My Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne is a city of 250,000 in the northeast corner of Indiana, and the state's second largest city. I was born in Fort Wayne in 1975, and have lived most of my life here.

When I was young, Fort Wayne was a thriving industrial city with a large and prosperous middle class. Men like my father could graduate from high school, as he did in 1968, and immediately begin work in jobs that paid solidly middle class 'family man' wages.

By the time I graduated from high school, that was all gone. The deindustrialization of the United States has hit Indiana's cities hard, and even university graduates here now usually work for pay that is barely above minimum wage. The sad thing is that Fort Wayne has fared better than many other industrial cities in the midwest.

These portfolios represent a number of projects, some still in progress, in which I have documented Fort Wayne and some of the city's more interesting neighborhoods, people, and places.

 

 

Waynedale: Fort Wayne's Small Town

Waynedale, founded on February 15, 1921 by Abner Elzey, was originally a small town a few miles outside Fort Wayne. In 1957, Waynedale's residents voted to join the city of Fort Wayne and Waynedale ceased to exist as an independent town.

Although Waynedale has been part of Fort Wayne far longer than it was an independent town, it still looks like a small town; and for the most part it still has the culture of a rural small town. Most of the businesses are still small locally owned companies; only a Walgreens drug store, a Kroger store, and a couple of fast food restaurants are part of big chains. Waynedale was founded at the intersection of Lower Huntington Road and Bluffton Road, and most of the local businesses are on these two main roads. Lower Huntington Road has historically served as Waynedale's "Main Street."

I grew up in the Waynedale area. Although I moved away after I graduated from college; I eventually returned, and I still live in the Waynedale area today.