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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Duck Creek: Early Industry and Business Development

 
 
Duck Creek: Early Industry and Business Development Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 31, 2008
1. Duck Creek: Early Industry and Business Development Marker
Inscription. Fort Wayne business had a start on Duck Street, named for the 19th century Duck Creek that drained the area from the higher ground near Superior Street into the St. Mary’s River. Along Duck Creek in the 1840s and 50s stood the City Mills, one of the largest mills in early Fort Wayne. Like other streams in the area, Duck Creek afforded an ideal opportunity for the beginnings of industry in the frontier community. The first industrial businesses in the city - blacksmithing, brick and tile making, and spoke making - were primitive and depended only upon human power. Large-scale enterprises, such as sawing lumber and milling grain, however, could be done efficiently and profitably by harnessing the abundant local waterpower. Later, entertainment enterprises, such as the circus, found the area a good place to draw a crowd. A local population could provide a profitable audience for a few days’ run. At the same time, it could pull up on short notice to avoid the devastation of a flood. Even Art Smith, the “Bird Boy of Fort Wayne” who was acclaimed by many as the “world’s greatest stunt flyer,” drew a huge crowd here in 1911. Smith was to take off for a flight from Fort Wayne to New Haven, Connecticut, a major cross-country trip for that time. The trip was jinxed because Smith forgot to buy gasoline. He had to pass the
Great Meadow in Headwaters Park Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., December 31, 2008
2. Great Meadow in Headwaters Park
Duck Creek marker (next to lamp post) is one of several markers along path circling the Great Meadow. Looking south with downtown Fort Wayne in background.
hat for the $2.50 it took to fill up his gas tank. Shortly after takeoff near this spot, the plane’s engine ceased running, and Smith had to land in a nearby farm field, ending the trip. Eventually, businesses were established in the area, along with the National Guard Armory. Even though the swamp had been filled in, the “Thumb” became dotted with buildings and parking lots that suffered the wrath of the river during times of flooding.
 
Erected by City of Fort Wayne and The Northern Indiana Public Service Company.
 
Location. 41° 5.177′ N, 85° 8.289′ W. Marker is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Allen County. Click for map. Marker is one of a series that ring the Great Meadow in Headwaters Park. This marker is about 100 feet ESE of the Hamilton Women Plaza. Marker is at or near this postal address: 333 S. Clinton Street, Fort Wayne IN 46802, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Earliest Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Jail Flats (within shouting distance of this marker); Emerine Jane Holman Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); These are the Hamilton Women of Fort Wayne (within shouting distance of this marker); League Park (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wabash & Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Turtle (within shouting distance of this marker); The Floods (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Wayne.
 
Categories. Air & SpaceEntertainmentIndustry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 1,629 times since then and 109 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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