Historic Fort Steuben News news.php Historic Fort Steuben offers tours, exhibits and events that celebrate the history of the Ohio Valley and the country. en-us NEW YEAR BEGINS news.php?d=102 The snow has iced over Fort Steuben and Fort Steuben Park but inside the Visitor Center we are busy planning for 2018. Not only do we have to refresh the various installations in the Fort, there is continual maintenance of the grounds and structures, including the Land Office and Veterans Memorial Fountain. Our 2018 Membership Drive begins and we sincerely hope that our efforts are recognized through renewals as well as new memberships. Donations towards "Keeping History Alive" benefit the next generation of citizens who learn about the past by visiting the Fort. Thank you to all who support the many activities we sponsor here!

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:50:29 -0500 news.php?d=102
NUTCRACKER VILLAGE OPENS news.php?d=101 The lights are up, the vendor chalets are decorated, and volunteers are as busy as elves preparing Fort Steuben Park and the Visitor Center for the 2017 Nutcracker Village and Advent Market to open this week in downtown Steubenville.

“We are just awaiting the arrival of the 150 stars of the show: the Nutcrackers,” exclaimed Jerry Barilla, president of Historic Fort Steuben and one of the founders of the event. “Nelson’s of Steubenville, the creators and fabricators of the nutcrackers, have produced 40 new characters who will join their 100 siblings as they line the walks in Fort Steuben Park on Tuesday, November 21.”

The unique creations will be arrayed under an archway of lights and surrounded by holiday décor including two large Christmas trees- a 32’ one at the fountain plaza and a 22’ one in Land Office Park.

“We can’t wait to see the expressions of wonder and joy on the faces of our visitors this year,” said Judy Bratten, Executive Director of Historic Fort Steuben and one of the organizers of the event. “We have had a wonderful outpouring of help, donations, and volunteers from businesses, organizations, and individuals who have seen the impact the Nutcracker Village has had on the community. Because of their support, we are able to make most of this event free to the public."

The Nutcracker Village will be based at Fort Steuben Park through the holiday season, until January 7. Check out the Nutcracker Village page for the complete schedule.

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:03:54 -0500 news.php?d=101
FORT STEUBEN CLOSED FOR SEASON BUT... news.php?d=100 Historic Fort Steuben may be closed for the season, but you can still find things of interest at the Visitor Center. In the Museum Shop there is a unique selection of books for all ages on local and American history as well as our own Historic Fort Steuben Coloring Book. We stock Masterpiece Jigsaw Puzzles and RoyToy log building sets and locally made wooden toys. Looking for Steubenville, Nutcracker and Fort souvenirs? They are here!

In the lobby there is an exhibit by Kim Hohlmayer of the Steubenville Art Association. And be sure to submit a suggestion to name the singing Nutcracker who is standing guard at the door.

The 2017 Nutcracker Village & Advent Market and the Christmas Wonderland will open on Nov. 21 so the Exhibit Hall is now closed for decorating. Check out the schedule here and here.

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 13:37:44 -0400 news.php?d=100
RIVERBOATS ON THE OHIO news.php?d=99 Hundreds of drivers pass by it or over it each day. Barges transport coal and goods up and downstream. Fishermen and kayakers enjoy recreation time there. It is the Ohio River – the “beautiful Ohio” – and a significant part of our history, commerce and culture.

Beginning on Monday, Oct. 2, Historic Fort Steuben presents a new exhibit on the river, Riverboats on the Ohio- from Canoes to Showboats: A Century of Change. Consisting of educational panels, models, music and other information, the exhibit gives an overview of the Ohio River in history, the development of river transportation, and its impact on commerce and culture particularly in Steubenville and the upper Ohio Valley.

An opening program will be held on Monday, Oct. 2 at pm. Guest speaker Thom Way will tell tales of the river and the riverboats with information collected by his great-uncle, Fred Way.

The exhibit was developed by Historic Fort Steuben with funding in part by the Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and will run through October 14.

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:28:11 -0400 news.php?d=99
DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS? news.php?d=98 On September 17, the nation celebrates Constitution Day - an opportunity to learn about our founding document and the people who were instrumental in "framing" it. The founders realized that the country would be growing and the document would have to adapt to changes in the future so they built into it a process to create amendments. This was crucial because the Constitution laid out the outline and responsibilities of the government, but omitted listing the rights of the citizens.

Several states would not ratify the Constitution without a guarantee of rights - and so the first ten amendments were added. Called "The Bill of Rights," these amendments ensure that the democracy the founders envisioned could become a reality. More amendments have been added in the past 225 years, but those first ten are so much a fabric of our society that they often are taken for granted.

"The Bill of Rights and You!" is a new addition to our annual Celebrate the Constitution exhibit that opens on September 9. Take some time to stop by and refresh your knowledge of this important document and the process by which amendments are added. It's all basic citizenship!

