Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) — Volunteers at the Old Fort off Spy Run Avenue in Fort Wayne had to work a little extra on Saturday to clean up vandalism left there the day before. Someone painted the words “No pride native genocide” on the outer walls.
Old Fort volunteer and board member Tom Grant believes the graffiti had something to do with General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne Day.
“The graffiti made a comment about no pride and native genocide. So being able to draw from that, it has to do with I’m sure with some folks that were somewhat miffed about the General Wayne Day,” remarked Grant.
Grant said the staff does not plan to pursue legal action against whoever vandalized the Fort.
“We hold no malice,” Grant said. “This is just something that happened. Our biggest loss is we’re having to spend volunteer capital that could have been used in a positive manner to correct the situation.” In fact, Grant said the plan going forward is simple.
“There was an incident,” Grant said. “We’re going to correct it, and we’re going to go on.”
Some volunteers, like reenactor Bob Jones said seeing the vandalism was disappointing.
“Well, it’s just a sinking feeling that someone would project their feelings or their sympathies onto the Fort… I would invite those that did this, or those who have similar feelings, to investigate the opportunities to invest in Fort Wayne, to give back to the community in volunteer activity. We’re all volunteers and compare that to the experience they have doing something like this.”Bob Jones, The Old Fort Volunteer
According to Jones, and the Old Fort website, the specific fort that was vandalized reflects the third and final American fort, established in the fall of 1815, on the same site of Colonel Hunt’s structure. It was built by Major John Whistler, who had served under Anthony Wayne.
Jones said the mission of historic Fort Wayne is about preserving stories. According to Jones, the men and woman who lived at the Fort were veterans, whose stories deserve to be heard, preserved and shared. The second part of The Old Fort’s mission is educational, touching on how to survive in the early 19th century.
Grant said the best thing the public can do is support the Old Fort by attending activities held there. The Fort is hosting Post Miamies – 1754-1763 on August 24, 2019.
Learn more about the history of The Old Fort by visiting their website.