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!
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!”
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.