed in today's Rolls Royce - Bentley price range. Cords were known for their advanced styling and engineering (That's a Front wheel Drive car from 1936).
The Museum is housed in the Company headquarters, and houses several other Indiana based makes:
an IH Prototype:
From 2011-04-11
Studebaker from South Bend:
From 2011-04-11
and Crosely from Richmond:
From 2011-04-11
But back to the Revolution. The Most famous Indian settlement here was called Kekionga. it was run by the Miamis, and was situated where Lakeside Park is today:
From 2011-04-11
George Washington realized the importance of this point , and sent an expedition under Josiah Harmar in 1789 to capture it. it consisted of mostly untrained militia, and they treated it as a rolling party, especially when they found Kekionga abandoned and ripe for the plunder.
Just what Little Turtle and the Miamis had planned on. The Americans dropped their weapons, and didn't start running until they reached the Ohio.
Next up was Governor Arthur Saint Clair in 1791, Little Turtle ambushed him near what is now Fort Recovery, Ohio. This is considered to be the US Military's worst defeat ever, with 94% of the 1,100 Americans becoming casualties.
Washington was mad. He asked for, and got Saint Clair's head on a platter. He then asked his best commander during the Revolution, "Mad" Anthony Wayne, to unretire. Little Turtle learned about how General Wayne got his nickname (from suicidal, but cunning attacks) and decided to sit it out. Wayne insisted having time to properly train his troops, as well as making sure he outnumber his opponent. the Result: the battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo, and a Fort at the confluence:
From 2011-04-09
This is actually a recreation. I do play upon the American's Militia's unpreparedness as well as Britain's somewhat reluctant backing of their allies (After Fallen Timbers, The Tribes ran to a nearby British fort conveniently located in downtown Toledo. The Commander ordered the doors closed, largely because the fort was in allegedly American territory. General Wayne refused to fire on the Natives, thus earning him their respect.
Now that I bored you to death:
From 2011-04-11
Fort Wayne was the Site of the first ever professional Baseball game between the Fort Wayne Kekiognas and the Cleveland Forest Citys. the current team is called the Tin Caps, after the preferred headgear of Johnny Appleseed, who is buried in fort Wayne:
From 2011-04-11
Hope you enjoyed all this.

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