This summer marks 225 years since the city of Steubenville was declared the county seat of Jefferson County by proclamation of the Northwest Territory Governor Arthur St. Clair. Beginning as a frontier outpost, the city grew from a producer of wool and pottery to a major industrial powerhouse of coal and steel, with the Ohio River as the backdrop and main supply line.

Historic Fort Steuben is marking the occasion with an exhibit of informational panels highlighting the people, places and events that are part of our history.

After viewing the exhibit, visitors are encouraged to go to the Jefferson County Historical Association which has a huge collection of maps, books, photos, and artifacts. A visit to the JCHA Museum on Franklin Avenue is well worth an afternoon: it is a storehouse of Steubenville and Jefferson County memorabilia.

Then find the 24 murals located in the city which highlight significant moments in Steubenville and American history.

While exploring the city’s history, stop at the Antique Warehouse on Market Street with three floors of memorabilia are displayed and for sale.

The free exhibit at Historic Fort Steuben will run to July 24 and is open from 10-4, Monday through Saturday, 11-4 on Sundays. Tours of the Fort are also available: $10/adult; $9/seniors; $7/youth 6-12; free for under 6 and active military (Blue Star Museum Program). Historic Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville. For more information call 740.283.1787.

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2022 Dean Martin Hometown Celebration

Coming up in just two weeks from now on June 16th, 17th & 18th is the annual Dean Martin Hometown Celebration. This year there will be live entertainment, food and craft vendors and trolley rides at Fort Steuben Park; Open House at the Jefferson County Historical Museum, including the Dean Martin Room; reduced admission to tour Historic Fort Steuben; as well as karaoke contest, Martin Memorabilia Auction and live entertainment ($15 cover charge), at The Spot Bar, located at 217 South 4th Street.


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2022 Summer Happenings in Steubenville & Jefferson County!

Are gas prices keeping you closer to home? Why not be a Tourist for a Day in Steubenville and Jefferson County, though you may need several days to include all the events and attractions!

May signals the opening of the 15th Annual Fort Steuben Summer Concert Series on Memorial Day. Eleven concerts celebrate the joy of free, live entertainment by a varied roster of musicians and performers in the Berkman Amphitheater in Fort Steuben Park. The audience members have a choice of bleacher or blanket seating with a great view of the Ohio River flowing behind the stage. Food and drink vendors and a general spirit of congeniality make these Thursday evening concerts a popular community event. The Amphitheater will also be the site for a Gospel Concert on June 5th and the city’s Independence Day Celebration with music & fireworks on July 4th.

Steubenville will celebrate its birthday and its ethnic and historic heritage in June with Celebrate Steubenville: 225 (June 12-July 24), the Greek Mini Food Festival (June 16-17) the Dean Martin Hometown Celebration (June 17-18), and a Community Juneteenth Celebration (June 17-20). There will be a variety of foods, music, exhibits, and activities that draws participants from all over the country.

Among the attractions that are open this summer is Historic Fort Steuben and the First Federal Land Office in downtown Steubenville. The reconstructed 18th century military fort is an opportunity to immerse yourself in history…to experience the hardships of life on the Ohio frontier. A celebration of early American skills, endurance, and culture will be held at Ohio Valley Frontier Days, August 6-7 at the Fort with soldier, settler, surveyor, and Native American reenactors and volunteers. The Battalion of the American Revolution will present demonstrations and programs. Ohio singer/songwriter Steve Free will be among the entertainers at this year’s festival. Food, crafts, music and more make this an annual favorite in Steubenville.

The Jefferson County Historical Museum on Franklin Avenue in Steubenville is a 19-room showcase for the beautiful furnishings and historical artifacts of the past two centuries. The Dean Martin Room, the Presidents’ Room, the Riverboat Room and more are open for viewing between March and November: Wednesday –Thursday, 10 am – 3 pm, or by appointment.

For more history, a 20-minute drive from Steubenville is Historic Mount Pleasant, a village on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. A yearly tour and celebration is held the first weekend in August.

For an evening of lively music, art displays, and unique games and activities, don’t miss First Fridays on Fourth. This monthly celebration of the arts fills the streets and sidewalks in downtown Steubenville with performers, food, vendors, families, and visitors from all around the region. Each month features a special theme, and you never know what kind of costumed folk you’ll meet as you stroll down the street. June 3 has a medieval flavor for Ye Olde First Friday; flags and patriotic music will be out on July 1; big hair and fun music for Eighties Night on August 5; characters from your favorite storybooks will be out for September 2nd; and enjoy a pumpkin spiced Fall Festival on October 7. The events are free and run from 6-10pm on Fourth Street in Steubenville.