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 15:35:05 -0400 news.php?d=98
FORT STEUBEN SCAVENGER HUNT news.php?d=97 Touring Historic Fort Steuben is an opportunity to step back in time, to see what life was like for the soldiers and settlers who came to the Ohio frontier in the late 18th century.

Inside each of the buildings there are furnishings and articles that would have been typical of the time. Some of them are unfamiliar to our modern eyes. What is that gadget on the table in the Officer's Quarters? What are those medical tools in the Hospital?

To make the tour more interesting, we offer a Scavenger Hunt with photos of artifacts that are in the Fort. All the visitors who successfully complete the Scavenger Hunt leave with a special souvenir.

Can you find all the items? Come visit the Fort and try it for yourself!

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:07:44 -0400 news.php?d=97
SUPPORT OUR MISSION news.php?d=96 Our mission at Historic Fort Steuben is to preserve and promote our history. We do that by continually enhancing our exhibits and adding to our educational programs. But at the same time, we are improving the quality of life for local residents and encouraging economic development.

Historic Fort Steuben needs your help to continue our mission. If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2017, it’s not too late to do so. And if you haven’t yet become a member, now may be the best time to do so. By supporting our efforts, you are contributing to the well-being of many!

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 21:33:39 -0400 news.php?d=96
THIS MONTH AT FORT STEUBEN news.php?d=95 Happy Summer! The flowers are in full bloom, the Fort is open for tours, and the annual Summer Concert Series offers entertainment every Thursday evening. Here's what's happening this month:

July 4: Independence Day Ceremony at the Fountain at 10 am


Saturday, July 8: Rising Stars Talent Night- young talent - 6:30 pm

July 13: RESCHEDULED TO AUG. 17 - Classic Rock & Pop - Vanessa Campagna opening for Jeff Jimerson & Airborne- 6:30 pm

July 20: Countrified! - The Stickers - 6:30 pm

Saturday, July 22: Patriotic Night with Roz & Lynn opening for the Tri-State Community Band - 7:00 pm

July 27: Funk and Rock with US3 The Essence opening for No Bad Juju

Schedule subject to change!

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:18:07 -0400 news.php?d=95
SUMMER DAYS AT FORT STEUBEN news.php?d=94 We had a wonderful turnout for Ohio Valley Frontier Days! Hundreds of people had the opportunity to experience a bit of seventeenth century life. The master carpenter, the blacksmith and the rope maker shared their knowledge and skills with our visitors. Steve Free sang of his roots in Ohio, the culture of the Native Americans and the joys of country life. The festival may be over for this year, but there is still plenty to see and do when visiting the Fort this summer. Plan a day trip on a Thursday to tour the Fort, enjoy a fine meal at one of our local restaurants and then stay for the free concert in the Berkman Amphitheater in Fort Steuben Park. It's summer...and a good time to get together with friends and family!

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:06:22 -0400 news.php?d=94
FRONTIER DAYS - JUNE 3 & 4 news.php?d=93 Once again, the massive gates of Historic Fort Steuben will open to welcome young and old as the 2017 Ohio Valley Frontier Days brings the past to live on June 3rd and 4th.

The annual festival brings together reenactors, crafters, musicians and history lovers to offer a sense of life over 200 years ago in Ohio.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10am on Saturday with a procession through the site followed by a flag raising and program. Throughout the weekend there will be presentations on the tragedy of Chief Logan, Native American traditions, 18th century military drill, and various crafts including rope making, bucket making, woodcarving and candle making

The Northwest Territory School of Surveying will be open to students and visitors. Baron Friedrich von Steuben will teach the use of the musket, Frontier Dan will supervise the Tomahawk Toss, and Thundering Hooves 4H will again offer pony rides with photo opportunities. In the Visitor Center, members of the Ohio Valley Sons of the American Revolution will give information on researching genealogy.

Each of the Fort’s eight fully furnished buildings, the archaeology dig and the First Federal Land Office will have guides stationed to tell the stories of the people and artifacts that were there. The blacksmith, flintknapper, spoon maker, and candle maker demonstrate their skills while vendors sell their unique hand-crafted products. Among the vendors this year are Jewelry by Carol, The Crystal Cave, Green Fairy Botanicals, Spiritual Earth, Hand-Crafted Leather, and McMahon’s Irish Cottage Gifts. Several vendors will offer activities for our young visitors.

Members of “Many Nations” will teach Native American dancing and demonstrate and sell many of their crafts up by the Land Office.

Inside the Visitor Center, traditional music by Rich & Kathy Small (Saturday) and Bill Schilling & Friends (Sunday) will fill the air while award-winning Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free will perform on the outdoor stage on Saturday afternoon.

Food vendors will offer a selection of treats including Bison Burgers, gourmet popcorn, Elephant Ears, hot dogs, tacos, sno-cones and gelato.

