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Earlier this week steam locomotive no. 765 was fired up for testing at the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society’s restoration facility at 15808 Edgerton Road. One of the most common statements we hear there is “we never knew this was out here” or “we never knew this existed” and they were heard from visitors several times throughout the day.

I would happily bury these phrases, except they at least communicate that someone new has discovered one of Fort Wayne and Allen County’s hidden treasures. Throughout the day, several families stopped by and picnicked in the field just near the locomotive to watch the crew work.

While on top of the locomotive, I recalled the words from my dad when he first planted the seed for Headwaters Junction. In the mid-1990s, as we drove south on Clinton Street, alongside Omnisource which has since become known as the North River Property, and neared 4th Street where the locomotive used to be on display, he said: “Just imagine all the people that would see it and discover it, even if you just had it outside when you were working on it.” That phrase set me on this course. Everyone deserved to appreciate and experience it.

So earlier this week, on a few acres of land, in the middle of a hot summer day, very near the middle of nowhere, people had come to see it, discover it, and picnic nearby. If we can help inspire these activities on 15 acres of field near the Ohio/Indiana line, what else could we do?

What did they come to discover? What do we have hiding in a field just outside downtown Fort Wayne? What do we have that could bring these people downtown? This:

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