History of New Haven, Indiana
In 1893 Henry Burgress platted (Drew a map) New Haven, Indiana.New Haven, Indiana was incorporated as a town in 1865.It was only incorporated as a city in 1963. New Haven is in Jefferson Township. There is a brick house built by Henry Burgress which is the oldest structure in Jefferson Township on Summit street. The central Lutheran School was originally a house built by Henry Burgress’ son in law. Later it was converted into a school. The Swiss Amish arrived in 1845 and they spoke Alsatian German.
New Haven is located along the Wabash and the Eerie Canal. Because of New Haven’s location this shaped the town as a transportation hub. Later the city was served by the Wabash and Nickel Plate Railroads. Today the Norfolk Southern Railway maintains a significant operation in New Haven.
The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society operates east of New Haven on Edgerton Road. The society has restored Nickel Plate 765 built by the Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, Ohio and restored the Craigville Depot, which are housed at the New Haven site.
The historic French settlement of Besançon is on the eastern edge of New Haven along the Lincoln Highway. Saint Louis Catholic Church at Besançon is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Also listed is the Wabash Railroad Depot.
New Haven was the home of a weekly newspaper, Allen County Times, until the summer of 2002. The paper served New Haven, Leo-Cedarville, Grabill, Harlan, Woodburn, Hoagland, and Monroeville.
New Haven’s Embassy Theater
One of the most popular attractions in New Haven is the Embassy Theater.
On May 14, 1928, the doors of the magnificent Emboyd Theatre opened in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Built as a movie palace and vaudeville house, the Emboyd provided a majestic backdrop for the entertainment of the day, complete with a Page theatre pipe organ. The Emboyd came complete with the seven-story, 250-room Indiana Hotel wrapped around the north and west sides of the theatre. Clyde Quimby, theater operator, had commissioned A.M. Strauss and John Eberson to design the Emboyd and the Indiana Hotel.
Vaudeville was at its height of popularity and the Emboyd featured acrobats, comedians, magicians and musicians. For nearly 25 years the biggest and brightest stars of stage and screen graced the Emboyd stage: Perry Como; Lawrence Welk; Louis Armstrong; Tony Bennett; Chico Marx; Doris Day; Duke Ellington; Cab Calloway; Donald O’Connor; Marilyn Maxwell; Red Skelton; Victor Borge; and Artie Shaw were perennial favorites. Bob Hope’s first emcee job was at the Emboyd. Over time, television and “talkies” slowly eroded the popularity of silent films and vaudeville acts, the mainstay of the Emboyd. In 1952, the Emboyd Theatre and Indiana Hotel were sold to the Alliance Amusement Corporation. The name changed to the Embassy Theatre.
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