Council OKs historic designation for Prairie Grove Chapel and Cemetery

March 20, 2019 GMT

In a 7-0 vote, the Fort Wayne City Council tonight approved a local historic designation for the Prairie Grove Chapel and Cemetery in Waynedale. 

The chapel and cemetery, located at 6000-6200 Old Trail Road, are significant for their contribution to area history and the chapel’s architecture as one of the city’s oldest churches.

The Fort Wayne Historic Preservation Commission approved the designation at its January meeting. 

“The Prairie Grove Chapel and cemetery is significant for its association with the history of early settlements, and the building of rural communities in Wayne Township and the rural development of the Waynedale area,” Historic Preservation Planner Creager Smith told the council. “The property is also significant in the area of local architecture and design. It is an outstanding example of a simple rural church and cemetery of the mid-19th Century.”

Councilmen Tom Freistroffer, R-at large, and Tom Didier, R-3rd, were absent Tuesday. 

There is no exact date for when the church was built. However, the cemetery was used for burials as early as 1833. A refurbished outhouse also resides on the property. The church itself appears to have been built around 1855 or later, Smith said in January. 

Under a local historic designation, any noticeable changes to the exterior of the property’s buildings must be reviewed and approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.