Reflect on history

Bringing together re-enactors, crafters, musicians and history lovers for an experience of life more than 200 years ago in frontier Ohio is what the Ohio Valley Frontier Days at Historic Fort Steuben is all about.

Tri-State Area visitors to downtown Steubenville on Saturday and Sunday can experience early American life. The history of the surveying and settlement of the Northwest Territory, made possible in part because of the protection offered by the soldiers at Fort Steuben, will be detailed.

That look at our region’s history will include a chance to learn from American Indians about the lore and games of the woodland tribes. Guides will be stationed at each of the fort’s eight fully furnished buildings, the ongoing archaeology dig and the First Federal Land Office in the Northwest Territory. They will get a glimpse at what it was like during that period.

Once again the Northwest Territory School of Surveying will be open to students and visitors. Baron Friedrich von Steuben will teach the use of the musket, Frontier Dan will supervise the tomahawk toss, and the Neighborhood Saddle Club will offer pony rides with photo opportunities, according to Judy Bratten, Fort Steuben executive director.

And in the Visitors Center, members of the Ohio Valley Sons of the American Revolution will give information on researching genealogy.

Throughout the weekend there will be presentations on the tragedy of Chief Logan, American Indian traditions, 18th century military drills and various crafts, including blacksmithing, woodcarving, frontier cooking and candle making. And members of the “Many Nations” group will teach American Indian dancing and demonstrate and sell many of their crafts by the Land Office.

Hungry visitors will find fare such as bison burgers, gourmet popcorn, fish and chips, elephant ears, hot dogs and gelato to snack on.

The Visitors Center also will come alive with traditional music, including performances by Rich and Kathy Small on Saturday and Bill Schilling and Friends on Sunday. And award-winning Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free will perform on the outdoor stage Saturday afternoon. There’s even a frontier dance from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the front lawn of the fort, with a $5 donation requested.

Ohio Valley Frontier Days runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $6 for those 13 and older and $3 for youth between the ages of 6 and 12. There is no admission charge for those younger than 6, and a family rate is available, organizers explained.

We hope area residents will attend 27th-annual Ohio Valley Frontier Days. The annual event offers a chance to visit Historic Fort Steuben, one of the region’s top tourist attractions, and to learn about our history.

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