The fort was originally built between 1842 and 1851 (for a cost of $150,000), although the property it sits on has been dated back to around 1000 B.C. with the discovery of Native American burial grounds, with human remains that dated to over 900 years old! There was also a very distinctive type of pottery found there that was called "Wayne-ware".
Mr decided to tag along, since we haven't had adventure together in a while. As we were getting off the expressway, Mr. was happy to notice that we were right next to Military Avenue Church, where he spent a couple of days last summer helping with middle school boys Vacation Bible School.
As we were pulling onto the grounds, there was a guard shack, with a guard taking parking money. There were also soccer games going on at the same time. There were tons of kids and families walking through the property to get to the soccer field.
When we parked for the flea market, I was overwhelmed with the buildings that are being left to rot and decay. It felt like kind of sick to my stomach and had an ache in my heart. I hate to see buildings in such neglect. There were only a few vendors outside, and for a few minutes I was afraid we'd driven an hour to only see three or four vendors.
As we finished up the outside tables, I noticed some people going into one of the buildings, so we went in as well. There were several more vendors set up inside. The ads that I saw online showed about three times as many vendors than what was actually there, or maybe their tables were three times as full in the advertising photos. Either way, it was a lot smaller than I anticipated.
I loved being in the old building, watching all kinds of people selling, shopping and just enjoying each other's company. I kept thinking if those old wood floors could talk...what would they say? We didn't find anything that we couldn't live without, so we walked back outside. Mr suggested that we walk around the grounds.
I had such a one-track mind of Flea Market, that I never even though to explore our surroundings. I am so glad he suggested it! It was the high point of our adventure! I wish I would have brought along my good camera, and not just my phone, but my one-track mind never even considered to pack it in the car.
There were several people taking self-guided walking tours of the fort. I got a huge chuckle out of a dad (maybe a soccer coach) with a group of 5 or 6 little soccer players. He was so much fun! He was totally about the kids and having a "kids" conversation with them. They were all engaged and all of them were using their imaginations. It was refreshing to see him interacting with the kids 100%. Most of the time, when I see adults and kids, the kids are kind of an after-thought while the adults are on their phones or talking with other adults.
As we came out of the first tunnel, we looked toward the barracks and saw a group of people playing baseball. Some of the guys had old-fashioned looking uniforms and caps, and none of them had mits! They were all enjoying the great weather, hanging with each other and they seemed like they had the whole day to play. It was fun to watch them and listen to them cheer on and encourage each other.
It would have been nice to have had a guided tour while we walked around. Unfortunately, I found out after we were home that tours were even an option. Maybe some day we'll head back, with our good camera, and take a guided tour.
Here are some pics from our day...