This past Saturday, October 19th, the Great Lakes chapter of the Historical Novel Society met in historic Ft. Wayne, IN. Our meeting took place in the Allen County Library, one of the nation’s largest resources for genealogical research. There we planned future meetings, listened to author Anna Lee Huber discuss cross-genre writing, and covered upcoming newsletter editions. The group was represented by people from an astonishing SIX states, including OH, KY, WI, MI, IL, and of course, IN.
After the meeting, we visited the Old Fort, pictured above and below, which is a reproduction of the last American fort (~1815) in the greater Ft. Wayne area, although many prior forts, both American and French, existed around the region. That last fort, a frontier outpost, was eventually torn down, but this reproduction is accurate down to mere inches.
Here, the doctor’s quarters are pictured, complete with casket just in time for Ft. Wayne’s Fright Night and lantern tours of the fort. Across the parade grounds, men slept four to a room. A military outpost against the natives, the fort saw only sporadic action (most notably a siege in September 1812 that resulted in an American victory), although many succumbed to illness here.
As the Indian threat died down after Tecumseh’s defeat at the Battle of the Thames in late 1815, so did the need for frontier outposts such as this. The fort’s timber was used to build a few houses that still exist in the city to this day.
The Great Lakes chapter has planned our next meeting for April 2014 in Columbus, OH. So if you’re in the area and are interested in historical fiction, be it reader, writer, or enthusiast, we hope you will join us!