If Fridays don’t work for you, stop in at Wednesdays in Wintersville in Jefferson County. Every first Wednesday from 4:30-8:30 sees a mix of vendors including crafters, candles, home accessories, and gifts all along the community’s Main Street. They have several sweets and confectionery vendors selling delicious desserts as well as a local Farmers Market. Food offerings include hot dogs, pizza, BBQ and other concessions.

Steubenville is also known as “The City of Murals,” with 24 larger-than-life depictions of people and events from local and American history painted on walls throughout the downtown. You can get a Mural Map & Art Hunt at the Visitor Center to find all the murals. While strolling downtown check out the unique shops along N. 4th Street and the Antique Warehouse with three floors of treasures and memorabilia to browse through.

As spring is in full bloom, celebrate the beauty and wonders of nature in historic Beatty Park in Steubenville. The park has nature and hiking trails and disc golf. A special addition is the StoryWalk in the Park: pages of a children’s book are enlarged and placed along a trail. When the walkers come to the end they can get a special gift at the local library. The book changes each month and is a delight for all ages.

Find out about these and other events as well as the many dining, shopping, and lodging options by calling 866.301.1787 or visiting www.VisitSteubenville.com.


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2022 Fort Steuben Concert Series Schedule Released

Historic Fort Steuben has released this season’s summer concert schedule. There are both returning favorites and new faces this year. See full schedule below (subject to change). Be sure to also check out the sponsors who make this all possible and “Thank” them if you can by your patronage or acknowledgment!

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It’s time to celebrate spring by attending the annual Steubenville Eggsibition & Storywalk from April 15 to May 8 which features thirty-two 18” to 36” uniquely designed Easter Eggs strategically situated in storefronts in the downtown area.

The Art Eggs are also visible from outside for folks who just want to window shop. Maps for the egg hunt will be available at Leonardo’s Coffeehouse, participating businesses and the Steubenville Visitor Center. After finding and viewing all the Art Eggs, “egg-hunters” will be able to stop in at the Steubenville Popcorn Company and choose a prize mini-egg and vote on their favorite. All the Art Eggs were painted by local artists and range from traditional Pysanky to depictions of scenes, personalities, or literary images.

As an added attraction, the Public Library of Steubenville & Jefferson County has created an Easter Egg StoryWalk to coincide with the Eggsibition. Pages of a story will be placed around town near each of the “hidden” eggs. Participants can collect a map from the Library or Leonardo’s and claim a prize at the downtown library when they have completed the Storywalk.

“It’s a great way to bring families downtown to celebrate the Easter season, to visit the local shops, to take ‘selfies’, and make memories,” noted Judy Bratten of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “The StoryWalk is part of the library’s efforts to increase literacy and encourage community involvement.”

“Egg decorating has been around for so long that historians aren’t even certain when the practice first began,” Bratten added. “I’ve read that engraved ostrich eggs have been found in Africa that date back 60,000 years. But decorating for spring and especially for the Easter season is an established practice now. Christians adopted the practice of egg decoration early on as they stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ. Each culture has developed its own particular style of decorating.”

Lead designer and creator of the Eggsibition and the Nutcracker Village, Therese Fedoryka, was inspired by the Easter tradition in the Ukraine, Poland and Austria, where giant decorated eggs are displayed in town squares and public places. She sees these events as part of a larger revitalization effort that brings businesses and the arts together.

“We started doing the eggs in 2017,” she said. “The nutcrackers had been very successful two years in a row — the eggs had actually been a plan since before Nutcracker Village was born. The idea was to hide the eggs so visitors would be required to go around town and find the stores, maybe find businesses they didn’t know existed. The idea was to encourage revitalization in spring as well as winter.”

The eggs are displayed 24/7 but visitors are encouraged to check store hours if they want to patronize the business as well. The Steubenville Popcorn Company and Leonardo’s Coffeehouse are located at 159 N. 4th Street and the Steubenville Visitor Center is at 120 S. 3rd Street. Selfies can be shared on Facebook #SteubieArtEggs.

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Five Things To Do When Visiting Steubenville

With gas prices rising again, it’s time to take a mini-vacation in Steubenville, an easy 1 or 2-hour drive from many major cities. This city situated in the Ohio River Valley has remnants of its industrial past, the natural beauty of the Appalachian hills, and a historic downtown with quirky shops, stunning churches, and a reconstructed 18th century frontier fort. Start a visit at the Steubenville Visitor Center where you can obtain maps, event listings, and dining/lodging recommendations.

