Fort Wayne’s historic churches, African-American pioneers, rivers among free ARCH lecture topics

This photo shows the former St. Paul Catholic Church, which was built in 1886 at Washington Boulevard and Fairfield Avenue. The church was demolished in 2004. ( file photo)

Preserving churches, local African-American pioneers and orphan trains will be among the topics discussed during the Fun and Free Lecture Series presented January through May by ARCH, the Fort Wayne-based historic preservation organization.

The lectures are free and open to the public. They will take place at 10 a.m. one Saturday per month at the downtown Allen County Public Library, 900 Library Plaza, in either Meeting Rooms A or C, a news release said.

ARCH sponsors the lectures to inform and entertain the public, as well as to ensure people continue to remember and preserve Fort Wayne’s history, the news release said.

Scheduled lecture topics are:

• Jan. 27: “Preserving Churches: Historic Legacies for Future Generations,” presented by Cornelia Schulz and Judge Charles Pratt of the City of Churches Tour, Meeting Room A.

• Feb. 24: “African American Pioneers of Fort Wayne,” presented by Roberta Ridley of the African American Genealogical Society of Fort Wayne, Meeting Room A.

• March 24: “Allen County Historic Sites Survey,” presented by ARCH Staff, Meeting Room A

• April 28: “City of Rivers,” presented by Megan Butler of Riverfront Fort Wayne, Meeting Room C

• May 12: “Orphan Trains,” presented by Karen Richards, an ARCH board of directors member, Meeting Room A