History Center Artifact a Window on the Past

By WISE Web News

June 18, 2010 Updated May 30, 2009 at 10:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--SOMETHING NEW HAS TAKEN UP RESIDENCE AMONG THE ARTIFACTS STORED AT FORT WAYNE’S HISTORY CENTER…IT’S OLD, BUT NEW..DONATED..NOT BORROWED, AND DEFINITELY BLUE.

Walter: It’s new information…and this provides a lot of detail that doesn’t exist elsewhere.

WHAT YOU SEE BEING ROLLED OUT IS A MAP..A BLUEPRINT…37 FEET LONG, DRAWN UP IN 1925 BY THE NEW YORK, CHICAGO AND ST. LOUIS RAILROAD, SHOWING THE RAILROAD RIGHT OF WAY ALONG THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWNTOWN FORT WAYNE…THE TRACKS THAT WERE BUILT OVER THE OLD WABASH AND ERIE CANAL BED.

Walter: Here they show where the old canal aqueduct was, over the St. Marys..Yes.

THIS IS A PLANNING MAP, SIMILAR TO MAPS USED BY CITYS AND UTILITIES, SHOWING ADJACENT PROPERTIES AND BUSINESSES, LOCAL TOPOGRAPHY AND LANDMARKS…USED BY THE RAILROAD TO PLAN EXPANSION, CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE WORK. THE DETAIL IS REMARKABLE. IT SHOWS ALL THE HOMES AND BUSINESSES THAT EXISTED ALONG THE OLD CANAL NEARLY 90 YEARS AGO…LIKE THE RUB NO MORE SOAP FACTORY..THE OLD NATIONAL HANDLE COMPANY FACTORY AT BERRY AND HANOVER STEETS..AND LOTS OF SURPRISES.

Walter: Old Fort Wayne Knitting Mill, now that’s weird. I didn’t know they had a plant down here. New discoveries every time I look at it. It’s new information. And this provides a lot of detail that doesn’t exist elsewhere and that’s why it has value for historical study.

SOME OF THE DISCOVERIES ARE IMPORTANT, LIKE THE PRECISE LOCATION, UNKNOWN UNTIL NOW, OF THE OLD MOOTS CANAL LOCK NUMBER THREE JUST EAST OF DOWNTOWN.

Todd: And it’s made entirely of stone which was rare for locks at the time, and it’s still down there.

STILL DOWN THERE WAITING TO BE EXCAVATED AND REDISCOVERED, THANKS TO AN EXCITING WINDOW ON THE PAST THAT JUST OPENED, OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY. THIS IS ERIC OLSON REPORTING.


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