On Saturday evening from 6:30-8:30, the event will move to Fort Steuben Park for a Frontier Dance on the lawn, under the direction of Bob Tomlinson ($5 donation requested).

Ohio Valley Frontier Days will run from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday. General admission is $6, for youth 6-12 it is $3, and for those under 6 it is free. A family rate is also available. For more information, call 740-283-1787.

Fri, 26 May 2017 15:53:17 -0400 news.php?d=93
EXPERIENCING THE PAST news.php?d=92 This is the time of year when Historic Fort Steuben is populated by young people - modern young people - who are skillful with keyboards and cybergames and watch numerous movies, dvds and websites. You might think they wouldn't be interested in the old-fashioned ways of the past as presented at the Fort. But happily, that is not true: they love learning about the tough times their forebears experienced and the unique tools and skills that are not well-known today.

Whether it is feeling the pelts of animals used for trade or smelling the herbs used for insect repellent, they are excited and engaged, asking lots of questions. These happy faces prove that we are doing our job of "Keeping History Alive!" and that the next generation will have the wisdom of the past to guide their future.

Thu, 18 May 2017 15:13:51 -0400 news.php?d=92
SPRING AT THE FORT news.php?d=91 Spring is here! With the mild weather, the Fort will be open sooner than usual. The massive wooden gates will welcome visitors beginning April 17th. Each of the buildings within the picket walls has an extensive exhibit detailing life on the Ohio frontier in the late 1800's. Self-guided tours are available, but to make the experience memorable we recommend you tour with one of our Interpreters who can explain the stories behind the things you will see. Call ahead and we will be sure to have someone available who will make history come alive!

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 14:30:35 -0400 news.php?d=91

Quilts of all colors, patterns and ages will be on display at the annual Spring Quilt Show in the Historic Fort Steuben Visitor Center from April 3 to 14.

The exhibit includes several 60 year old completely hand-sewn quilts to more modern, machine-stitched pieces. “Quilts are an excellent reflection of their times,” noted Judy Bratten, director of Historic Fort Steuben. “Most were created by women using what they had available. But as families became more prosperous, the women purchased fabrics specific to the designs they were incorporating in their quilts. And as technology improved sewing and quilting machines, those tools became popular.”

“Part of our history in the Valley was the preponderance of woolen and textile mills. This history could have been forgotten if not for collectors and museums who appreciate the historic value of quilts and garments made locally,” Bratten added.

As a way of highlighting the importance of the subject, on Saturday, April 8th, Angela Feenerty, president of the Historical Society of Mount Pleasant, will speak on early textile manufacturing in the area and the impact of abolition on textiles. In the early 1800s Mount Pleasant had three times the population it currently has and was a center of commerce. Much of what is now Union Street housed numerous businesses. Mount Pleasant could boast silk, woolen and flax mills along with cabinetmakers, carpenters, dressmakers, milliners, shoemakers, saddlers, blacksmiths, five churches and its own bank. It was well known for its high quality and award winning livestock and silk fabric. Feenerty will have samples of Mount Pleasant silk that was produced at the time. The program will begin at 1:00 pm.

Bratten added that quilting is a theme in literature as well as history. “There are a series of mystery stories where the heroine has to ‘pick up the pieces of her life’ to solve a murder while learning more about herself as well as the art of quilting. Several of those books are on sale during the exhibit.”

The exhibit will be open from 10am to 4pm, Monday-Friday as well as on Saturday, April 8. Admission is free but donations are welcome. The Visitor Center is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville.

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:32:06 -0400 news.php?d=90
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH news.php?d=89 For Women's History Month we are highlighting books in the Museum Shop on that theme. The titles range from the scandalous (Wicked Women of Northeast Ohio) to the courageous (Ohio's Remarkable Women- Daughters, Wives, Sisters and Mothers Who Shaped History). Books on the day to day life of women on the Ohio frontier, women who contributed to the American Revolution, women of the Underground Railroad and women who were captives of Native tribes provide interesting reading and are available in the Museum Shop. Great Speeches by American Women include the words of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams and Eleanor Roosevelt.Stop by, browse and learn a little more about the women who made an impact in our world.

Wed, 01 Mar 2017 14:52:48 -0500 news.php?d=89
IN THE MUSEUM SHOP news.php?d=88 The Museum Shop at Historic Fort Steuben has a fine selection of books for Black History Month (February) and Women's History Month (March). A new addition covers both months: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - the untold story of the black women mathematicians who helped win the space race. The author, an exceptional African-American woman herself, grew up in Hampton, Virginia where she knew many of the women in the book. Not only does the book celebrate the tenacity and talents of these women, it reminds us of the sad legacy of segregation and Jim Crow laws that still affects our country today.

The shop also carries Masterpieces Jigsaw Puzzles, a fun way to spend a cloudy weekend. All our wooden toys are produced by artisans in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Jim Selinger of JPS Woodcraft actually cuts the trees from his own woodlot and transforms them into cars, planes, ping-pong ball weapons, puzzles and games. the Museum Shop is your resource for Fort Steuben and Steubenville souvenirs, post cards, mugs and gift items. All profits go to support the structures and programs at Historic Fort Steuben.

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:09:14 -0500 news.php?d=88
PARDON OUR DUST news.php?d=87 If you stop by the Visitor Center this month you may have to watch your step! Wires and ladders are all over the floor for the new security system (from Tri-State Security) and the upgraded lighting (from TS Electric). In the Museum Shop, new shelving is being installed. And displays in the Exhibit Hall are being rearranged. When weather permits, new fencing will be put in around the Land Office. By the time spring arrives, the Fort and Visitor Center will be ready to welcome guests! No matter what Puxatawney Phil says, spring will be coming!

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 14:20:04 -0500 news.php?d=87
KEEPING HISTORY ALIVE! news.php?d=86 A new year is upon us…and wintry weather as well. The soldiers who inhabited the original Fort Steuben 230 years ago didn’t have it easy. They had to deal with very cold weather, snow, ice, and the need to keep a good supply of firewood. If any of you have had a fireplace, you know how inefficient it is and how smoky and messy it could be. Of course, many of the men were accustomed to harsh or primitive living, but that didn’t make it any easier. I doubt many of us could withstand the conditions and the lack of supplies that they experienced. But it is important to remember what they endured as we enjoy the freedoms and luxuries available to us today.

Historic Fort Steuben was reconstructed to make the past come alive for us moderns, to help us appreciate the blessings we have as well as the lessons we should have learned. Our history is filled with stories of heroes but also of scoundrels, of good deeds as well as horrendous betrayals. As a historic site, our mission is to help visitors put those stories in context and to perhaps see the past with a new perspective, one that would aid in understanding the present and guide in future decisions. Your support is critical for that mission to be successful. Please become a member or renew your membership for 2017 so we can continue “Keeping History Alive!”

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 21:22:04 -0500 news.php?d=86
NUTCRACKER VILLAGE OPENS news.php?d=85 Fort Steuben Park has become transformed into a magical land of elves and nutcrackers as the 2nd Annual Steubenville Nutcracker VillageTM and Advent Market opens. This family-friendly attraction features over 100 uniquely designed life-sized Nutcrackers that represent famous literary, movie and historical characters and mascots arrayed amid holiday lights and music. In addition, on weekends visitors can stroll around a European-style Advent Market with festive chalets where artisans sell foods and crafts and live music is performed. A model railroad train surrounds the 30 foot Christmas tree while hayrides and the Holly Trolley take passengers on tours of the downtown. Inside the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, a Christmas Wonderland awaits with delightful displays evoking memories of Christmases past and making memories for future generations. Children can write letters to Santa while parents can browse in the Museum Gift Shop. On the four Sundays following Thanksgiving, an original musical comedy - "Wooden Heart Follies" - based on the Steubenville Nutcrackers and set to the familiar music of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" will be presented at the Masonic Hall. Most of the activities are free, though donations are welcome. Historic Fort Steuben is proud to partner with Nelson's of Steubenville for this wonderful event. For more information, schedules and tickets see the website, www.steubenvillenutcrackervillage.com.

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 00:13:09 -0500 news.php?d=85
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN BEGUN news.php?d=84 If you appreciate all the efforts we have made to keep history alive and revitalized the downtown, we ask that you join us in this new effort. The Old Fort Steuben Project has begun a campaign to raise $1/day from 150 people. These funds will be earmarked for the maintenance and physical improvements of Historic Fort Steuben – projects that are ongoing yet with ever-increasing costs. We know that you receive numerous requests from truly valuable organizations; please include the Old Fort Steuben Project in your monthly or annual giving, and consider including us in your legacy planning as well. You can download a pledge form HERE or simply send a check to the Old Fort Steuben Project, with Capital Campaign in the memo line. Thank you for your support!

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:57:39 -0400 news.php?d=84
WELCOMING SCHOOL GROUPS news.php?d=83 Schools are opening and teachers are planning activities to supplement their curriculum. Historic Fort Steuben meets Ohio history standards for 4th and 5th grades, but we also adapt our presentations to both younger and older audiences.

When touring the Fort, the students have the opportunity to see, touch, hear and even smell the articles on site - from the animal pelts used for trade, the herbs used for medicine and the woolen uniforms worn by the soldiers so many years ago. A scavenger hunt helps them focus and stories by our Interpreters make the experience come alive.

Teachers receive a packet of information, handouts and activities to help them prepare for the visit and then follow up afterwards. We welcome hundreds of students each year and love to hear them say, "Wow, I didn't know history could be so much fun!"

