Fort Stanwix National Monument

Reconstructing the Past and Partnering for the Future

By Joan M. Zenzen

Subjects: American History
Paperback : 9780791474341, 310 pages, January 2009
Hardcover : 9780791474334, 310 pages, April 2008

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

1. Commemoration
2. Urban Renewal
3. Reconstruction
4. Celebration
5. Holding Down the Fort
6. Beyond the Pickets
7. Reaching Out

1. Fort Stanwix Act, Public Law No. 291
2. Diagram of Fort Stanwix and Its Reconstructed Buildings
3. Fort Stanwix National Monument Superintendents and Dates of Service
4. Annual Visitation Numbers
5. Annual Budget


A history of the reconstruction of Fort Stanwix, New York, by the National Park Service.


This book looks at the history of Fort Stanwix and documents how the people of Rome, New York, partnered with the National Park Service to create Fort Stanwix National Monument, a reconstructed log-and-sod Revolutionary War fort located in the center of the city. Initially undertaken as part of Rome's urban renewal effort to revive a failing economy through tourism, the fort's reconstruction exemplifies how a regional interest successfully engaged the National Park Service in achieving its goals.

Using extensive documentation and oral history interviews, historian Joan M. Zenzen examines the full sweep of the site's history by looking back at the 1777 siege that helped turn the tide at Saratoga, describing political commemorations during the turn of the twentieth century, detailing events leading to urban renewal and fort reconstruction in the 1970s, and explaining how the park's superintendents have managed this fort. She also discusses four important themes in historic preservation—authenticity, reconstruction, reenactment, and memory—to understand the processes that resulted in the establishment of Fort Stanwix National Monument. Tied to these themes is the idea of partnerships, a key ingredient that has kept the national park site engaged with such local communities as Rome businesses, Oneida Six Nations, New York State historic sites, regional tourism boards, and reenactment groups.

Joan M. Zenzen is an independent scholar and the author of Battling for Manassas: The Fifty-Year Preservation Struggle at Manassas National Battlefield Park.


"…this book can give insight for creating effective partnerships that will promote historic preservation." — History News

"This book is specifically important in two areas—historic preservation and American memory—and generally to topics of tourism and National Park Service history. In addition, the book addresses the management of a specific historic site, a subject of increasing importance to historic site managers and the visiting public." — Dwight T. Pitcaithley, former Chief Historian, National Park Service, and coeditor of The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation