2023 Annual Spring Quilt Show at the Fort

“Trip Around the World,” “Starburst,” “Irish Chain,” and “Sweet Liberty” are just a few of the themes on display at the Annual Spring Quilt Show at the Visitor Center at Historic Fort Steuben that will run from April 10 to 22nd.

“Over thirty quilters from Ohio and West Virginia have submitted their creations for the exhibit,” explained Judy Bratten, Director of Historic Fort Steuben. “We are always amazed at the variety of the designs and the creativity of their makers.

“You can say that history is captured in these quilts. Over the centuries people have used what was available to make coverings or artistic expressions. In ancient Japan, heavily quilted fabric was used as armor. During the Great Depression, quilts – as well as dresses and shirts – were made from feed sacks. In modern times, fabrics were developed specifically for quilters with patterns and designs, colors and textures that could be adapted to favorite themes.”

There will be 46 quilts in this year’s show reflecting a variety of techniques as well as designs. Some are hand quilted and pieced while others are machine worked. Both men and women are participating in the show reminding visitors that quilting is a skill not limited to sex or age.

“Some people think of quilting as a hobby for grandmas when actually it is an art that is available to anyone,” Bratten noted. “In the past, quilting often was a group project since the quilting frame is large and needs lots of space. It also served as an opportunity for socializing, sharing local news and gossip. Church women would create quilts to send off with missionaries to other countries. That still is happening, but with modern technology and the wide availability of supplies individuals can make quilts at their leisure at home.”

Visitors can vote for their favorite quilt at $1/vote. They can also purchase a $5 raffle ticket for a beautiful quilt made by local artist Karen Nicholson; the raffle will run until June 4th.

The exhibit will be open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm and is free to the public. Historic Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville, Ohio. For more information call 740.283.1787.

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Steubenville Art Association Presents “Celebrate Steubenville Today”

Original works of art by over 20 artists from the tri-state area depicting landscapes, architecture, and familiar sights in Steubenville will be on display at the Historic Fort Steuben Visitor Center from March 4 through March 25.

The exhibit, “Celebrate Steubenville Today”, will present unique perspectives in various media of places throughout the city. The pieces will be judged and awarded prizes, and many will be available to purchase.

Entrants include established artists, newcomers, and high schoolers who will be eligible to win prizes in a high school division.

The exhibit is free and open from Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4, Sunday from 11 to 4.

The opening and awards reception will be held March 4 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Franciscan University Accounting Students to Assist Local Residents with Taxes

Students continue 35-year tradition of offering local residents free taxpayer assistance.

Participating in the Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), accounting students from Franciscan University of Steubenville will offer tax preparation and e-filing assistance free of charge to Ohio Valley residents.

From Tuesday, February 14, 2023, to Saturday, April 15, 2023, students will be available five days per week at the Fort Steuben Mall near center court in the main entrance corridor (former location of Claire’s Boutique). All participating students have completed an individual income tax course and have passed a series of IRS training courses and exams. Free federal and state tax preparation is available to taxpayers with less than $60,000 of total income.

The hours of operation are Mondays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays from Noon to 6:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Assistance will be unavailable between March 11-19 and April 6-9.

Franciscan University students can prepare form 1040; Schedules 1, 2, and 3; Schedules A, B, and D, as well as forms for calculating child and childcare credits, education credits, and earned-income credits. In addition, students can prepare Ohio tax returns for full-year residents. Taxpayers who purchased health insurance through an exchange and received federal subsidies reported on form 1095-A are not eligible for assistance at the site, nor are taxpayers who receive a 1099-MISC or 1099-NEC. Local tax return preparation is not available.

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With the beginning of 2023, we are looking forward to another year filled with fun and interesting events around Steubenville and Jefferson County.

Many annual and much-loved events will be returning, such as, Toronto’s Campbell-Dickinson 5K and St. Baldwick’s Shave-Off in March; the Steubenville Art Association’s Spring Art Show at Fort Steuben Visitor Center in March;  the Annual Spring Quilt Show at Fort Steuben Visitor Center in April; the Great Steubenville Eggsibition Art Display in April.

In addition, moving forward into the summer months:  First Fridays on Fourth; First Wednesdays in Wintersville; the Berkman Summer Concert Series; the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic; Ohio Valley Frontier Days, the Greek Food Festival; Dean Martin Festival and local farmers’ markets.