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:47:13 -0400 news.php?d=83
MILITARY LIFE: THEN & NOW news.php?d=82 Historic Fort Steuben hosted 54 service men and women from Ohio National Guard Transportation Unit who offered a dramatic contrast to the life of the soldiers who served at the original Fort Steuben 230 years ago. First of all, the unit included both men and women but the units at Fort Steuben were all male. They arrived, not on foot or on horseback but in huge military vehicles, over 15 of them. They wore not the blue woolen uniforms of the 1st American Regiment but the khaki camouflage of the modern army. Whereas the 18th century soldiers carried muskets and bayonets at all times, these troops bore no weapons while touring the Fort. The soldiers of early America were poorly equipped, often not having enough shoes. Today’s military are well shod! Historic Fort Steuben is a participant in the Blue Star Museum Program which offers free admission to active duty military and their immediate families to hundreds of museums and historic sites around the country. For more information, go to https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

Fri, 08 Jul 2016 15:33:07 -0400 news.php?d=82
CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY news.php?d=81 Historic Fort Steuben will be closed on Monday, July 4th but here is a little history of how it was celebrated in the 18th century, courtesy of History.com.

In the pre-Revolutionary years, colonists had held annual celebrations of the king’s birthday, which traditionally included the ringing of bells, bonfires, processions and speechmaking. By contrast, during the summer of 1776 some colonists celebrated the birth of independence by holding mock funerals for King George III, as a way of symbolizing the end of the monarchy’s hold on America and the triumph of liberty. Festivities including concerts, bonfires, parades and the firing of cannons and muskets usually accompanied the first public readings of the Declaration of Independence, beginning immediately after its adoption. Philadelphia held the first annual commemoration of independence on July 4, 1777, while Congress was still occupied with the ongoing war. George Washington issued double rations of rum to all his soldiers to mark the anniversary of independence in 1778, and in 1781, several months before the key American victory at Yorktown, Massachusetts became the first state to make July 4th an official state holiday.

After the Revolutionary War, Americans continued to commemorate Independence Day every year, in celebrations that allowed the new nation’s emerging political leaders to address citizens and create a feeling of unity. By the last decade of the 18th century, the two major political parties–Federalists and Democratic-Republicans–that had arisen began holding separate Independence Day celebrations in many large cities.

We have come a long way since those early years of the republic but we continue to celebrate the freedoms our forebears fought and defended.

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 17:04:39 -0400 news.php?d=81
CONTINENTAL DOLLARS news.php?d=80 By the spring of 1775, after a number of confrontations with British rule, colonial leaders led their forces in battle against the crown. But the American revolutionaries encountered a significant problem as they were about to declare independence: they lacked the funds necessary to wage a prolonged war.

On June 22, 1775, the colonial confederation government issued two million dollars in bills of credit. The new currency, called “Continentals,” was backed by nothing but a promise of future tax revenues. As a result, the paper money was considered worthless and of no value for trade or payment of debts. As George Washington noted at the time, “A wagonload of currency will hardly purchase a wagonload of provisions.” Instead, merchants, soldiers, and even the government itself used British or Spanish coins or gold.

Due to the failure of the new currency, after the war the new nation was deep in debt which triggered a serious recession. It was to help relieve that financial burden that the survey and sale of lands in the Northwest Territory was begun – and the reason for the construction of the original fort.

In 2001, archaeologists here at the reconstructed Historic Fort Steuben uncovered a British coin that was undoubtedly left behind when the 1st American Regiment moved on from the fort in the spring of 1787. The coin, a 1771 British half-penny is evidence that even the American soldiers used British money rather than the Continental Dollar.

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:22:37 -0400 news.php?d=80
FORT HOSTS HOMETOWN CELEBRATION news.php?d=79 Historic Fort Steuben invites visitors to recapture the 50’s at the 2016 Steubenville Hometown Celebration on Saturday, June 18.

The annual event has the theme “Fifties Flashback” and will feature music and memories of the period as well as old-fashioned fun. In addition to the Dean Martin Festival at The Spot bar, the Hometown Celebration includes trolley tours of the historic downtown, over 25 vendor booths, live music, games, and festival foods.

The day will open with a Dino Dash/Martin Meander 5K (registration begins 7am, race starts at 9am) with proceeds going to the Christmas Tree Light Fund. Activities in Fort Steuben Park include Mini-Train rides, balloon fun with Amazing Nick, Kurt James Fun’n’Games, the KidZone, and food vendors. On S. 3rd Street there will be a Dean Martin Car Cruise-In, informational booths, retail vendors and an Art Show by members of the Steubenville Art Association.

A variety of local talent will be performing at the Berkman Amphitheater throughout the day culminating in a lively fifties concert by the Déjà Vu Band at 6:30 pm and then a 50’s Flashback Street Dance at 8:00 pm. Most of the activities are free thanks to the generosity of sponsors.

