Spring is on the way – it’s time to make some plans!

It may feel like we don’t want to leave the house right now in all this frigid cold weather, but it won’t be long before the temperatures are rising,  the birds are singing,  and everyone will be anxious to get out and about.

While waiting for better weather, it is a great time to do some planning.

Whether you are planning a group tour, a family reunion or a private ‘get-away’ the Steubenville Visitor Center can help you with your plans.

A tour of Steubenville’s ‘City of Murals’ with its 22 larger than life paintings depicting the area’s history on buildings throughout the city is a great place to start.   It is often combined with a tour of Historic Fort Steuben, the reconstructed fort originally built in 1786-1787 by the 1st American Regiment to protect government surveyors from hostile Indians as they laid out the first seven ranges of the Northwest Territory.  The fort offers the opportunity to experience frontier life first hand with knowledgeable and entertaining guides to take you through the exhibit filled buildings plus a visit to the adjacent First Federal Land Office west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Just South of Steubenville is the Village of Mt. Pleasant a picturesque Quaker village on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark District of the Underground Railroad.  It was a center for antislavery activities with five Underground Railroad Stations that still stand in the village.   The Historical Society of Mount Pleasant owns five and operates six museums in the Village, which is the home of the Quaker Meeting House. It is located in southern Jefferson County and has an annual Historic Home Tour the 1st weekend of August. 

Historic Union Cemetery is noted as one of the most beautiful in the country and is the final resting place of the grandparents of Woodrow Wilson and the family of Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War.  Unique attractions at Union Cemetery include the Old Stone Chapel built in 1892, the Old Stone Bridge built about 1880 (which still carries traffic from the main road) and the Dog Marker, which marks the grave of John Boillin.  Boillin, a molder was blinded by an accident and a stray dog adopted him and became his seeing-eye dog.  After Boillin’s death the dog would neither eat nor drink and soon grieved itself to death.  Boilin’s fellow molders cast the metal dog at the Foundry where he worked to be placed on Mr. Boillin’s grave.

Another potential destination is The Jefferson County Historical Museum which is housed in an elegant 19th Century Steubenville mansion consisting of 19 rooms which exhibit period furniture and artifacts, including a Dean Martin Room and Vivian Snyder Genealogical Library with one of Eastern Ohio’s finest collections for family history research.  For your consideration also is Franciscan University of Steubenville boasting a beautiful campus including its Portiuncula Chapel, a reproduction of the site in Assisi, Italy and Black Sheep Vineyard, a quaint and curious family owned vineyard on a former sheep farm.

Shopping for diverse antique and unique items and gifts at local owned and operated shops is another option, including Nelson’s of Steubenville, a very large Steubenville family business manufacturing and offering a wide variety of items sold not only locally but around the world; Antique Warehouse, housing over 77 different vendors with a broad spectrum of items;  Adam’s Antiques of Steubenville offering unique and one of a kind items from the past including Dean Martin merchandise;  Historic Fort Steuben Museum Shop selling a wide variety of items from hard to find historic books to wooden old time toys, as well as Steubenville and Fort Steuben memorabilia;   Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe offering not only a selection of Nutcrackers from around the world, but a variety of other gift items as well;  and Bookmarx Bookstore, a charming little bookstore that either has that hard to find book you are looking for or most likely can get it, serving coffee and a place to sit and read as well!

So, while you are staying warm with your hot cup of cocoa or tea why not plan a visit (or two) to the Steubenville area this spring or summer.   And if you are looking ahead to next fall, you definitely want to plan a trip to visit Steubenville’s Nutcracker Village and Advent Market, along with Christmas Wonderland and Gift Shop!

For more information call the Visitor Center at 740.283.4935.

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The word is that the Steubenville Nutcrackers, who by the way have increased in number since last seen in Fort Steuben Park, have escaped their summer place of captivity and are on their way back to the Village at the Park!

The exciting ‘kick-off’ of the 2017 season of Steubenville Nutcracker Village and Advent Market is just around the corner.

In less than 2 weeks on Tuesday, November 21st, all the excitement will begin with Steubenville Lights Up the Night.  It will mark the Grand Opening of the Advent Market & Steubenville Nutcracker Village and in addition will include free treats for kids courtesy of the Steubenville Beautification Committee, blessing of the Tree, the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, a Christmas Program by Brenda Casey Dance Studio at the Berkman Amphitheater, living Christmas Scenes and caroling on 4th Street, and the official lighting of the tree.  (See below for a full schedule).

Beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving the Advent Market will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 31st.  There will be live entertainment, hay rides and trolley tours available.  Christmas Wonderland and Gift Shop in the Visitor Center is open every day.  The Sights & Sounds of Christmas: Nutcracker Magic 2017 parade will be held on Saturday, December 9th at noon.  Wooden Heart Follies (an original Nutcracker musical comedy) will be performed on November 26th, December 3rd, 10th, and 17th.  And, of course, the Nutcracker Village itself is open 24/7 from November 21st until January 7th , 2018.    (Please see schedule below).

In the meantime, if you think you see a Nutcracker walking along or driving by you may not be hallucinating you may have spotted one of the Village residents making his/her way back to the Village for the upcoming ‘Magical’ Event beginning on November 21st!

One trip will not be enough time to do and see it all, so make your plans and save your dates now so as not to miss a single thing!

Please note that all Scheduled Events are subject to change.

Inquiries may be made by calling 740.283.4935 or email:  info@visitsteubenville.com




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Will You Help Name the Singing Nutcracker?

There is a new face among the residents of Steubenville Nutcracker Village who has arrived a bit earlier than the others.  This colorful fellow was created and donated by Scott Campbell of M&M True Value Hardware and his crew of Sean Campbell, Annie Campbell, Walt Winski, Bob Staten, Rickey Flynn and Jerri Slovinski.

This nutcracker looks a bit different from the rest and he is certainly far heftier (weighing in at 300 pounds!).  He is made of a tree trunk and is solid wood.     He also has a unique ability …he can sing!  His mouth moves as he serenades you when you insert a donation and is sure to be a delight for young and old alike.

However, there is a mystery surrounding our new friend.  He arrived without a name!

And there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what he should be called.

So, we are inviting the public to submit names for the ‘new guy’ and the person whose submission is chosen will win a 2017 Collector’s Edition Nutcracker.   If more than one person has chosen the selected name, the winner then will be chosen in a random drawing.

Come in to the Fort Steuben Visitor Center to see and listen to our new friend and decide what you think his name should be.  There will be a form to complete and a receptacle in which to place your choice at the front desk.

The winning name will be announced the day of the Sights and Sounds of Christmas: Nutcracker Magic 2017 Christmas Parade.

If you want your selection to be considered it must be submitted by November 30th at 4:00pm.




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Fall is a Fine Time to Tour the Steubenville Murals

Fall is a fine time to get out and enjoy the nice weather and all the fun events before winter sets in.

In addition to the Octoberfests, Apple and Pumpkin Celebrations, it is a wonderful time to take a tour of the beautiful and historical murals in Steubenville.

Since the project began in the mid-eighties, there have been hundreds of out of the area tour buses and visitors who have come to town to see the murals.   Ironically, there are many of our local residents who have seen a mural here and there but have never made a point of visiting them all and learning the history they are based on.

There are currently 22 murals.  The newest mural is of the Civil War Telegraph Office with President Abraham Lincoln, his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, and David Homer Bates, his telegraph operator.   Stanton and Bates were both Steubenville natives.  In addition, over the past couple years, there have been numerous murals which have been beautifully refurbished to their original condition.

The Murals may be toured in a number of different ways.  Large groups on tour coaches with a step-on guide who will provide a colorful and entertaining presentation of each of the mural’s history and origin as well as other interesting facts and ‘folk lore’.   Also, there is a Trolley Tour of the Murals available for small groups, between 8 – 20 people (organizations, family reunions, or even friends coming together).  The Trolley is used for this tour and also includes a step-on tour guide as with the larger tours.   And for those preferring to ‘do it themselves’ the Visitor Center has a brochure and detailed tour map of the murals available.  There is also an inexpensive booklet for sale at the Visitor Center Gift Shop for those interested in having some history of the murals.

