The next day started rough for the Boys. Starting the drive back, Mike and Bone were groggy and spitting crud from the horrible air from the Hotel Hell, getting some coffee and breakfast helped some. As the Boys got close to Fort Wayne they decided to take a History Rest Stop to check out Kekionga!
"What the heck is a Kekionga ?!?"
Kekionga is a an native american name of a Miami Indian Village that had been adjacent to French and British forts since the early 1720's. It is the area at the headwaters of the Maumee River in northeastern Indiana that comprises what is now the city of Fort Wayne, just blocks from where the library stands, and was known by a variety of names in its long past.
The beginning of the Maumee River
(At the confluence of the St. Mary and the St. Joseph Rivers)
Before the establishment of the first American fort in 1794, the land had both strategic and mercantile significance to Native Americans and French voyageurs that explored and occupied the region in the early eighteenth century.
After the Battle of Fallen Timber (which is due east of Fort Wayne) where General “Mad Anthony” Wayne defeated the Little Turtle and his Miami Tribe (proxies of the British!) He wanted US control the Maumee’s headwaters, dispersed the Miami’s and built a Fort that he men named after him. The Miami’s villages stood on the opposite side of the Maumee River near its confluence with the St. Joseph and St. Mary’s rivers in what is now the Lakeside neighborhood.
It was an area of strategic importance to the United States in the 1790s, since controlling the rivers meant domination of the Old Northwest Territory. You see the Maumee ends close to where the Wabash begins. Controlling this important portage area meant you controlled the waterways from the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic, to the Gulf of Mexico. Back in the days when roads were either non-existent or iffy at best. Water was the best way to move around the continent. The Boys quickly found the Re-Creation of Old Fort Wayne and could see how it protected the waterways.
Old Fort Wayne!
Being late in the season the Fort was open to walk around but there was no staff to dicker with so the Boys took some shots then headed back in the Bone Mobile north to Meechigan.
The flat, plowed cornfields of Indiana eventual turned to the flat, plowed cornfields of Southern Michigan and the Boys landed in Marshall around 12:30. It had been a whirlwind of dickering, driving, (tense!) football, burgers, pizza, beers, and bad hotels, with just a bit of History. in other words, a typical Mike and Bone Tour!