The Journal Gazette
Saturday, June 27, 2020 1:00 am


Lookin' for something to do? Try one of our area museums. Museums are a great place to check out the arts, culture and history, while doing it at a leisurely pace. Each week we offer up a different museum and some of the items you can see during your visit.

History Center

What: Johnny Appleseed pocket flask, 1834

In the 19th century, John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed (1774-1845), became known as the sower of apple seeds. He came to Fort Wayne in 1834 and planted orchards to fund his Swedenborgian missionary campaign to pioneers bringing “news fresh from Heaven.” His practice of gathering apple seeds that he grew into saplings earned him the nickname Johnny Appleseed.

He became legendary for his kindness, generosity, and simple lifestyle. He died at the Richard Worth cabin on March 18, 1845, from pneumonia and is buried in the old Archer Cemetery, now known as Johnny Appleseed Park. During his lifetime, he maintained a monastical existence with few worldly possessions, and surviving artifacts attributed to this historical figure are extraordinarily rare.

This flask, once carried by John Chapman, was given to Fort Wayne resident Elizabeth Harris as a present on her eighth birthday in 1834. It was donated to the History Center by her grandson Frederick Fell and is on permanent display in the museum.

The object was featured during the History Center's 200@200 series during the Indiana State Bicentennial of 2016 and was also one of three local artifacts (Gen. Anthony Wayne's field bed and an original Silvanus Freelove Bowser & Company kerosene cabinet pump were the other two) selected by the Indiana Historical Society to be presented in their own exhibition, “Indiana in 200 Objects.”

Location: 302 E. Berry St.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and the first Sunday of each month

Admission: $6 ages 18 to 64, $4 ages 65 and older, $4 ages 3 to 17, and free for ages 2 and younger

Source: History Center

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