"This event spotlights the downtown area, the streets that Dean Martin walked and our historic architecture,” Director Judy Bratten noted. “We have to thank our major donors, Tri-State Financial Services, WTOV9, Best Western Plus/University Inn, and Steubenville Kiwanis Club along with AEP Cardinal Plant, Anthony Mining, Diocese of Steubenville, Jefferson County Chamber Ambassadors, Mosti Funeral Home, Upper Ohio Valley Building & Trades and over a dozen more partners. Once again Franciscan University will be contributing $500 to each of the two city high schools for their performing arts program as part of the Celebration.”

For more information go to www.visitsteubenville.com, the Facebook page Steubenville Hometown Celebration or call 740-283-1787.

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 16:25:35 -0400 news.php?d=79
OHIO VALLEY FRONTIER DAYS news.php?d=78 From the sound of the blacksmith’s hammer to the aroma of fresh fried Oreos to the furry display from Beavercreek Wildlife Center to the sight of colorful native dances, Ohio Valley Frontier Days is an experience for all the senses. On June 4-5, the gates of Historic Fort Steuben open wide to welcome soldier, settler, surveyor and Native American reenactors who recreate early American life on the Ohio Frontier.

Opening ceremonies for the annual festival will begin at 10am on Saturday. Throughout the weekend there will be presentations on the tragedy of Chief Logan, Native American traditions, 18th century military drill, and various crafts including rope making, bucket making, woodcarving and candle making.

Capt. Thomas Hutchins, Geographer of the United States, will operate the Northwest Territory School of Surveying. Baron Friedrich von Steuben will teach the use of the musket, Frontier Dan will supervise the Tomahawk Toss, and Thundering Hooves 4H will again offer pony rides to city slickers and country bumpkins alike.

Each of the Fort’s eight fully furnished buildings, the archaeology dig and the First Federal Land Office will have guides stationed to tell the stories of the people and things that occurred there. The blacksmith, flintknapper, spoon maker, spinner and quilter demonstrate their skills while vendors sell their unique hand-crafted products.

Inside the Visitor Center, traditional music by Rich & Kathy Small (Saturday) and Bill Schilling & Friends (Sunday) will fill the air while award-winning Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free will perform on the outdoor stage on Saturday afternoon.

Food vendors will offer a selection of treats including Bison Burgers, gourmet popcorn, Elephant Ears, hot dogs and ice cream.

On Saturday evening from 6:30-8:30, the event will move to Fort Steuben Park for a Frontier Dance on the lawn, under the direction of Bob Tomlinson ($5 donation requested).

Ohio Valley Frontier Days will run from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday. General admission is $6, for youth 6-12 it is $3, and for those under 6 it is free. A family rate is also available. For more information, call 740-283-1787.

Fri, 27 May 2016 12:51:22 -0400 news.php?d=78
TEN YEARS OF MUSIC news.php?d=77 This year we celebrate our tenth anniversary with a lineup of many popular, familiar groups as well as some not so familiar ones. We are grateful to the many sponsors who make these free concerts possible and encourage our audience to patronize the businesses and thank the organizations listed in the program. The first concert of the 2016 season will be at 6:30pm on May 26th. The talented local performers of Three's Company will open for the classic oldies of the world famous Vogues!

The concerts are just one indication that Historic Fort Steuben has become an important contributor to the quality of life in Steubenville and the upper Ohio Valley. Please consider becoming a member and helping us to continue offering music, history and educational programming for the next ten years!

Tue, 17 May 2016 22:02:23 -0400 news.php?d=77
30 YEARS KEEPING HISTORY ALIVE...AND MORE! news.php?d=76 What are the qualities that guarantee success in any endeavor? I call them the Four P’s: Patience, Persistence, Perseverance and Planning. Over the course of history there have been dreamers and visionaries, but without the Four P’s, the dreams could never take substantial form and the visions would never come to fruition. As we commemorate 30 years since the establishment of the Old Fort Steuben Project as a private non-profit, I see that those Four P’s were essential qualities of our founders.

Who would have ever believed in 1986 that an eighteenth century frontier fort would be constructed on its original site overlooking the Ohio River in downtown Steubenville? But several people did. Not only did they believe it, but they worked diligently, patiently and persistently to inspire others; they persevered in planning and fundraising; they never listened to the negatives but focused on the positives. They raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. They took up shovels and drove fork lifts and laid concrete blocks. They drew upon contacts in both the public and private sectors – from the Army Corps of Engineers to the local labor unions to civic organizations. They wrote articles to the newspapers and letters to foreign ambassadors. They applied for grants, buttonholed friends, twisted arms, called in debts, sold everything but their souls for the sake of their dream.

The vision was formed in 1986 but it took three years before any physical evidence could be seen – a cleared area off of Adams Street and the construction of the first blockhouse. There were scoffers, but the “committee” (as they called themselves) persevered and one building after another went up. Then the picket walls. Visitors came to tour the fledgling project: school children, history buffs, curiosity seekers. The archaeology dig brought in college students and historians. A festival drew families.

