” . . .that glorious gate . . through which all the words of our chiefs had to pass from north to south and from east to west.”
– Chief Little Turtle at the Treaty of Greenville
The most important geographical feature in Fort Wayne is the confluence of the Saint Mary’s River, Saint Joseph River which forms the Maumee River. This meeting point of the three rivers attracted the Native Americans to the area which would become Fort Wayne, for thousand of years. Eventually, this area natural landmark attracted the European settlers, traders, and explorers. It was the American pioneers who developed this area into a transportation center. This unique feature was formed at the end of the last Ice Age over 12,000 years ago. The Maumee River for centuries was the only highway through the region.