If you are interested in a Mural Tour or have any questions, please contact the Fort Steuben Visitor Center by calling 740.283.4935 or email mary@visitsteubenville.com

Happy Fall Y’all !


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‘A Time to Prepare’

It is mid-September and that means the daylight is getting shorter, the evenings cooler, the leaves about to begin changing and it is time to PREPARE!

The Holiday Season is quickly approaching and there are many preparations needed for the upcoming events.

Christmas Parade Applications have just been sent out for the Steubenville Christmas Parade “Sights and Sounds of Christmas: Nutcracker Magic 2017”.   The Parade will take place at noon on Saturday, December 9th in downtown Steubenville, and will be broadcast live again this year on WTOV9/FOX9. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade who doesn’t receive a Parade Packet may contact Mary @ 740.283.4935 or email  mary@visitsteubenville.com.   Parade Applications must be in by November 1, 2017.

“The Wooden Heart Follies” the original Nutcracker musical production written by Steubenville residents Von & John Holmes, will be presented again this year on four consecutive Sundays,  November 26th, December 3rd, 10th & 17th.   Auditions are being held at the former Spencer’s Store in the Fort Steuben Mall, Mall Drive, on September 28th from 6-8pm and September 30th from 1-3pm. Rehearsals will begin soon after.   If you are interested in becoming (for a few Sundays at least) a living, breathing Nutcracker, be sure to try out for one of the parts.

Applications are still being considered for the Advent Market which will be open November 21st (Light-Up Steubenville Night), November 24th-26th, December 1st – 3rd, December 8th – 10th, and December 15th – 17th.  If you are interested in possibly setting up for one or more weekends contact Judy at 740.283.1787 or email: judy@oldfortsteuben.com.

Another major preparation in process is the creation of the newest members of the Nutcracker Village. Therese Nelson and crew are hard at work using their creative juices designing and bringing ‘to life’ another 40 or more Nutcrackers who will be joining the rest of the ‘Village’ the third week of November.

The huge project of decorating for Christmas Wonderland will be under way soon as well.  Come mid-October the transformation of the Visitor Center into a magical wonderland of Christmas delights, past and present, will begin.  Likewise, the outdoor ‘Village’ will need to be prepared and decorated with walkways of lights, chalets, and Christmas finery to be ready for the arrival of the Nutcrackers!   And we can’t forget the huge 40’ Christmas tree at the fountain which needs to be erected and decorated, and this year there will a second very large tree which will be added and placed at the Land Office.

So preparations are indeed underway and will be continuing full force ahead for weeks to come!         And as the preparations continue, the excitement grows!


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It Is Coming Up On That Time Again.

Summer is quickly passing and Fall is quickly approaching.

Among other things, that means it is getting closer to the season of the Nutcrackers invasion and Christmas Parade.

Planning for both are already underway and will be full steam ahead in the coming weeks.

Our largest winter season event, of course, is the Nutcracker Village and Advent Market accompanied by Christmas Wonderland and Gift Shop and the Sights and Sounds of Christmas Parade.  The Parade will have a Nutcracker theme again this year, with the ‘official’ title to be decided upon in the early part of September.

This year there will be approximately 40 ‘new Nutcracker arrivals’ at the Village and an additional weekend that the Advent Market will be open, as well as being open some evenings during the week.  There will again be Hayrides and Holly Trolley Tours, live entertainment and more.

Last year’s phenomenal attendance at these events (approximately 20,000) is expected to grow this year as a result of not only its huge popularity being shared by word of mouth as well as on social media, but the event is receiving exposure in expanded areas and was named by ‘Only in Ohio’ as No. 3 in their ‘11 Winter Festivals in Ohio that are Simply Unforgettable’ for 2016/2017 season.

