For some, Waynedale is a place where they live. For others, it’s a place to work. However, most people you ask who know the community will say it’s a very special place to be. As we celebrate the area’s 102nd Anniversary, it’s a great time to look around and truly appreciate the many people, organizations, and businesses that make the community wonderful!
Nestled outside the “big city” of Fort Wayne, Waynedale was once an unincorporated town founded in 1921 by Abner Elzey. Since then, it was absorbed into Fort Wayne’s growing infrastructure. Interestingly, the most unique thing about the community is that it has still maintained the “Waynedale” name 65 years after the town was annexed into Fort Wayne in 1957.
Naming the community was difficult. At first, Elzey had intended to name the community after his only daughter, Ilo, but this idea was dropped. And since those living in this area spoke of Fort Wayne as “Wayne,” he chose that as part of the name, using the name of his son “Dale” as the other.
As the community has grown outside its humble beginnings, its boundaries have begun to blur, but most would say that “you will know it when you’re there.” Many would attribute the stronghold in community identity found nowhere else in Fort Wayne as a testament to the many great things that the community holds and represents. Waynedale is in its people, its businesses, and the many things there are to do here.
It’s often said that you can find everything you need without leaving the community. Once a farming town, Waynedale is also uniquely still host to many family-owned businesses that have stood the test of time and continue to offer great service and products today. It’s endearing that the tradition of supporting local businesses is still strong here.
Throughout time, the newspaper has also helped strengthen and maintain Waynedale’s community identity. The first edition of The Waynedale News came out on September 2, 1932. Arden McCoy was the editor, and the paper consisted of a single sheet measuring 15 by 10 inches. Noble’s Home Store was the main advertiser, listing Hershey Cocoa at one pound for .17 cents and Camay Toilet Soap at .05 cents per bar. Potatoes were 7.5 cents a peck and .25 cents per bushel.
Hand-in-hand passionate community members, the newspaper and local businesses still continue the tradition of celebrating, promoting and bringing together the community through its news, events for community members to enjoy, and projects like the weather siren to keep those in the community safe.
It is simply wonderful that the Waynedale community has been adorned with so many passionate people who not only want to help create a better place to live and work but also thrive.
As we look into the future, the community continues to have a bright outlook. With industry growing southwest of Waynedale, there are more and more jobs available for people who can live close by in our community. As entertainment venues like Electric Works and the Clyde continue to develop, there will be even more things to enjoy. And the City of Fort Wayne’s recent emphasis on growing southside businesses will also help to bring more opportunities to those in the Waynedale area.
On such a monumental occasion, Waynedale’s 102nd Anniversary is not only a time to celebrate, but a time to appreciate what we have. On behalf of the Waynedale News, I would like to take a moment to thank the many people who make Waynedale great! Whether you’re a neighbor, business owner, or simply a passionate community member, your selfless hard work is being noticed and it is appreciated every day that everyone else is able to enjoy it. It takes everyone working together to make it happen, and we are so prideful and thankful for our community!