About Settlers, Inc.

Since 1971, costumed Settler members have researched the early Americana domestic arts and crafts, their politics, history, folklore and mechanics involving the many skills needing to survive early America. Settlers have shared their knowledge with the community via their Speakers' Bureau and their programs at the Swinney Homestead.

The Swinney Homestead


The Swinney house was built by Thomas and Lucy Swinney in 1844. At his death on January 20, 1875, Thomas’s will provided that when his direct line of issue expired, the homestead tract of 614 acres of land was to be used for a public park with the provision that his remaining children have lifetime occupancy of the house. The Swinney family occupied the Homestead until 1922. After that time, the Swinney’s house became the Museum of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society. In 1980, after the Museum was relocated to the Old City Hall at Barr and Berry streets, Settlers leased and moved into the Swinney House and began teaching classes in a historical, elegant setting. As part of their mission they also initiated the restoration of the house which is owned by the City of Fort Wayne.

The tulip tree at the Swinney Homestead.
Tulip poplars were plentiful in early Fort Wayne.
The 1844 Swinney House has tulip poplar wood flooring.

Settlers' maintain a Gift Shoppe of period items on the second floor of the Swinney House. It is open during public events.

A group of dedicated Settlers maintains the Herb Garden at the Homestead. The herbs from the garden are used in Settler activities. A walk through the garden is enlightening and refreshing.



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