Friday, October 21, 2016

Forts (again) Fort Stueben, Ohio



Located oddly enough in Stuebenville Ohio, this on-site reconstruction represents one of the first new forts built by the fledgling United States (technically they were the Confederated States as the Constitution had not yet been written and ratified Actually, true believers, Article 1 of the Articles of Confederation is them declaring that their confederacy would be known as the 'United States of America'. It's a single sentence long. Also, I now feel like Stan Lee... - Justly Rulin' JnR). Named after the Baron Von Stueben of Revolutionary War fame this fort was constructed in 1786 to protect surveyors who had been contracted to begin the platting of "ranges" (a.k.a. townships) along the Ohio river. The presence of the troops also enforced the claim to the lands west of the mountains that had formerly belonged to Great Britain and helped enforce the treaties with the Native American tribes in the area. The fact that the 150 soldiers present there represented one-fifth of the total armed forces of the nation showed how seriously the government considered the work being done.

The original fort was built in just over a month by the 150 soldiers assigned to defend it, it was reconstructed in fits and starts over a much longer period of time. There was suggestions of building a reconstruction on the centennial of its founding and then, after repeated archaeological digs on the site,and some very dedicated fund-raising by local enthusiasts, work was begun on the current reconstruction in 1989. This project continued for ten years with alternating bouts of construction and fundraising until the project was finished. The fort has a very informative and well presented Visitor Center staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. If you are in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania or the northern tip of West Virginia take the time to drop by it is well worth a visit!













































































2 comments:

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for this--I hadn't heard of Ft. Steuben (I feel shame). By way of reciprocating, have you been to Fort Christmas in Florida? It's east of Orlando, in the middle of nowhere. I was last there about 25 years ago (!!), and at that time it was nicely restored, with some interesting displays regarding the Seminole Wars. I visited the website today, and there has been a lot of stuff added, although the Seminole displays themselves appear identical. I'm not sure it's really worth a visit by itself, but if you're ever in the area you might want to check it out. Certainly it provided me with something to do that was well away from my in-laws back in Orlando!

    Best regards,

    Chris

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    1. It is my expressed dream to visit and record every fort and significant gun battery east of the Mississippi. I know that the likelihood of that is very nearly zero, but it does give me something to plan for. I had heard of Fort Christmas (and my wife works for the Rat Kingdom from time to time) maybe I can get in a visit. I have been to the Castillo in St Augustine and Forts Matanzas and Clinch as well as the forts in Tampa Bay. Thanks for the reminder!

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