Direct Link to Original Fort Wayne

By Eric Olson

February 7, 2014 Updated Feb 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, In. (21Alive)--You’ve probably driven by it a hundred times as you head north on Spy Run at the corner of Tennessee Avenue, on the spot it’s occupied for one hundred and sixty years. Abraham Lincoln was still a country lawyer when Merchant Huxford built this house in 1854. Huxford was Fort Wayne’s first druggist and its first physician; his office stood at the corner of Barr and Columbia streets. He also served three terms as city mayor, and the grand home he built for himself reflected his status and his wealth. It’s believed that some of the home’s wood framing beams came from the original Fort Wayne. When the house was built one building of the old fort was still standing, and folklore has it local residents dismantled the structure and used materials they salvaged for new construction. The home’s interior’s been extensively altered; the building’s served as apartments, office space and most recently a chiropractor’s clinic. Three months ago Fort Wayne’s preservation group, ARCH, bought the home with plans to restore and sell it.

“We’ll stabilize it, put some protections in place,” says ARCH historian Jill VanGessel. “We’ll get it listed as a local historic district, we’ll get it listed on the National Register of Historic Places and then hopefully with the exterior repairs, someone will then want to purchase the building and finish the interior restoration.”

This home is one of our few remaining connections with the fort for which our town is named. Thanks to people who value our past, this corner of 21 Country will still have a story to tell us for perhaps another 160 years. Eric Olson reporting, out in 21 Country.

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