Steubenville, Ohio is rich in history, founded as part of the westward expansion of the country that began after the Revolutionary War. Twenty-three larger than life murals around the city follow the development of the town from its frontier fort beginnings to its decades of industrial strength and as the home of such celebrities as Dean Martin. Renowned artists Eric Grohe and Robert Dafford are some of the muralists who made history come to life in this distinctive project. Step-on tour guides give entertaining and informative presentations on each mural and some colorful city history as well. Self-guided tours are available at the Visitor Center for those who like to explore on their own.
Exploring your genealogy? As the Gateway to the West, Steubenville was the starting point for many families emigrating from the eastern United States. Records of early settlers can be found by descendents at the Ohio Room in the Schiappa Library and the Genealogy Library at the Jefferson County Historical Association Mansion.
More history can be experienced at Historic Fort Steuben, a reconstructed 18th century fort on its original site overlooking the Ohio River. Originally built to house the soldiers of the 1st American Regiment and the surveyors of the Northwest Territory, today the Fort provides an insight into life on the Ohio frontier. Open for touring from May through October, ten buildings house exhibits on fort life, frontiersmen’s habits and surveying history. Knowledgeable interpreters give the stories behind the history. This family-friendly site also includes the Fort Steuben Visitor Center, the Museum Shop, Fort Steuben Park and the Berkman Amphitheater with free concerts on Thursday evenings throughout the summer.
Adjacent to the Fort is the original First Federal Land Office west of the Alleghenies. This log structure was established in 1801 to register the deeds and land grants in the new territory. Today it is fully furnished as the 19th century home office it once was.
Antique lovers can browse at Adams Antiques, an early 20th century brownstone now overflowing with unique items from postcards to jewelry to dishware representative of Ohio and America’s history. A special feature is the Dean Martin Room where memorabilia of Steubenville’s native son are available.
Dean Martin is remembered every June during the city’s Hometown Celebration. This month-long event includes Ohio Valley Frontier Days (June 7-8, 2014), the Greek Food Festival (June 10-14), and the Dean Martin Festival (June 12-14) The Jefferson County Historical Museum on Franklin Avenue also honors Dean Martin with a special exhibit.
An appreciation of the past is part of the charm of Bayberry Bed & Breakfast on Historic North Fourth Street: several stately homes that offer elegance as well as modern convenience to visitors. Accommodations can be found at Best Western Plus/University Inn, Microtel, Hampton Inn and Super 8 Motel.
More information on these and other attractions can be obtained at the Steubenville Visitor Center, 120 S. 3rd Street, Steubenville OH 43952, 1-866-301-1787, firstname.lastname@example.org , and www.visitsteubenville.com. The Visitor Center is open 10-4, Monday through Friday.