Barr Street Quotes

The renovation on Barr Street between Main and Wayne Streets is three quarters of the way completed.  On my way through the area today, I happened to notice there are quotes from various people etched into brick on the sidewalk inlays.  Starting at the Barr and Main Street corner and working South to the Barr Street Market, then crossing and working the other side of Barr Street North to the Barr and Berry Street intersection, here’s a rundown of the quotes and appropriate photos.  There is an error with one of the quotes from a local man who made national history.  I’ll let you see if you spot the error.  I haven’t corrected it, except at the bottom of the post.

And then what makes the work interesting is
if you choose the right questions
-Bruce Nauman, Artist

View of the Arts United Center and Fort Wayne Museum of Art from the Bruce Nauman quote

Change happens when
you make the invisible, visible
– Rev. Patty Crisp, Director, Charis House, 2008

If it weren’t for Philo T. Farnsworth inventor of the television
we’d still be eating frozen radio dinners
– Johnny Carson, comedian

If there are things you don’t like
in the world you grew up in,
make your own life different
– Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s Restaurants

View from the Dave Thomas quote.

Major Frank Burns: “I wish I was home.”
B.J. Hunnicut: “I wish you was home too, Frank.”
– M.A.S.H. 4077 TV script, c. 1975

Fort Wayne,
there is a vast amount of good
to be done there
– Saint Theodore Guerin, c. 1864

The ‘Golden Age’ has not been in the past.
It is with us and before us
– Hugh McCullough, Sec. of the U.S. Treasury 1883

(I have arrived)
to bring some news right fresh from Heaven
– John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed

View from the John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed quote

We’re not going to watch it in this household,
I don’t want it in our intellectual diet
– Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of electronic television
as recalled by his son, Kent. c. 1950s.

My people are leaving me for Detroit.
No body wants to stay here and have his throat cut
– Captain DeRaimond, soldier. c. 1750

Don’t let the fear of
striking out hold you back
– Babe Ruth, athlete

The ‘Golden Age’ has not been in the past.  It is with us and before us.”  – Hugh McCullough, Sec. of the U.S. Treasury 1883.  It should be Hugh McCulloch.  He was also not Secretary of the U.S. Treasury in 1883, although this quote may have been said by McCulloch in 1883.  He was appointed to this position again, he served as Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary from 1865 to 1869, in 1884 by President Chester Arthur and served six months.  In 1863, McCulloch launched Salmon P. Chase’s National Banking System as Comptroller of the Currency.  He had gone to Washington DC to protest this system.  McCulloch also rallied for the US to back its’ currency with Gold – or The Gold Standard.  This debate raged for more than 50 years.  It was implemented briefly under his leadership in 1866 only to be abandoned two years later.  Locally, he was President of the State Bank of Indiana and was appointed in 1853 as a trustee on a board with the responsiblity of setting up local public schools.  It would be interesting to know the context of this quote as well.

It would be interesting to have a pamphlet or markers of some sort made giving a brief biographical history of each.  One wonders what will be placed for the remainder of the project…


  1. Nice to see people are getting out and paying attention to Downtown. As designer of the “Talking Sidewalks” project, I can offer some perspective. First, thanks for the catch on McCullogh’s spelling. We will attempt to correct it as soon as possible. You are correct on his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury. However, all the quotes are dated to when they were said, not the time of the speaker’s tenure in their professional life. McCullogh made the statement in 1883, in an attempt to lobby back to the gold standard, although his words have a meaning that transcends that particular issue.

    We hope to partner with the History Center or other cultural institution Downtown to make backstories on all these quotes available to inquiring minds, perhaps in the form of a brochure.


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