Fort Wayne History Center
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The Fort Wayne History Center is a historical museum housed in the Old City Hall building in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a treasure house that preserves Allen County and Fort Wayne's rich history. The center is managed by the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society.
The historic building was constructed by local architects Wing and Mahurin, in 1893. For more than 100 years, the old city hall building has played an important roll in the social and political development of northeast Indiana. The sandstone Richardsonian structure served as the seat of city government until 1971, when it was vacated for the current City-County Building. In 2000, the building was renamed "The History Center."
Within the museum are two unique physical elements: the former City Jail, which has remained unchanged from its 1971 character, and the old City Courtroom. The center holds an extensive collection of archival records and diverse collection of more than 22,000 artifacts. Its 32 permanent exhibitions trace the community’s heritage from the Glacial Age to the Information Era.
The center showcases a variety of permanent and visiting exhibits including the beaded purse of Kilsoquah - granddaughter of Miami Chief Little Turtle, Little Turtle’s watch - an 18-Karat gold pocket watch, General Anthony Wayne’s Camp bed, a gingerbread replica of the Wolf and Dessauer department store, greetings from Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis, the Carahan Doll House, and an 1885 Bisque Doll.
The Chief Richardville House - the house recognized as the oldest Native American house - which was built in 1827, is another draw. It also boasts historic distinctions as the first Greek revival house in Indiana.
The large gallery is ideal for special occasions such as weddings and receptions, reunions, or business meetings. The center also hosts numerous special events, lectures, and educational programs year-round. Films delivering a holistic view of the community’s history and the interactive audio-visual kiosks detailing Allen county’s history in dozens of short television segments, or re-enact historical skits with the hands-on exhibits are also offered in the museum. The museum gift shop offers a wide selection of Fort Wayne mementos, historic books, games, photographs, postcards, signed and numbered prints, candles, puzzles, wooden toys, and Native American crafts.
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