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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)
 

The Floods

 
 
The Floods Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
1. The Floods Marker
Inscription. Most often the rivers here brought prosperity. They are the reason humanbeings settled here; established a land portage to connect with the Wabash River system; and attracted the canal followed by rails, highways, industry, and homes. They brought good, industrious people such as Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman, who was seen in 1830 arriving near this point on the Maumee River with his small boat laden with apple seeds. One significant flood recorded in the Three Rivers area occurred in 1790, four years before there was a Fort Wayne; the Native American settlement of Kekionga suffered from the disastrous combination of a rapid spring thaw and heavy rains. In the years before dikes were built, the average flood level was about fourteen feet. When engineers built dikes to protect riverside neighborhoods and businesses, the flood levels rose steadily. By the 1920's, floods were more frequent; and the average flood stage moved to nearly twenty feet. The worst flood on record was in March 1913, when the Maumee rose overnight from seven feet to over twenty-six feet. Fifteen thousand people were made homeless, and six lost their lives. Mayor Jesse Grice organized an heroic relief effort, and martial law was declared with orders given to shoot looters. Fort Wayne saved itself then, as it would again in 1982, when an immense volunteer effort
Great Meadow in Headwaters Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
2. Great Meadow in Headwaters Park
Several markers along path circling the Great Meadow, looking north with Clinton Street on the extreme left and the Hamilton Women Plaza on extreme distant right of photo. Fountain area is in right foreground.
protected the dikes against the second-highest flood waters on record. Again in 1985 and in 1991, floods inundated the area. In the wake of these disasters, plans for allowing flood-waters to wash across the great bend in the St. Mary's River assumed increasing importance. At the groundbreaking ceremony of Headwaters Park on October 26, 1993, the Fort Wayne Bicentennial Commission acknowledged the cooperative efforts of all segments of the “City That Saved Itself.”
 
Erected by City of Fort Wayne and Barrett & McNagny Attorneys.
 
Location. 41° 5.151′ N, 85° 8.346′ 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 125 feet east of Clinton Street and about 250 feet SW 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. Early Effort To Build A Park (within shouting distance of this marker); League Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Headwaters Park (within shouting distance of this marker); These are the Hamilton Women of Fort Wayne (within shouting distance of this marker); Emerine Jane Holman Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); Jail Flats (within shouting distance of this marker); Little Turtle (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Miami Legend of the Sandhill Crane (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Wayne.
 
Categories. DisastersMan-Made FeaturesNative AmericansNotable PersonsSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,428 times since then and 125 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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