Ohio Valley Frontier Days, the annual festival at Historic Fort Steuben, will return June 3rd and 4th to recreate early American life. The event will feature reenactors who portray soldiers, surveyors, and settlers to demonstrate how people lived in the days before electricity, cars, and computers.
“Over the years our goal has been to make our history interesting, relevant, and inspiring and I believe the festival is the perfect way to do that,” said Judy Bratten, director. “The festival is a chance to learn new things while enjoying the music, crafts, and food that are offered. We are grateful to the Walmart Distribution Center for being a sponsor and for their support of the Fort programs over the years.”
Historic Fort Steuben, a reconstructed fort on its original site overlooking the Ohio River, invites visitors to meet the blacksmith, the candlemaker, the flintknapper, and the broom maker. They can tour the Officers’ Quarters, the Enlisted Men’s Quarters, the Commissary, the Quartermaster’s Store, and the Hospital as well as take in the panoramic view from the upper level of the Guard House. Artisans will offer their crafts for sale from leatherworks to woodcrafts to jewelry. Frontier Dan will guide participants in the Tomahawk Toss while members of the 1st American Regiment teach the skills of shooting a musket.
The fort was originally built to protect the surveyors of the Northwest Territory in 1786 and members of the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio will be on hand to teach the history and the use of the chain and compass. Visitors can meet the archaeologists from Franciscan University of Steubenville and explore the ongoing dig on the site.
Period music with traditional instruments will be presented by Rich & Kathy Small on Saturday and on Sunday by Bill Schilling and by award-winning singer/songwriter Steve Free. Representatives of the Sons of the American Revolution will be stationed nearby.
Author and artist Alan Fitzpatrick will have his original art for sale on Sunday while Gary Beckley will be selling and signing copies of his new book, “Oh! Susannah.” More books, toys, and gifts will be found in the Museum Shop in the Visitor Center.
“We also are raffling off a beautiful handmade quilt made by local artisan Karen Nicholson,” Bratten added. “The drawing will be held on Sunday, after the festival. There will be a scavenger hunt for the kids, too, with a chance to win a prize.”
Bratten noted that food vendors, crafters, and other retail booths will be set up in the Fort and in Fort Steuben Park. Admission to the Fort will be $7/adults, $3/youth 6-12, and under 6 free. There are also special family rates. For more information call 740.283.1787.