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Area residents can step back in time

June 22, 2012
The Herald-Star

This weekend visitors to Historic Fort Steuben can travel back in time 200 years during the Ohio Valley Frontier Days.

On Saturday and Sunday, American Indians, soldiers, surveyors and settlers will come alive through the work of re-enactors, who give a glimpse of what life was like when Steubenville consisted of a wooden fort.

Visitors will have the opportunity to better understand the 1st American Regiment, the soldiers who trained under Baron von Steuben, the Prussian military leader who helped form the ragtag American army into a fighting force capable of winning a revolution against the British.

Life on the frontier will be on display in the re-enactments in the fort, depicting the settlers and the American Indians who inhabited the region.

The hardships faced by the surveyors who mapped out the Northwest Territory, which formed all or parts of much of the Great Lakes states, including Ohio, are detailed in exhibits.

Frontier skills and games and everything from tomahawk tossing to cornhole will be available to visitors. Also, the fort museum exhibit hall will feature quilters and a chair caner, and traditional folk tunes, as well as the music of Grammy nominee Steve Free, whose music embodies the folk spirit of the nation.

The completed historic fort, along with the beautiful park and amphitheater complex that surround it, have lasted longer than the original fort itself, which apparently was only in service for a matter of months and, historians say, was taken apart for the wood for use by settlers in the late 1780s.

Today's Fort Steuben is a tribute to the vision of hard-working community members beginning in the 1980s and continuing to today. The original fort group saw the fort as a tourist attraction, history lesson and keystone to a potential rebirth for the community, a point of pride and a symbol. Today's fort committee continues that hard work, making sure the fort remains a functional museum, an event center and a vital history lesson.

A chance to learn, to be entertained and to take home a bit of the frontier is being offered from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Connecting with the past helps us, as a society and a community, recognize and appreciate where we are today.

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