Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne

Born from anxiety raised from the conflict known as the Patriot war, Fort Wayne was constructed in 1843 in an effort to fortify the United States' Northern border with British Canada. The Fort has never seen conflict. However, Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne from Arcadia Publishing delves into the history of the fort from its earliest days as a mustering center, till its final days of military service as launch control for missile batteries during the Cold War.

The book describes the conditions that led to the fort's construction before thoroughly detailing the structure itself. Authors James Conway and David F. James have done a remarkable job compiling a host of historical blueprints and photos documenting the fort's design. Other chapters detail Garrison life and the fort's place in the community.

Through the years Fort Wayne became more than a military fortification for the city of Detroit. It was also a social center and a refuge. During the depression the old troop barracks were used as housing for homeless families and the Work Progress Administration provided jobs improving the fort. The fort was also home to those displaced by the 1967 riots. The last families left Fort Wayne in 1971.

The important final chapter of the book focuses on the Fort Wayne's life as a museum. The museum has fallen on hard times and is a mere shadow of its former self. Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne serves as a terrific reminder of what the fort once was and what it can be once again. The pages are filled will compelling facts and photos of this once proud citadel. Flipping through the pages one gets a sense of how important this nearly forgotten relic has been to our city.

Photos reprinted with permission from Detroit's Historic Fort Wayne, by James Conway and David F. Jamroz. Available from the publisher online at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling (888) 313-2665.

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