Frontier Days will open in Steubenville

STEUBENVILLE – The city’s new Hometown Celebration will kick off Saturday with Ohio Valley Frontier Days at the Historic Fort Steuben.

“This will be an exciting month for the city and all of our visitors. This will be a great opportunity for Steubenville to show off its history and offer entertainment and cultural diversity,” said Judy Bratten, executive director of the Historic Fort Steuben.

“Our Hometown Celebration will start at the fort from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday. There will be soldiers, surveyors, settlers and Native Americans during the two days. We will offer music, crafts, history, food games and more during the Frontier Days,” Bratten said.

She also encouraged visitors to stop at the First Federal Land Office located next to Historic Fort Steuben.

“The land office is a replica of a colonial-era home and will display local historical artifacts as well as a 2-and-one-half-ton bell from the Jefferson County Courthouse. We stage our events together and provide a variety of activities,” Bratten said.

“Our opening ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday and will include Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci, Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham, the Fort Steuben Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Tri-State Young Marines Color Guard,” explained Historic Fort Steuben Board of Trustees President Jerry Barilla.

Bratten said a number of activities, including additional American Indians and displays, have been added to this year’s two-day event.

“The Thundering Hooves 4-H Club of Clinton, Pa., will be offering pony rides. This is not your typical pony ride in a circle. There will be 4-H guides and adults leading the ponies and riders through the Historic Fort Steuben Park,” said Bratten.

“At 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday Chief Logan will present ‘Logan’s Lament’ which is the story of the massacre of his family. At noon on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday Raymond Schoonmaker of Toronto will demonstrate the art of making a powder horn,” Bratten continued.

“We will unveil the survey stone marker that was discovered on the hillside above Brush Run last year by Ohio Department of Transportation surveyors at 1 p.m. Saturday,” said Bratten.

“I have never seen a marker with so much detail work carved into the stone. On one side of the flat sandstone is the date 1830. On the front of the stone is carved Range 2, Township 5 and Section 8. Those letters and numbers refer to the Seven Ranges of Ohio, which includes Jefferson County. This is truly an historical discovery and I am glad we were able to save the marker and bring it to the fort where a surveyor’s museum is set to open later this year,” according to ODOT Project Manager Adam Lytton.

The Seven Ranges of Ohio included what would become Monroe, Harrison, Belmont and Jefferson counties, and portions of Carroll, Columbiana, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, Noble and Washington counties.

“At 2 p.m. Saturday we will have a performance by Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free. We will also have authentic early American music performed by Rich and Kathy Small of Minerva Saturday afternoon in the Visitors Center. On Sunday we will have open mike at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. for anyone wanting to sing and play traditional music in the fort,” Bratten said.

“The 8th Pennsylvania Regiment will be at the fort Saturday and Sunday. And we will have flintnappers, tomahawk throwing, cornhole tosses, a bucket maker demonstration, candlemaker and woodworking by Andy Celestin, as well as John Boleigh doing blacksmith work. Pam Keener will be doing her seven-minute portraits, and Kim Hohlmayer will be showing how to make handmade pottery,” said Bratten.

“There will be a number of vendors including Mark Nelson and his family who will be selling handmade wooden toys and animal pelts. We will also have vendors selling herbal remedies, soy candles, handcrafted leather, glass fused pendants, painted glassware, chain saw carved wooden items and recycled denim,” she added.

“We will have something for everyone of all ages. This is a great way to spend a day learning about American history as well as local history. In the fort parking lot area there will be a ham radio tent where visitors to the Ohio Valley Frontier Days can speak to someone across the globe or buy some homemade ice cream, funnel cakes or elephant ears and roasted nuts with different flavorings,” said Bratten.

“Where else can you go with a family of six and spend less than $10. This is a great family event,” stated Bratten.

Adult tickets are $3, while those ages 6-12 are $1 each, and children under age 6 are admitted free.

“We are so thrilled to be part of this community event. It is extremely rewarding to be working with other organizations, businesses and citizens of our community to show off our city and its many attractions,” stated Bratten.

“The Ohio Valley Frontier Days really shows what’s good about Steubenville. It is a smaller festival that is very family friendly and more hands-on. It is a positive event about our community and visitors get a real appreciation for our local history. The Ohio Valley Frontier Days is also a time for people to come together, have a good experience and to socialize. It is also an opportunity to support and preserve our local history. We are here to keep history alive and the festival is a key part of that campaign,” explained Barilla.

Local History Day is set from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Historic Fort Steuben on June 15.

(Gossett can be contacted at