  1. City of Murals: Twenty-four larger than life works of art adorn many buildings in the city, depicting moments of local and national history including the first professional African American baseball player, Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War telegraph office, the main character of Ohio’s rock song (“Hold on Sloopy”), and scenes of old Steubenville. Pick up a map and scavenger hunt at the Visitor Center to make it a fun experience for the whole family.
  2. Beatty Park: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this nature preserve abounds with 19th century stonework, walking and hiking trails, wildflowers and towering trees. Throughout the year educational and recreational walks and hikes are scheduled as well as other events for children and adults.
  3. Downtown Fourth Street: With many of its buildings and shops currently undergoing revitalization, this block is filled with unique businesses that encourage browsing and shopping. Stock up on holiday décor and gifts in Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe; browse the art and books in BookMarx Bookstore; pick out a special necklace or garment at the Prodigal Daughter; sip a latte in the DaVinci themed atmosphere of Leonardo’s Coffeehouse; enjoy a taste of Greece in Yorgo’s – each locally owned and operated.
  4. Antique Warehouse: Three floors of antiques, memorabilia, bargains, and mementoes of yesteryear welcome visitors to browse, reminisce, and find a treasure. It’s easy to spend an hour or two admiring beautiful crystal and well-crafted furniture, remembering old toys, and discovering records or books, easily accessible with an elevator for those who aren’t able to navigate the grand staircase.
  5. Historic Fort Steuben: Billed as the Gateway to the West, this reconstructed military fort depicts life on the Ohio frontier in 1786-87. Within its picket walls, ten buildings tell the stories of the Americans who opened up the west to settlement: the soldiers, the surveyors and the settlers. The adjacent 1st Federal Land Office is a log structure that served as a site for new landowners to register their deeds, from 1800-1835 and is furnished as a 19th century home office. Tours and events are available throughout the year.

Many lodging options are available, but for a family or small group experience the Bayberry House Bed & Breakfasts offer an elegant and private retreat in the downtown, with modern conveniences and lovely gardens.

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Steubenville Art Association Art Show

After a two-year hiatus, the Steubenville Art Association is again presenting the work of its talented members with two shows this spring.

This month, the group will display a variety of media at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center. From March 9-30, there will be 150 works by 20 member artists using watercolor, oils, acrylics, drawings, and collage, with many for sale.

“Due to Covid, our artists have been sequestered at home creating their art alone for a couple of years,” explained Judy Schmidt, president of the association. “This show allows the artists to come together and express their love of art and their dedication in their beautiful paintings. Our artists have come alive again for a show that all must see.”

A Reception and Open House will be held at the Visitor Center on Saturday, March 12, from 5-7 pm with the opportunity of meeting many of the artists. By displaying these works, the event organizers hope to attract other artists to join the group.

“We do not limit membership to Steubenville or Jefferson County residents,” Schmidt added. “We have artists from Hancock and Brooke Counties in West Virginia and one from Marietta. They enjoy sharing knowledge and talents at our monthly meetings and improving their skills at our workshops.”

The Steubenville Art Association has been meeting at Historic Fort Steuben for over ten years and sets up a small display of paintings every month in the Visitor Center.

The organization will be holding its annual Spring Show – a regional exhibit with awards – at Eastern Gateway Community College from April 30 to May 14. This show is open to all artists 18 years or older and requires entry fees for their original works.

For more information, contact the Visitor Center at 120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville, 740.283.1787 or email info@visitsteubenville.com.

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Annual Spring Quilt Show – ‘The Joy of Quilts’

The 2022 Spring Quilt Show at Historic Fort Steuben will take place from April 4th through April 18th.

Each year the public is invited to bring in their treasured quilts, old and new alike, either made by themselves or someone else, to put on display. The show has become a popular event which brings ‘joy’ to the proud owners/creators of the quilts as well as the many folks who come to view the quilts.    Normally, there are approximately 30 quilts (depending on the sizes of the quilts) and a variety of patterns and ages on display.   Hand and machine quilts are both welcome.

This year you may again “vote for your favorite” for a $1 donation for each vote. Voting is strictly by choice and visitors who prefer to just come enjoy the beauty of the quilts are most welcome to do that.

Anyone wishing to display a quilt in the show may call 740.283.1787 or email mary@visitsteubenville.com. for an application.  Applications must be completed and returned by March 15th and the quilts must be delivered to the Fort Visitor Center by March 29th.   There is no fee to enter a quilt in the show.

Admission, as always, is free. Donations are welcome.  Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Sundays from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

So, whether you are a proud owner/creator of a quilt to enter or want to view and appreciate their beauty and workmanship, don’t miss this opportunity to experience the ‘Joy of Quilts’ at Historic Fort Steuben this spring!