Mid-summer brings various Fourth of July celebrations, the Mt. Pleasant Annual Home & Garden Tour, and the Jefferson County Fair.

Following in the fall, is Labor Day weekend’s Annual Toronto Festival and the Friendship Cluster Dog Show.  Also in the fall, exhibits at Historic Fort Steuben including “Celebrate the Constitution”; and the Pleasant Hill School House Historical Museum Annual Octoberfest.  Rounding out the year is the Steubenville Nutcracker Village and Christmas at the Fort. 

Additionally, there are many other events hosted by Beatty Park, Steubenville Cultural Trust, the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, and numerous other organizations and local communities.

Follow this website’s events calendar for details on these and other events throughout the year.

Don’t miss out on any of the fun, stay informed!  And HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The Lights at Steubenville’s Nutcracker Village

When the organizers of Historic Fort Steuben and the creative artisans at Nelson’s of Steubenville came up with a holiday event to display life-sized nutcrackers as a way to reinvigorate the downtown and boost the morale of the citizens of Steubenville, they were stumped at first on how to illuminate the unique creations. For the first year, there were only about 35 nutcrackers arrayed in Fort Steuben Park and lit up by floodlights on extension cords staked all around the grounds. “It was a real concern that someone would trip over them,” explained Jerry Barilla, president of Historic Fort Steuben. “And we didn’t know how and if people would respond to this new event.”

But not only did people respond positively, they loved the nutcrackers and brought friends and relatives downtown to see them.

“We had older visitors in tears: they hadn’t seen crowds swarm the downtown in years,” Barilla said. “So we knew we had a hit and we needed a better way to display them.”

He started looking at methods to light up the area, particularly using hoops to hold the lights above the walkways and discussed the problem with M&M Hardware Store owner, Scott Campbell.

“Hey, what’s my name,” said Campbell.

“Scott?” responded Barilla.

“No, Santa Claus,” Campbell answered.

He had the hoops and a local greenhouse had some, too. Volunteers came to install the lights on each of the hoops. Then another local business stepped up to provide sound: Drew Hindman of World Radio Telecommunications wired speakers along the hoops to a CD player to ensure that holiday music would be playing. The local electricians’ union offered time and expertise to expand the electrical system to handle the improvements. By the second year, the Steubenville Nutcracker VillageTM had become a dazzling display with over 70 nutcrackers, colorful lights, and joyful music – a true community effort. Now in its eighth year with 200 nutcrackers, the event has spread throughout the downtown area bringing light and hope to the community and all who visit.

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The Steubenville Visitor Center is pleased to announce that Eastern Gateway Community College will be the title sponsor of the 2022 Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade in Steubenville to be held on December 3.

“We’ve had a wonderful turnout over the years averaging more than 80 units including bands, floats, dance groups and choirs,” said Mary Snyder of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “We hope it will be even bigger this year and invite all businesses, organizations, clubs, and individuals to submit entries.”

Snyder noted that it takes time to plan the lineup and requests all applications be completely filled out and sent in by November 1. Those who haven’t received an application can get one by stopping in or contacting the Visitor Center at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville or 740.283.4935.

“We especially need to know the size of your entry so we can properly place it in the lineup,” Snyder said. “Once it is all organized, entrants will receive further details and come to a meeting to ensure it all goes smoothly.”

“Besides sending in your application, pray for good weather that day,” she added.

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‘The Well-Known’ as well as ‘The Hidden’ Gems in Jefferson County, Ohio


Ten buildings recreate life on the Ohio “frontier” at Historic Fort Steuben, a reconstructed 18th century fort on its original site overlooking the Ohio River. Visitors learn about the hardships and challenges of the early Americans who began the westward settlement of the country. Period tools and crafts, curious customs and impressive skills are demonstrated. Compare the comparative luxury of the Officers’ Quarters with the less comfortable Enlisted Men’s Quarters. An active archaeology dig is on the site. The adjacent First Federal Land Office of the West of the Alleghenies, a log structure from 1800, is a 19th century home office. In the Exhibit Hall are periodic displays of local and national history including Native Americans in the Ohio Valley, Baron von Steuben, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The Fort is part of the Historic Lewis and Clark National Trail and the Ohio River Scenic Byway. A tour takes 75 to 90 minutes, but it takes you back 200 years!  120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville.


