In this land, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, took it upon himself to travel the countryside, spreading the Gospel and planting orchard after orchard of apple trees. The apple crops were vital to pioneers and settlers, who made cider to drink, and vinegar for medicinal use.
Chapman was a colorful, memorable character. He was born and raised in Massachusetts, and at at the age of 18 started wandering west with his younger half-brother. He was known to walk mile after mile barefoot, with a stew pot on his head. His legacy of faith persists in Fort Wayne today. The city is home to the minor league TinCaps baseball team, whose name honors Chapman’s tin stew pot cap. Parkview Field, the home stadium, serves dozens of apple-themed treats.
Chapman was laid to rest here also. His grave is located in Johnny Appleseed Park, just off Coliseum Boulevard. Each September, people come from far and wide to relive the pioneer days of the early 1800s at the Johnny Appleseed Festival. There are crafters, food, trades demonstrations, and battle reenactors.
Visit the grave inside the park and pay your respects to this unique pioneer.