1) Circa 1000CE Site of a Native American Late Woodland burial mound - This mound was partially excavated in the 1940s but some burials still remain. Extensive documentation and specimens exist at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology. A type of Native American pottery known as “Wayne Ware” was named after the many intact vessels found at the site

2) 1710 –1771 Potawatomi Indian Village Site - The 1768 map in the John Askin Papers at Detroit Public Library’s Burton Collection shows the Fort Wayne site as occupied by a Potawatomi Indian village. This tribe was one of four invited by Antoine Cadillac in 1710 to settle near the fort at Detroit for the French fur trade. During the 1760s British era the village’s leader was Ninivois (Nenewas).

3) July 5, 1812 Bombardment of Sandwich - (First Land Battle of the War of 1812) The Michigan militia, probably Captain Stephen Mack’s Detroit Militia Battery, fires artillery across the Detroit River from the sand hill of Spring Wells (now the site of Historic Fort Wayne) into the Canadian town of Sandwich, now Windsor.

4) August 16, 1812 Site of British General Isaac Brock’s army invasion of the United States - His force of 730, accompanied by 600 Native American warriors, crossed the Detroit River and landed at the Springwells sand hill shore (now the site of Fort Wayne) to capture the town and fort of Detroit three miles to the east. Alone in the U.S., Detroit and Michigan were occupied by the forces of Great Britain for 13 months.

5) September 8, 1815 Site of the Treaty of Spring Wells - This treaty was made between General (later President) William Henry Harrison representing the U.S. government and eight native American tribes which had fought against the U.S in the War of 1812. Michigan Governor Lewis Cass and Judge Woodward were here. Making peace with the former enemy tribes would be the official end of the War of 1812.

6) 1842-1851 Site of construction of Fort Wayne, principal Michigan border defense against British Canada - First major work designed and built by Army Engineer West Point graduate Lieutenant Montgomery C. Meigs, later Quartermaster General of the entire Union Army. The fortifications are still basically intact.

7) 1861-1865 Fort Wayne was the principal Camp of Instruction for Michigan Volunteer Infantry and Artillery troops during the Civil War - It was also the site of the billeting and training of Second Michigan Infantry private Franklin Thompson who was actually Sara Edmonds (Seelye), a woman, serving in disguise.

8) June 1918 The Segregated U.S. Army of World War One - Five hundred African American troops were stationed at Detroit’s Fort Wayne during the summer of 1918.

9) 1940-1945 Fort Wayne was a principal site for Detroit and Michigan’s role as what President Roosevelt termed “the Arsenal of Democracy.” Over two thousand civilian and military staff shipped vehicles and supplies from the Detroit Fort Wayne Ordnance Depot and its port of Detroit and Fairgrounds sites to help win World War II.

10) 1987 America’s first National Tuskegee Airmen’s Museum opened at the Fort - Exhibits and historic artifacts salute the service and bravery of the first African American U.S. Army aviators in World War II. The Airmen’s local chapter still operates the museum.  

 

Above information compiled by James Conway. Used with permission.