Map of Fort Wayne, courtesy of Michigan History Magazine Map of Fort Wayne, courtesy of Michigan History Magazine Map of Fort Wayne, courtesy of Michigan History Magazine
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Fort Wayne
6053Jefferson Avenue, Detroit - Wayne County
Property Type fort
Historic Use DEFENSE/military facility
Current Use RECREATION AND CULTURE/museum
Style Georgian
Architect/Builder Montgomery C. Meigs
Narrative Description Built between 1845-1850, Fort Wayne is a ninety-acre former military complex located on the Detroit River. The square stronghold comprises thick masonry walls and earthworks with bastions at the corners, within which are contained a central parade ground, powder magazine and barracks. The barracks is a three-and-a-half story Georgian style structure constructed of Lake Erie, rubble limestone, quoined at the corners with walls twenty-two inches thick. The building is divided into five bays, which are separated by two-foot fire walls. Outside the walls are a number of brick administration buildingsconstructed after 1970.
Statement of Significance The construction of Fort Wayne was authorized by Congress in 1841 to insure protection after border tensions developed between the United States and the British in Canada. The fort was designed by Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, who later became the Union quartermaster-general during the Civil War, and was completed in 1849. Although the fort never saw an attack from Canada, it did serve as an important troop training center during the Civil War, and as an induction center and supply depot during World Wars I and II. In 1949 a portion of the fort was transferred to the city of Detroit, and in 1967 the entire fort was deactivated and turned over to the city. Since 1950 the fort has served as a museum under the direction of the Detroit Historical Commission.
Marker Name Fort Wayne
Marker Text FORT WAYNE No hostile shots have ever been fired from this star-shaped fort built in the 1840s to guard against a British invasion from Canada which never came. This third bastion to protect the river approach to the city was named for General "Mad" Anthony Wayne who accepted the surrender of Detroit from the British in 1796. It was a mobilization center for Union troops during the Civil War. Regiments from Fort Wayne served in Indian conflicts, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection and World War I. An active post in the 1920s, it housed a Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression. Fort Wayne was a wartime supply depot in World War II and an induction center during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Deactivated by the federal government in 1967, it now operates as a military museum under the auspices of the Detroit Historical Commission.
Period of Significance 1840-1967
Significant Date(s) 1849
Registry Type(s) 06/23/1978 Marker erected
05/06/1971 National Register listed
02/19/1958 State Register listed
Site ID# P25117