The Veterans' Memorial Fountain in Fort Steuben Park is a refreshing green space in the downtown. For the winter holiday season, the splashing fountain is replaced by a bright tree of Christmas lights.
The Veterans' Memorial Fountain in Fort Steuben Park is a landmark in the downtown. It is surrounded by Memorial Bricks that commemorate events and people in the area. The Fountain is often used as a backdrop for graduation, prom and birthday photos and has been the scene of several weddings. In December and January, the sparkling waters are replaced by sparkling lights that adorn a Christmas tree. Christmas caroling and other events take place here as well.
The First Federal Land Office in the Northwest Territory was established in 1800 and originally located near the current site. The logs in this building are from the original structure.
David Hoge was the Registrar and served in that capacity in the Land Office for 40 years. The log building was a 19th century home/office. Hoge and his family lived in the structure and it now has the furnishings typical of an early American home in the developing community of Steubenville. Deeds and land grants were registered and issued here as part of the westward expansion of the United States. Among the artifacts within the Land Office are cookware and tools that might have been used at the time. A fifteen-stripe/fifteen-star flag is also on display.
Historic Fort Steuben's Scenic Byway Visitor Center welcomes visitors from near and far. The award-winning building is a resource for travelers and houses the Museum Shop and the Exhibition Hall.
The Visitor Center - open all year except holidays - is a resource for information on local attractions and events, directions for travelers, tourism maps and brochures and sights along the Ohio River Scenic Byway. The Museum Shop offers books, historic maps and charts, old fashioned toys and games as well as postcards and souvenirs. The Exhibition Hall hosts various displays and programs through the year. Mementos of Steubenville's native son, Dean Martin and information on the larger-than-life Steubenville Murals can be obtained in the Visitor Center as well.
The Berkman Amphitheater is the site for the annual Fort Steuben Summer Concert Series which draws hundreds of people to the downtown on Thursday evenings.
The 30'x40' Berkman Amphitheater was constructed by a generous gift from the late Louis Berkman, long-time Steubenville businessman and philanthropist. The Berkman Amphitheater is available for non-profit events and programs associated with the promotion of the civic, cultural, and educational needs of the community. The Amphitheater will seat approximately 300 people on the benches overlooking the Ohio River and at least 500 more on the grassy knolls. For information on renting the Amphitheater or a listing of scheduled events, call 740-283-1787.
The Historian Hall was originally one of the buildings for the Officers at Fort Steuben. Now it houses many displays, artifacts and tools that are part of the archaelology dig sponsored by the Franciscan University
The archaeology dig under the supervision of Franciscan University of Steubenville was the impetus for reconstructing the Fort. Begun in 1976 by the late Professor Jack Boyde, the dig provides students with field experience as well as historical information. The display case in the Exhibit Hall shows some of the artifacts that have been uncovered at the site. Some of the articles that were found include pottery pieces from Early American settlements (around 800AD), a British coin from the period of the Fort and glassware and dishes from the 19th and 20th centuries.
There were twelve officers that we know by name assigned to Fort Steuben and they had more spacious barracks than the Enlisted Men's Quarters.
The oblong barracks buildings were partitioned in thirds.The central door opened into the middle third, which was a parlor, the only portion an enlisted man was ever likely to see (if that). The left-hand third was a large bedroom.The right-hand third was subdivided into a smaller bedroom and a kitchen.Each bedroom had a window facing the inside compound of the fort—the parade ground. Captain Hamtramck had the only private bedroom on the compound. An enlisted man was assigned to do kitchen duty. There were four captains, four lieutenants, three ensigns and one surgeon who shared living quarters in the two buildings.
The Quartermaster was the officer assigned to keeping all non-perishable items not in use. The building was called the Store for that is where all the items were kept.
The man in charge when Fort Steuben opened was Lieutenant William Peters, a young officer from New York.Since his commission is dated June 27, 1786, the surveying project must have been his first military assignment after the war. Though new supplies would be arriving in early February with Paymaster Beatty, the uniform supplies were down to: one hat, two coats, two vests, six breeches, six shirts, a pair of gloves, and twelve pair of stockings. Armaments in store were almost as sparse. Peters recorded a total of four muskets, four bayonets, three gun boxes, four bayonet bolts, four bayonet scabbards, one gun worm, and 1,665
The blacksmith - or artificer as he was called - was often a contracted civilian who was responsible for the ironwork and general repairs at the Fort.
The artificer's shop was recessed within the wall of the Fort and contained his personal tools and equipment, including a forge, anvil and blacksmithing supplies. He slept in his shop and had to keep a watchful eye to ensure that there was no threat of fire. On display at the fort are many woodworking tools as well including the schnitzelbanc, or cutting bench.
The Commissary was the officer charged with ordering and distributing food supplies for the troops. The building was called the Commissary's Store.
The Commissary's Store distributed food to the men who prepared it themselves in their quarters. Obtaining food for the army out on the Ohio frontier was a challenge. The usual supplies included salted or dried beef, corn meal or flour, salt, coffee or cocoa. At one time the Commissary had run out of food. Since ammunition was limited to defense of the fort and the surveyors, the men had to rely on the hunting skills of a local frontiersman/scout, Andrew van Swearingen. Captain Hamtramck wrote that if hadn't been for the deer that the hunter had brought in, the men would have had to go hungry.
It is uncertain if there was a hospital at the original fort, but there certainly was a small infirmary where 18th century medicinal care was offered.
Dr. John Elliott was the doctor assigned to Captain Hamtramck's unit. He gave each of the captains a list of medicines and how to use them when out in the woods. He probably had his own surgical instruments such as those on display in the hospital here: the saws and tourniquet, the trocar and cautery. Dr. Elliott listed 41 medications and their uses to be on hand. Most anesthesia on the frontier consisted of rum or whiskey, but Dr. Elliott did have two powerful opiates for serious injuries: tintura thebaica (a form of laudanum) and gummi opii (opium gum), poppy resin that was almost pure opium.
In this blockhouse is a depiction of the camp that the soldiers and surveyors would have set up while out measuring the Seven Ranges.
The frontiersman or scout was hired by the officers to help the soldiers and surveyors in the wilderness and to inform them of the movement of the Native American tribes in the area. He often knew the language and ways of the tribes and could communicate with them when necessary. The frontiersman was self-sufficient, able to bring in game for food and then tanning the skins for pelts to trade. On display are many ingenious tools and devices that were used to make life in the wilderness more sustainable.
The Enlisted Men's Quarters were in the lower level of the four blockhouses. The upper level was used solely for defense, if necessary, and was accessed by a ladder up through a trap door.
Twenty-eight enlisted men shared each blockhouse, fourteen on one side and fourteen on the other. Two men used the upper bunk and two others used the lower bunk. Each man was provided a uniform and equipment including a canteen, haversack, tin eating utensils, a cartridge box or powder horn and a flintlock muzzleloader with bayonet. They did not have a change of clothes; in fact at one point there were only 33 pairs of shoes for the men to share. The men slept, washed, laundered and mended their clothes, cooked and rested in the blockhouse. For recreation they could play cards, dice or checkers.
The Guard House overlooking the Ohio River must have provided a spectacular view as well as a site for defense.
The Guard House atop the "sally port" was the tallest structure in the Fort. The sally port was so called because its design permitted quick exit by a large number of troops or artillery in case of a siege. A quick rush of troops - called a "sortie" or "sally" - from the port could destroy an offensive position quickly after which the port could be quickly sealed. The lower portion of one pier was used for storage by the troops; the other was a secure location, known as a "black hole," used to confine prisoners.