WE ARE WAYNEDALE, 100 YEARS LATER!

Church Service being held at the Fort Wayne Drive-IN Theatre on Bluffton Rd., in 1959. Photo from Jerry Miller.

What does a hundred years mean? For our community, a hundred years ago, on February 15, a vision was sought by Abner Elzey. As he stood on the corner of Lower Huntington Road and Old Trail, and wished for a community in which anyone could build a home to his or her own design and enjoy suburban life. If he could have known at that time, how wonderful of a community his dream would bring, he’d assuredly be overwhelmed by the progress, not only in homes, but in neighborly people who live here now.

History is much more than just the events that happen; it becomes our roots. As one of the few communities with such a strong branding (since it was annexed into Fort Wayne in 1957) that residents still call it by name, it stands to reason that we must truly love it here. Throughout other communities in Fort Wayne, when most people are asked, where do you live? They respond Fort Wayne (of course!). But here, in this community, when people are asked where do you live? They say Waynedale. Not by the airport. Not South or Southwest Fort Wayne. Or, in Fort Wayne, even though the community is snuggly in city limits and was annexed over 60 years ago. But, Waynedale!

Maybe it’s our sometimes not so neatly organized homes in neighborhoods that have been here since the 60’s. Or maybe our abundance of businesses to shop in, so we don’t have to leave Waynedale to shop local. Or, it could be our quick routes South to neighboring towns, to downtown, or a quick trip to 69 that can take us anywhere. But if you ask me, I’d say yes of course all those things and more… but most importantly, it is the people that make this place Waynedale.Over the past year, we’ve all been personally impacted by the pandemic, but instead of wallowing in the limitations of everything that came with it I was witness to so many people who reached out to help those in need. And while we all may have our differences, whether it be political, cultural, racial, ideological or anything else that divides us, what truly matters is that we are neighbors.

When the snow began piling up last week and the roads got icy, neighbors reached out to each other to lend a hand. Nobody said, “Wait, before I help, what political party are you?” We rolled up our sleeves and got to work pushing a car out of the snow bank, because that’s what neighbors do and that’s what makes a community great.

At a time when our media and social media inputs make us feel so isolated and biased, sometimes we forget that all we have to do is step outside and enjoy our neighbors and our relationships with others throughout the community to find joy.

Over the past 100 years, our community has survived and thrived because neighbors stepped up to help each other when they were in need through the wars, sickness, storms, floods and other afflictions that so severely impacted our community and members in our community. But as neighbors, together, we endured.

On behalf of everyone who works on the newspaper from writers to designer to carriers to in-office staff, I’d like to offer a special thank you to all of those who have lent a helping hand to the newspaper during our time of need because of the many shutdown businesses, events and advertisers last year. As a newspaper of record which has documented the many great things happening in our community over the 88 years we’ve been in print, THANK YOU for keeping our presses running! We’d also like to thank the many sponsors of this special historical edition of the newspaper and to those who place ads throughout the year to keep us going. If you are a reader who likes to help, we also have donation boxes at many of our newspaper racks, by mail to our office at 2505 Lower Huntington Rd. Fort Wayne, IN 46809 and online at www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-waynedale-news

Alex Cornwell

Alex Cornwell

The Owner & Publisher of The Waynedale News. Alex is a community leader and founder of various organizations, events & improvement initiatives in the area. He is also the recipient of 2019's Allen County Vandeveer Impact Award and 2012's University of Saint Francis' Distinguished Young Alumni Award. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer