Happy 75th Birthday Fort Stanwix

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Date: December 18, 2009
Contact: Mike Kusch, 315 271-5796

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Image Courtesy of the Rome Historical Society

Rome, NY: Did you know that Fort Stanwix National Monument turns 75 years old in 2010? After years of work by citizens of the City of Rome, New York, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Wagner-Sisson Bill on August 21, 1935, to establish Fort Stanwix National Monument "for the benefit and inspiration of the people." To celebrate this milestone, Fort Stanwix will host several events throughout 2010. These events were developed in close cooperation with representatives of the city, community groups, park partners, and park staff. Events will include a temporary exhibit, boy and girl scout encampments, father-son, mother-daughter and family encampments, and an educators’ encampment, topping off with a grand 75th birthday party the weekend of August 21 and 22, 2010. More information about these and other events will be released as the dates for these activities draws nearer. Come out, enjoy and celebrate Fort Stanwix National Monument’s 75th birthday.

"We are excited about this coming year and celebrating the 75th birthday of Fort Stanwix National Monument," said Mike Kusch, Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management. "We earnestly wish to thank the people of Rome for their efforts and their patriotism to establish and keep an important National Park Service site within their community. We at Fort Stanwix National Monument are proud to serve the people of Rome and the people who visit the park from all over the United States and the world. Thank you very much."

You may be asking yourself: "But, the fort was not opened until 1976?" This is true. The reason why the fort was not built and opened until 41 years later is that the bill, like many bills establishing National Park Service sites, had an interesting and commonly used clause: "The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to accept donations of land, interests in land and/or buildings, structures, and other property within the boundaries of said national monument as determined and fixed hereunder, and donations of funds for the purchase and/or maintenance thereof, the title and evidence of title to lands acquired to be satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior." In other words, the property and/or the money to purchase the property had to be donated. The property was donated to the Secretary of the Interior in the 1970s.

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 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 is 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 www.nps.gov/fost for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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