Hubert Sawyers III, community manager

Hi, I’m Hubert and I’ll be your social resource for all things Oakaloosa. Any tweet or status update you see, it is likely I am behind it. When I’m not managing Oakaloosa’s social channels, you can find in most places on the web as “HubertGAM”.

Cross-dressing spies. A “separate but equal” WWI military base. The first location to erect a museum for the Tuskegee Airmen. These are just a few of the interesting stories attached to Historic Fort Wayne, home of the first Oakaloosa Music Festival.

We know most reading this will know more about Girl Talk’s rocking mash-ups than they do about one of Detroit’s oldest historical spaces. It seems only right that we share a few quick facts related to Fort Wayne.

Now much like the city of Detroit, Fort Wayne is not without some contentious moments in its history. The Oakaloosa crew believes that acknowledging both the good and the bad helps us grow as a region and community. Let’s get onto it, shall we?

Quick Facts About Historic Fort Wayne

1861 – 1865: Camp of Instruction
Fort Wayne was the principal training camp for the Michigan Volunteer Infantry and Artillery during the Civil War. This time period is significant, because Sarah Emma Edmonds, aka Franklin Flint Thompson, also trained here. She was in the Second Michigan Infantry as a private.

1918: Segregated Black Soldiers of the U.S. Army
In the summer of 1918, approximately 500 African American soldiers resided on Fort Wayne. It is hard to imagine this happening today. It just goes to show how far we have come.

1940 – 1945: The Arsenal of Democracy
Fort Wayne was a key port for the shipping of vehicles and supplies during World War II. There were over 2000 military personnel and civilians who worked on location. Obviously, the grounds can hold a crowd such as the one we plan to have for Oakaloosa.

1948: Historic Fort Wayne Gets Sold to Detroit
Over the course of thirty years, Fort Wayne began to be parcelled to the city of Detroit. This included the limestone barracks built in 1848, the Star Fort built in 1845 and renovated in 1861, and a building which was turned into the first Tuskegee Airmen Museum. Much like many of Detroit’s storied relics, the property has not been able to be maintained at a high level.

Well, we are just chipping the iceberg of Fort Wayne’s history. We hope to continue to educate you while simultaneously entertaining you. Go ahead and pick up your tickets. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed on the latest and greatest developments of the festival.

All these facts were derived from the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition’s website.