If you’ve read Thirst for Love, then you know the story takes place in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Here are a bits of trivia that didn’t make it into the story, but may show up in future stories. One thing I’ve learned as a writer is to never say “never” when it comes to what could be useful in a book.
Fort Wayne is named after an Army fort built by General Anthony Wayne, who is sometimes referred to as Mad Anthony Wayne. Although the original fort is long gone, there is an accurate reconstruction called the Old Fort that is open for tours from time to time. The reconstructed fort was built using Anthony Wayne’s blueprints, which included such detailed notes as the exact number of nails used on the original fort. Sadly, the Old Fort is not on the site of the original. The original fort stood where downtown Fort Wayne is today. The only thing marking the site is a reconstruction of the fort’s well.
Fort Wayne is the final resting place of a couple of notable historical figures. The Miami chief Little Turtle led his people to several major victories against the United States during the 1790s in a campaign sometimes referred to as Little Turtle’s War. He eventually made his peace with the United States and received a full military funeral when he died in 1812. His grave is in a residential area of Fort Wayne and marked with a small stone memorial.
Another notable figure buried in Fort Wayne is John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. As he traveled through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois during the first half of the 1800s, he planted apple tree nurseries along his path. He returned every couple of years to tend the trees. When he died in 1845, he was buried in Fort Wayne. His grave site is marked with a stone marker and lies in Johnny Appleseed Park.
Fort Wayne was also the site of the first professional baseball game May 4, 1871. The game between the Forest City of Cleveland and the Kekionga of Fort Wayne launched the inaugural season of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. In case you’re wondering, the Kekiongas won with a final score of 2-0.
The city of Fort Wayne has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1794, twenty-two years before Indiana became a state. If anyone wants to write a historical novel set in the frontier of the United States, Fort Wayne offers tremendous possibilities. And for those of us who use the modern-day Fort Wayne as a story setting, the possibilities abound. Take Franke Park, for example, which does appear in Thirst for Love. Not only does it have the usual grass and play equipment, it’s the home of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, hiking trails, an outdoor theater, a BMX course, and Shoaff Lake.
I’ll let you in on a secret that even my publisher doesn’t know, unless she reads this post. My next paranormal romance, which is still a work in progress, is set in the Fort Wayne area. Who knew Fort Wayne, Indiana was such a hotbed of paranormal activity?