Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fort Wayne in Detroit and Amherstburg,ONT

16 August 2013

We rented a car today to drive to Detroit to visit Fort Wayne Historic Site and later to Amherstburg ONT to visit Fort Malden and King's Navy Yard.

Even though Fort Wayne is only open on weekends for tours, because of John's website we were able to secure a tour with the volunteer groundskeeper, Adam. Adam gave us a very extensive tour of the fort including buildings outside the star fort. Thank you Adam for a job well done. By the way, he is familiar with John's website fortwiki.
Adam and John

Fort Wayne Plaque


The fort sits on the Detroit River a mile from the Canadian shore in the Delray neighborhood just off IH 75. The fort was built in 1845 with the barracks in 1848. Many of the buildings inside the star shaped fort have been demolished and the barracks is in the process, as funding becomes available, of being restored. The powder magazine also exists. Since the 1970's, the fort and a number of buildings outside, is operated by the city of Detroit. These include barracks, guard houses,commander's quarters,officers quarters, commissary and recreation building. These are now vacant except for some park offices.
One of the Sally Port Entrances

Sally Port Entrance

Barracks Built in 1848 Signage


Powder Magazine Signage

Powder Magazine

Interior of Magazine

Approximately 19 Indian burial grounds were present in the area with only one remaining. The present star fort was built on one of the mounds.
Burial Mound

In the 1880's construction began on the buildings outside the fort, some of which have been restored while others have fallen in ruin. The fort became relevant during the Civil War as British sympathy for the Confederacy renewed fears of attack from the British. Since the Civil War the fort has served as a mustering center for troops from Michigan. During the Red Scare, it served as detention center for accused communists. During the depression it was opened to homeless families and it housed the CCC.
During WWII it served as the largest motor supply depot in the world, an Italian POW camp. It continue to serve as a mustering center during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Since 2006,the fort is operated by the Detroit Recreation Department. The grounds are opened to youth soccer leagues, boy scout events and some civic events.
NCO Quarters

Married Officer Quarters-Now Offices

Post Commander's Residence

Officers Row

Restored Guard House

Administration Building

View of Barracks

Guardhouse by Gate Entrance

We then drove over the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor ONT and a short drive down Hwy 20 to Amherstburg. The town is on the shores of the Detroit River and Lake Erie. This is a charming town and touted to be the  safest town in Canada. Wineries,museums,art galleries, parks, restaurants,shops, Fort Malden and the King's Navy Yard make for an interesting afternoon.
Dalhousie Street  Amherstburg

One of Many Victorian Homes

Park House Signage

Park House-1790's

One of Several Decorated Fire Hydrants

On 30 August through 10 September as part of the Bicentennial celebration, a reenactment of the Battle of Lake Erie will take place on 2 September. 17 tall ships will grace Lake Erie's waters for the reenactment. Wish we were able to see this.This naval battle in 1813 forced the retreat of the British and helped establish our peaceful border with Canada. It also marked the first US Naval victory and the first time an entire British Royal Navy was captured by enemy force. LakeErieBattle.com

Fort Malden for over 200 years has served as a fortification first known as Fort Amherstburg and constructed in 1796 on the Detroit River where it empties into Lake Erie. It was the headquarters for the British forces during the 1812 War and reinforces during the Upper Canada Rebellions in 1837. The remaining buildings are the Pensioner's cottage of which there were 86, the Brick Barrack,and the Brick Guardhouse. Foundation outlines show other buildings of the fort. Earthworks are well preserved. The museum circa 1861 served as the laundry and baking facility that served the asylum established in 1859.

Model of Fort Malden in 1800's

Earthworks Fort Malden

Pensioner's Cottage

One of Two Rooms in Cottage


24 Pounder Cannons

Brick Barracks-1819

Barrack Dining and Sleeping


Detroit River View from Fort

A short walk from the Fort is the King's Navy Yard home to the Commissariat building constructed in 1831 to serve as an office for purchasing, storing goods,managing the pay and finances for the Fort. It is located on the river on 10 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. So serene and peaceful.
Park Stone

Cannons in the Park

Commissariat Office

Such Beautiful Flowers

Sculpture of Cannon Loading

Proclamation for the Park

More Beautiful Flower Beds

My great,great,great,great grandfather Soloman Litton was marched to and held captive at Fort Detroit in 1781 during the Revolutionary War  with his family. They were marched 300 miles to Fort Detroit which was then in Quebec. he was separated from his family and sold as a slave to an Indian named Big Fish and finally released in 1783 and reunited with his family.
For more detailed information go to fortwiki.com/Soloman_Litton
Fort Detroit which later became Fort Shelby was demolished.

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