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2022 Reimagining America Exhibit

The national traveling exhibit – “Reimagining America: The Maps of Lewis and Clark” – will open to the public on February 7 at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, the only time it will be on display in Ohio.

Developed by the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, the exhibit uses large-scale reproductions of historic maps, photos, and explanatory text to show how America looked before the journey of Lewis and Clark, and what it looked like after.

In 1804–06, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led an expedition from the Mississippi to the Pacific. Their primary goal: to reveal the geography of the West. Using cutting-edge scientific techniques and methods as old as humanity, they created a new portrait of America so persuasive we still recognize it today.

The panels feature seven themes, including Making Maps the Native Way, Making Maps the Scientific Way, and Making Maps the Practical Way. Of interest to educators as well as history lovers, the exhibit can be used as a springboard for programs on discovery, exploration, and map making techniques.

The exhibit, which will run until March 4, adds another dimension to the permanent display and activities presented by Historic Fort Steuben on the Expedition.

“Since 2003, Historic Fort Steuben has provided opportunities to learn about this important part of American history,” noted Executive Director Paul Zuros. “Meriwether Lewis traveled down the Ohio River and stopped in Steubenville at the beginning of the journey, mentioning the city in his journal. We have an extensive display and selection of books on the Expedition and we are now part of the National Park Service’s Historic Trail and Junior Ranger Program. We recently added a thermoformed plastic tactile map that was designed to help Junior Rangers and other visitors with no or low vision perceive the Trail. The Expedition route and coastlines are recessed. A braille caption lists the states the Trail passes through.”

For more information on Lewis and Clark go to Lewis and Clark Story. Historic Fort Steuben is located at 120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville OH 43952. The exhibit is free and will be open M-F from 10-4; to schedule a visit at another time call 740-283-1787.

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Steubenville Sights & Sounds of Christmas Parade Returns

Preparations for the Eastern Gateway Community College Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade to be held on Dec. 4th are underway in Steubenville.

“I’m so grateful to have it back,” exclaims Mary Snyder of the Steubenville Visitor Center. “Having to cancel it last year was so disappointing.”

Snyder and the other staff and volunteers are busy making the return of the parade a highlight of the holiday season in Steubenville.

“There will be over 70 units, including floats, vehicles, dance troupes and five bands,” Snyder added. “It won’t be televised this year, so we expect a bigger turnout along the streets to view the parade.”

The planning started back in September when the invitations to participate were sent out. Snyder collects the information on each unit and arranges the lineup so that each one can be best viewed. Days before, meetings are held to help the participants know where to get into the parade line and flyers are left at shops and residences along Fourth Street to be sure the street is clear of vehicles that morning.

Volunteers from the Lions Club, members of Amateur Radio Operators of TERA (Tri-county Emergency Radio Association), and Historic Fort Steuben will be on site at 8:30 am to close off the streets and put out the numbered cones indicating parade placement.

“The lineup starts at Ross Street and will go down to North Street,” said Jerry Barilla, President of Historic Fort Steuben and the Visitor Center and current Mayor of the city.

“The units arriving at 10:30 am in shifts until they are all ready to go when the parade actually starts at noon. Steubenville High School graciously opens its doors for the parade participants to use the restrooms and get warm while waiting for the event to start.”

Barilla is enthusiastic about this year’s parade. “A parade is an opportunity to bring everyone together for a positive experience. It’s the spirit of Christmas that can be seen and heard!”

Many of the familiar entries from past parades will be on Fourth Street that Saturday including the Osiris Tin Lizzies, the Boys Scouts, the Jefferson County Humane Society canines, and the City of Steubenville Fire trucks. New entries will come from Turn 3 Horse Training with horses, Friends of Beatty Park, and Eastern Construction & Excavating who promise to surprise everyone again with something special. A Firetruck Train will be added to Historic Fort Steuben’s entry this year. And once again, Santa will ride into town in a special Tanker Sleigh courtesy of Steel Valley Tanks.

“Our Grand Marshal will be Richard Pflug and his wife, Heidi. Richard was a long-time businessman in the city and a quiet donor to many organizations,” said Barilla. “Trinity Health System sponsored the beautiful horse-drawn carriage they will be riding in. And we are again grateful to Eastern Gateway Community College for being the title sponsor of the parade.”

Finally, Barilla encouraged everyone to head over to Fort Steuben Park where the Advent Market and many other activities will be occurring as he said, “It is THE most wonderful time of year!”

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