Stay cool with the frozen past

from the archives of The News-Sentinel

Here's a picture out of Fort Wayne's frozen past sure to cool you off on hot summer days.

The year was 1890 (or so) when these five dapper gents ventured onto the frozen St.Joseph's River to post for this shot. The ice-climbers, hardly dressed for such an adventure in their derby hats and knee-length coats, were members of the St. Joe Rowing Club - believed to be the forerunner of the present-day St. Joe Athletic Club.

The picture was taken from about the location of today's East State Boulevard Bridge. At the right, can be seen part of Miller's Boat House, which was the meeting place for the St. Joe Rowing Club, organized in 1879.

The boat house was razed to make room for North Side High School, erected in 1927.

In the background is the huge Centlivre Brewery, founded at that location in 1862 by Charles Louis Centlivre.

The brewery, located at Clinton and Spy Run, was by the 1890s one of the Midwest's major breweries. Part of the plant visible here was destroyed by a fire in 1893, but the brewery was rebuilt.

Today, none of this original brewery is left standing. Part of the brewery built in 1950 is still visible today, but only the gutted shell remains.

The statue of Charles Centlivre, faintly visible atop the brewery, today is perched above Hall's Gas House Restaurant downtown.

--July 31, 1982

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