And then the vision expanded to something more than the reconstructed fort: a splendid park with a Visitor Center, a sparkling fountain, and an amphitheater for family friendly entertainment. In short, a treasure for the community and a destination for travelers. Much to everyone’s surprise and delight, they did it! At this point I would have to add one more P that was essential to the success of this project, Providence: having the right people and the right resources and the right contacts at the right time. I know that Mrs. Elizabeth King – founder and long-time president of the organization – would say that the good Lord was watching over them and it certainly seemed to be so.

Now when drivers pass the site on South Third Street they are struck by the beautiful grounds, buildings and landscaping and have no idea what went into their development. And that is as it should be. All the men and women who worked to fulfill that vision had no interest in self-glorification. Their desire was to recreate the fort, to encourage the study and appreciation of history, and to give back to their home town. However, we will honor them and all those who follow in their rather large footsteps at our annual dinner on May 4th at Froehlich’s Classic Corner Restaurant. We invite all who have been touched by the programs and events sponsored by Historic Fort Steuben to share this occasion with us by sending a recollection or a memorable encounter or joining us for the evening. The dinner is one of the organization’s important fundraisers and the $40 ticket includes a cash bar, Silent Auction and many memories. RSVP’s can be made by phoning 740-283-1787.

I cannot close this without naming those members of the original “committee” (many of whom have gone on to their reward), men and women of vision who exemplified the Four P’s and brought the dream into reality:

Elizabeth King, Richard King, Jack Boyde, Geraldine Cohen, Charles Govey, Douglas Naylor, Otto Jack, David Hindman, Barbara Topp, Betty Applegate.

A lot can be done in just 30 years when you have visionaries and the Five P’s!

Wed, 20 Apr 2016 15:52:40 -0400 news.php?d=76
THE FABRIC OF HISTORY news.php?d=75 What can be found in your mother’s attic or on the walls of the Smithsonian? What can be made of velvet and silk or muslin and yarn. What can be used for warmth or for décor. What can tell a story or keep a secret. What can be either old or new, classic or modern, patterned or abstract, stitched or tacked? The answer to this riddle is easy - it is the common quilt.

Actually, it is an inaccurate word to describe the variety of bedcovers we refer to as “quilts.” The term “quilt” comes from the Latin “culcita” meaning a stuffed sack. Used as a noun, the word means a three-layer stitched article. Used as a verb, it means the act of stitching three layers together. So a knitted afghan or a crocheted blanket cannot be called a quilt. However there are many different styles and types of padded fabric creations and over the centuries and around the world they have been used for all kinds of purposes - from clothing to armor.

In our country, the quilt originated as a necessity, a way to use what was available to make bed covers for warmth or door hangings to keep out the cold. Early American women needed to be resourceful. They had to spin and weave or else spend their precious money to buy imported fabric to sew the clothes for the family. Nothing went to waste so when a shirt became too worn to mend it would be cut up for the scrap bag. When enough pieces filled the bag, they could be sewn together to make a sheet. As an old purchased blanket became worn it was used for filler between two such sheets. The layers were then stitched through to ensure they would not come apart. These hand made quilts were a strictly practical means to keep warm, not deliberately planned heirlooms. It wasn’t until fabric was manufactured in America and became more affordable that artistic quilting developed.

By the 1800’s, thousands of pieced quilts were being made by hand - from simple patches sewn together to more complex and uniquely designed creations. Some were fashioned of whole cloth sheets - often called counterpanes - which were sewn together with elaborate patterns of stitches. Patchwork quilts were made of fabric pieces cut into specific shapes, sewn together to make eye pleasing designs and then layered and quilted. There were also “tufted” quilts where the layers were simply tied through in various places to keep the filling from shifting or bunching. Appliqué quilts - also called “laid on quilts” - had the design pieces sewn on to the top or cover of the quilt; embroidered quilts had the design sewn on in colorful threads and stitches. Quilting “bees” or gatherings where women worked together to quilt became popular social events in rural areas where several quilts could be completed in a single day.

By the 1900’s, quilting became more of an art than a necessity. With the invention of the sewing machine, women were able to sew together their pieces more quickly allowing more time for intricate hand quilting.

Now, in the 21st century, machine quilting has developed into a new art form. Using computers and modern sewing machines, quilters are able to create elaborate designs that stitch together fabrics in a matter of hours rather than weeks. An entire industry is dedicated to producing fabric patterns, colors and design templates that allow women and men (yes, men like to quilt, too) to create unique quilts that can serve as beautiful bed coverings, colorful wall hangings or fashion accessories.

Stop by Historic Fort Steuben between April 4 and April 16 to see a variety of these delightful creations at our annual Spring Quilt Show.

