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Why History?

As Historic Fort Steuben embarks on another season of welcoming guests to the reconstructed fort, we are eager to share the nuggets of history that we have discovered over the years. Our staff and volunteers have gathered information from research of primary documents as well as from experts who have visited or contacted us. With the fantastic increase in digitization of letters, books, and articles, we are able to develop a broader understanding of the period and the lives of the men who made Fort Steuben their base of operations in 1786-87.


From our founding in 1986 up to today, making the past accessible and relevant to modern minds has been our mission. As with all history organizations, we help preserve and tell the stories of the past; but we have the advantage of a physical, life-size model of the past to use in telling those stories. Each of the buildings in Fort Steuben is filled with artifacts, replicas, charts, maps, and information that present an opportunity to experience – not just read or think about – life on the Ohio frontier.


Some may ask, “Why bother?”


Our answer to that is: history is important.

· History helps individuals and groups discover their place in time through stories of their families, communities, and nation. These stories of struggles and success shape people’s personal values that guide them through life.

· History teaches the importance of critical thinking, developing historical context, and understanding how to interpret and communicate complex ideas.

· History is the foundation of vibrant and thriving communities that find their identity and build upon their past for a better future.

· History encourages and develops engaged citizens who can better understand the problems of the day and work together to envision solutions.


Organizations that preserve and promote history are an economic asset to the community. As such, they depend on the support of the community to continue operations. We are grateful to all our members and supporters who have allowed us again in 2022 to fulfill our mission of “Keeping History Alive!” And we invite you to come visit, learn a little more about the past, and consider becoming a member.

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