A couple days ago was promised here some commentary on how Michigan has preserved Fort Wayne.
First, let's look at a comparable fort, Henry, in Ontario. Built in the same era, it also saw no combat. Has that stopped Canadians from doing a world-class job of bringing it back from the dead? From its website: "The fort was abandoned by the British Army in 1870, and was garrisoned by Canadian troops until 1891. The fort subsequently fell into disrepair until 1936. When the restoration began, Fort Henry was little more than a pile of rubble after years of neglect." So, another parallel, maybe worse. But you won't see much physical comparability now: http://www.parks.on.ca/fort/home.htm
World-class. That phrase has been used in my presence a number of times over the past year in conjunction with things historical, and I like it, a lot. It conveys a stretch objective, usually unattainable, but in trying for the stars don't we often reach farther and achieve more than we otherwise would? So, why not look at Fort Wayne in the light of what dreams can yield? Let's go look at the Fort Wayne website ... http://www.savefortwayne.org/ There's quite a difference from the Canadian exemplar, n'est pas?
We could simply say, let's let a hearty and devoted band of volunteers continue laboring away on our behalf and that of future Michiganders, with piddling support, fighting the good fight; let's hope they can continue to make progress against a rust that never sleeps, resulting in a pic that encapsulates it all:
Or we could do more.
But why bother to bring it back? Isn't it a colossal waste of good money? What do the Canadians say? "Fort Henry became, and continues to be, a major tourist attraction." Would we really want to restore, on a level comparable to Fort Henry ONT, this historic Michigan site that began with the first Michiganders, saw major construction after the War of 1812, saw service through the Civil War, became a military base and induction center through two world wars, and now houses a museum honoring the Tuskegee airmen?
We could do more. Michigan, we can do better.