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 15:58:43 -0400 news.php?d=75
HISTORY OPPORTUNITIES news.php?d=74 Steubenville and Jefferson County are filled with history! You can explore and learn so much about what the past was like at Historic Fort Steuben and the First Federal Land Office but there are so many more sites as well. Union Cemetery on Sunset Boulevard in Steubenville is on the National Register of Historic Places; not only does it contain beautiful monuments to famous families but it is also a delightful arboretum with massive trees lending to peaceful strolls. The Jefferson County Historical Association Mansion Museum on Franklin Avenue in Steubenville is packed with the rare and the ordinary. Support their efforts of preserving the past by becoming a member. Enjoy visiting their website: www.jeffersoncountyhistorical.org. If you are in Steubenville on Saturdays, stop by The Grand Theater on S. 4th Street and watch as volunteers are restoring the original Wurlitzer Theater organ. Membership in the Grand Theater Restoration is a way to assist their efforts to bring back a Steubenville icon: www.historicsteubenville.org. Another resource that has preserved an important part of our history is the Historical Society of Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant was a Quaker settlement, home to crucial activists in the 19th century abolitionist movement and central to the Underground Railroad. The entire village is part of the Ohio History Connection. Learn more and become a member of Friends of the Historical Society of Mount Pleasant by going to their Facebook page.

Thu, 03 Mar 2016 00:03:57 -0500 news.php?d=74

Viewers of the popular British series Downton Abbey may recall the initial episode that set in motion all the frantic efforts to keep the estate in the family and have a suitable marriage for the aloof but beautiful Mary Crawley.

The lovely Mary was pledged to marry her cousin Patrick but all the plans for this arranged nuptial were drowned along with the Titanic upon which Patrick had been aboard. Not only were Mary’s marital hopes dashed, but the future of Downton Abbey suddenly became uncertain since the Laws of Primogeniture and Entail complicated inheritance details of property owning families that had no sons.

Here’s a quick review of these laws: Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture. When there was no son to inherit the property, it was to go to the closest male relative. These laws existed in Europe for many years and was a sure recruitment tool for the church and the military as a place for those younger sons.

Since Lord Grantham was blessed with three daughters and no male heirs, the title and the property would no longer remain in the hands of the immediate family. Conveniently for the plot, the distant cousin, handsome Matthew Crawley, was brought in and, after the usual ups and downs of soap operas, fell in love and married Mary. Now the inheritance would flow through HIS line, guaranteeing that the estate would go to their son, George. After Matthew’s death, it is understood that no matter if Mary should wed again, George would become the next Lord Grantham and the owner of Downton Abbey.

So what has that to do with the settlement of the America and the Northwest Ordinance? Think about the early colonists who came to the new country across the ocean. Many were the younger sons of British gentry who could take their monetary inheritances and build up their own estates in the new lands. Benjamin Franklin, for example, said in his autobiography that he was the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations back! The colonies had acres and acres of land…while most land in Europe was entailed.

The colonies remained under British Law until the Declaration of Independence when the individual states began to write their own Constitutions and laws. Virginia abolished entail in 1776, but permitted primogeniture to persist until 1785. In 1777, Georgia formally adopted a new state constitution and became the first state to abolish the inheritance practices of primogeniture and entail.

Move ahead to 1787. The Revolutionary War had ended and all the land that was west of the Ohio River and had been claimed by the British, the French and various states was now federal land, the Northwest Territory. The national government at the time was operating under the Confederation Congress and needed a rule of law for the new territory. There had been several attempts to regulate the borders, settlement, financial obligations and legal status of the area, but finally on July 13, the Congress of the Confederation of the United States passed the definitive Ordinance of 1787, probably one of the most influential and important documents in American history.

Among the notable features of the Northwest Ordinance was the abolition of the traditional laws of primogeniture and entail, guaranteeing inheritance to both widows and offspring. Section 2 of the Ordinance reads:

Be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the estates, both of resident and nonresident proprietors in the said territory, dying intestate, shall descent to, and be distributed among their children, and the descendants of a deceased child, in equal parts; the descendants of a deceased child or grandchild to take the share of their deceased parent in equal parts among them: And where there shall be no children or descendants, then in equal parts to the next of kin in equal degree; and among collaterals, the children of a deceased brother or sister of the intestate shall have, in equal parts among them, their deceased parents' share; and there shall in no case be a distinction between kindred of the whole and half blood; saving, in all cases, to the widow of the intestate her third part of the real estate for life, and one third part of the personal estate; and this law relative to descents and dower, shall remain in full force until altered by the legislature of the district.

And so, dear reader, if Downton Abbey had been set in Ohio in 1912, there would have been no drama other than sadness at the loss of Patrick on the Titanic. Mary, Edith and Sybil probably would have had rousing, vicious, biting and hair-pulling arguments about who would get what part of the estate…but that would have to be another PBS series.

Until then, you can learn more about the other important details of the Northwest Ordinance, including the restrictions on slavery, during a tour of Historic Fort Steuben.

Link to Printable Version

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 12:48:22 -0500 news.php?d=73