Twenty-four stunning murals give Steubenville its nickname. Painted by a variety of well-known artists, the murals depict the history of the town and the country on walls throughout the historic downtown. Paintings include events as well as important figures such as Edwin M. Stanton, the Tuskegee Airmen, and Fleetwood Walker (first professional African American baseball player). Visitors can socially distance with a self-guided tour or hire a guide to tell the story behind each mural as well as information on downtown architecture and amusing tales of the colorful characters in Steubenville’s history. Maps and information available at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, 120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville.


Explore three well-arranged floors of antiques, crafts, and treasures at the Antique Warehouse, just a block away from Historic Fort Steuben. Admire the stained glass and art of our historic churches – information available at the Steubenville Visitor Center. Browse a book-lovers’ paradise at BookMarx Bookstore stocking thousands of used and new books and gifts. Include a visit to the Jefferson County Historical Mansion Museum to find some cool Dean Martin memorabilia. Unique stores in the downtown include Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe, the Steubenville Popcorn Company, and The Prodigal Daughter.


Hidden in downtown Steubenville, Ohio are found a historic park and cemetery that offer opportunities for historians, environmentalists, hikers, and nature lovers. Listed on the National Registry for Historic Places for its landscape architecture, the non-profit 199-acre Union Cemetery was established in 1854 and is the final resting place of notable state and local citizens. Located at 1720 Sunset Blvd. Part of the property not suitable for burial ground was sold as a city park. Ninety-nine-acre Beatty Park features indigenous flora, creeks, wildlife, and hiking trails. Many of the century old stonework structures, walls, and paths are being restored allowing for unique respites from busy urban life. Beatty Park, 855 Lincoln Avenue, Steubenville.


Truly off the beaten path are Black Sheep Vineyard and The Farm Restaurant, located down winding country roads outside of Adena, Ohio. A family-owned and operated vineyard and winery overlooking the rolling hills of southern Jefferson County, Black Sheep Vineyard offers their own special wines, entertainment, a gift shop, and even opportunities to help during harvest. Nearby, The Farm Restaurant & Pub is a beautifully restored and decorated farmhouse serving delicious homecooked meals and rich desserts. Black Sheep Vineyard, 1454 State Route 250, Adena, OH 43901  blacksheepvineyard.com    The Farm, 1247 State Route 150, Adena, OH 43901


More history can be found in Jefferson County at Historic Mount Pleasant, a major hub for the Underground Railroad and home of important abolitionists of the 19th century. The Historical Society of Mount Pleasant owns six historic buildings, each one a museum in itself. Additionally, the Ohio Yearly Meeting House – an amazing Quaker structure – is included in their tours. Several open houses and exhibits are scheduled throughout the year. Currently, tours and buildings are open by appointment only, however, there is a complimentary walking tour available at https://izi.travel/en/united-states/city-guides-in-mount-pleasant-oh

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A Weekend of History in Jefferson County

For over 30 years, Historic Fort Steuben has brought together soldier, surveyor, settler, and Native American reenactors along with crafters, musicians, and speakers for a festival celebrating life on the Ohio Valley frontier. This year will be no different, except Ohio Valley Frontier Days will expand its offerings to two other historic sites in the downtown: the Downtown Carnegie Library on Saturday and the Jefferson County Historical Museum on Sunday, the weekend of August 6 and 7.

At the Fort, there will be blacksmith, candlemaker, gunsmith, and others demonstrating the skills of the period. A Native American encampment, military reenactments, and the Surveyors Academy of the Northwest Ordinance are featured. Vendors selling crafts, gifts, and food will be on hand. Music by Bill Schilling, Rich & Kathy Small, and award-winning singer/songwriter Steve Free is on the schedule. The event runs from 10-6 on Saturday, 11-4 on Sunday with General Admission: $7, Youth 6-12: $3, and under 6 free.

Visitors can take the Trolley from the Fort to the Downtown Library where activities and tours will be provided on Saturday and then to the Museum on Sunday for more history and tours.

More history can be found August 6 and 7 just 20 minutes south of Steubenville in Historic Mount Pleasant for their Annual Tour of the properties associated with the 19th century abolition movement. Admission is Adults: $15, 2 children free with paying adults.

Back in Steubenville, the annual African American Heritage Festival will offer traditional food, vendors, basketball game, bounce house, and music on Saturday, August 6 at the North End Ball Park. This free community event will run from 12-9pm.

For more information on these and other events, call the Visitor Center at 740.283.1787.

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