Fort Stanwix Hosts Open House for "America's Best Idea"

swirls of browns, tans, and blues dance in line on the fort parade ground

National Park Service

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News Release Date: September 25, 2009

Contact: William Sawyer, 315-338-7730

Rome, NY — On Saturday, September 26, 2009, in preparation for the Ken Burns documentary "America's Best Idea" on our National Park System Fort Stanwix National Monument will host an open house for people wishing to express their appreciation to the park volunteers and explore volunteer opportunities at the park. The six-part Ken Burns documentary will be shown on PBS starting Sunday, September 27, 2009.

The day's activities will include greeting park volunteers inside the fort from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., an information table inside the Willett Center located at the intersection of James and Dominick Streets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., behind the scenes tours at the park’s headquarters and maintenance facility, and meet the park’s superintendent, chief of interpretation, and park staff from 10 to 11:30 a.m., behind the scenes tours at the fort from 1 to 2:30 p.m., historic weapons demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and children’s activities inside the fort from 3 to 4 p.m.. There will be additional activities inside the Willett Center and fort throughout the day such as a becoming a Junior Ranger.

"Last year, 100% of the park visitors who responded to a survey stated that they were satisfied with the services received at Fort Stanwix. This rating was earned in large part due to the services provided by the volunteers at the park," stated Mike Kusch, Chief of Interpretation.

"At Fort Stanwix National Monument we take great pride in the services volunteers provide to the visitors at the park." More than half of the park’s accomplishments are because of the volunteers. Whether it is only a few or hundreds of hours of donated time and energy in the public eye or behind the scenes, every opportunity is taken to thank each person. This is because the volunteers at Fort Stanwix National Monument are great ambassadors for the park, the National Park Service, and the City of Rome.

All National Park Service volunteers, known as Volunteers in Parks or VIPs, take great pride in their National Parks, the National Park mission, and their contributions in preserving park resources and serving visitors from around the world. VIP opportunities include providing living history, interpretation and education programs, providing customer services at visitor contact stations, gardening, maintaining cannons and muskets, developing print and web-based publications, photography, and much more.

The mission of Fort Stanwix National Monument is to preserve the location and objects associated with the military, political, and cultural events that occurred at the site and to provide opportunities for visitor understanding and appreciation of these events. Fort Stanwix National Monument is significant because it commemorates the broader contest of nations for economic and political control of the rich resources within the Mohawk Valley region of New York State during the 18th century: in particular, the Siege of 1777, the stories of the combatants involved, and European-American Indian and United States-American Indian relations.

Fort Stanwix National Monument is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the park and Oriskany Battlefield and Steuben Memorial State Historic Sites are free. Activities are ongoing unless noted. For more information about upcoming events please call the park at (315) 338-7730. Please visit the park’s web page at for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.

                                              - NPS -

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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