Article and Photo by: Steve Stephens
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — OK. This industrial city in northeastern Indiana isn’t exactly Paris.
It’s not even Kansas City.
But even before the dawn of recorded history, the natural assets and prime location at the confluence of the St. Marys and St. Joseph rivers have been luring residents and visitors alike.
Native Americans who used the rivers as highways between the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley called the place Kekionga. Chief Little Turtle, who defeated the U.S. Army twice nearby, described it as a “glorious gate.”
Early French traders built a post known as Fort St. Philippe and later as Fort Miamies. Men serving under U.S. Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne constructed a log fortification and named it after their commander — a name that finally stuck.