Visitors are in store for some exciting additions to Christmas Wonderland inside the Visitor Center as well, including a beautiful display (with train and lake) built by Jon Cooper, for a stunning Thomas Kinkade Hawthorne Village.  There will also be additional train displays this year and a number of other ‘surprises’.

Steubenville Lights-up the Night will take place on Tuesday, November 21st, and the Nutcracker Village/Advent Market and Christmas Wonderland & Gift Shop open Friday, November 24th.  The Steubenville Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 9th.

It isn’t too soon to start saving dates and making plans now, and those of you coming from out of town may want to consider staying overnight, you may not be able to ‘do it all’ in just one day!

Christmas Wonderland

Nutcracker Village Walkway


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Steubenville rated #5 of the top 10 Historic Towns in Ohio.

Steubenville has been listed by “Only in Ohio” as Number 5 on their list of the top ten Historic Towns in Ohio that will transport you to the past.

Noted were Historic Fort Steuben and the Murals, however, Steubenville is steeped in history with many other historical attributes as well.

The article also recommended a visit to the Nutcracker Village to visitors if they are here during the holiday season!

This isn’t the first time Steubenville has been acknowledged by Only in Ohio.  They named the Steubenville Nutcracker Village as No. 3 in their ‘11 Winter Festivals in Ohio that are Simply Unforgettable’ for 2016/2017 season.

Steubenville has much to offer that is often overlooked, even by our own residents.  It is exciting and encouraging that the positive aspects of our city are becoming more noticed and acknowledged.

Check the link below:


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Historic Fort Steuben/Steubenville Visitor Center will be closed on Sunday, August 13th, 2017

The Fort and Visitor Center will re-open Monday, August 14th at 10:00am.

Hours from May until November are:  Monday through Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm.         Hours November until May are: Monday through Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Phone:  740.283.1787 or 740.283.4935

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A New Feature!

For visitors to our area, or locals looking for something different to do they may not have thought of before, we have added a “Build Your Own Itinerary” page to the Visit Steubenville Website. (On the menu under ‘Discover Us’.)

Listed are area attractions and various festivals and events in Steubenville and Jefferson County with brief descriptions and information which may be used to ‘build a day or several days’ of activities and visits.   With this format individuals are free to pick and choose what interests them and efficiently utilize time that is available to them.

Choices include tours of Historic Fort Steuben or the Steubenville Murals.  Walking or riding through the beautiful Historic Union Cemetery.  A visit to The Jefferson County Historical Museum, to review local history, step back in time in a room to remember Dean Martin or trace your genealogical roots.  A trip to Black Sheep Vineyard to experience how their grapes are harvested and wine is made, with the added pleasure of wine tasting and live entertainment.   An excursion through the Village of Mount Pleasant, a picturesque Quaker village on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark District of the Underground Railroad.  As well as interesting places to shop, and so much more.

We hope you take a look at this new page and see if anything there ‘catches your fancy’.  With all the choices, we are almost certain something will.

For assistance in planning or if you have any questions, please contact us by calling 740.283.4935 or email info@visitsteubenville.com



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Tomorrow is the 241st Anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence …. enjoy the picnics, swimming and fireworks and celebrate our FREEDOM, but remember that FREEDOM is not FREE!

Be thankful for all those who have sacrificed and died to acquire it and keep it!

Be safe!

Steubenville Events for July 4th:

9am:    Steuben Striders Track Meet at Harding Practice Field

10am:  Opening Ceremony and Salute to the Military at Fort Steuben Park, 120 S. 3rd St.

Noon:  Senior Citizens Luncheon at Prime Time Center on Lovers Lane

Noon-5pm:  Free Swim at Belleview Pool

4pm until end:  Food Favorite Vendors at Belleview Park

5pm-9pm:  Family Fun Free Zone Belleveiw Park;  Inflatable Youth Games – Lower Field area

9:45pm:  Fireworks Extravaganza – Belleview Park


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