The Old Fort Niagara Association

The Old Fort Niagara Association operates Old Fort Niagara under license from the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Association is responsible for opening the Fort to the public on a regular schedule, providing visitor services, maintenance and security, upholding State standards for historic preservation, providing interpretive programming and managing and caring for a large collection of artifacts and documentary materials. The Association also manages an ambitious publications program and conducts archaeological research in cooperation with Buffalo State College. 

Since its founding in 1927, the Old Fort Niagara Association has operated Old Fort Niagara in a self-sufficient manner. The organization does not receive substantial operating support from government. Income is derived from admission fees, shop sales and community support. Annually the Fort welcomes almost 100,000 visitors from throughout the world. The organization is made up of some 900 members.

The Association is classified as a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Service.


The Association was founded in 1927 in response to fears among local citizens that the historic structures of the Old Fort would be allowed to fall into ruin. The members and leadership were able to convince the United States Army (which then owned the Old Fort) that Federal funds should be used ot restore the historic buildings and walls. The Association also raised money from among the citizens of the Niagara Frontier and used it to match Federal appropriations. Between 1927 and 1934, the Army and the Association obtained the money necessary to restore Old Fort Niagara to the condition in which it appears today.

As restoration neared its end, the Army began looking for the best way to operate the restored fort as a museum. An agreement was reached with the Association, and, in 1931, the first official license to operate the Old Fort was issued to the Association. When the Army transferred the Fort Niagara Reserve to the State of New York in 1948, the Association continued to operate and maintain the site.

Mission of the Old Fort Niagara Association

The Old Fort Niagara Association functions under a formal "Statement of Purpose" which provides the rationale for all decisions relating to the historic site and its museum. The stated purposes of the Association are:

Preservation Function: To preserve, restore and maintain the historic site and structures of Old Fort Niagara. The site comprises roughly 23 acres of land and Lake Ontario bottom land at the mouth of the Niagara River. Included in this area are fortifications, outworks, six 18th century buildings, significant archaeological remains, and the early post cemetery.

Education Function: To foster, encourage and promote a deeper understanding of Old Fort Niagara and its significance to the history of the Niagara Frontier, the State of New York, the United States, and Canada. This shall be accomplished by means of research, archaeology , exhibits, programs, publications, and any other appropriate educational techniques.

Collection Function: To establish and maintain collections of objects, books, documents and illustrations relating to the history of the site of Old Fort Niagara and associated historic sites along the Niagara Frontier.

Old Fort Niagara Association Board of Directors


Mr. David Caldwell   PRESIDENT

Mr. Bruce Newton     VICE PRES 

Mr. Thomas Palmer   TREASURER 

Mrs. Elizabeth Diachun SECRETARY


Mr. Michael Blenk   

Mrs. Deborah Breed                                  Mr. Arthur Mazenauer (Skip)        

Mrs. Jeanette Brooks                                Mrs. Ginger McNally        

Mr. Michael Brummer                               Mr. Thomas O'Donnell 

Mr. Harry  M. DeBan                                Mr. Alvin Parker

Mr. Aaron E. Dey                                      Mr. Paul Reid

Mr. Thoms J. Faith                                   Mr. Richard Roach

Mr. James Frank                                      Mr. David Rogers

Mr. Stephen Jackson                               Mr. James Sexton III

Mr. Everell W. Jewett, III (Toby)              Mr. Arthur Werner 

Mr. Richard Lewis

Mr. Craig R. Maefs                                   


Fort Staff  (all phone numbers (716) 745-7611)

Robert L. Emerson, Executive Director  ext. 228

Jerome Brubaker, Assistant Director/Curator ext. 225

Cynthia Liddell, Finance Manager ext. 230

Jason Buckley, Interpetive Programs Manager  ext. 227

Patricia Fitzpatrick, Museum Shop Manager ext 262

Steve Olay, Buildings and Grounds Manager ext 253

Brian McDonald, Assistant Interpretive Programs Manager  ext 229

Belinda Patterson, Native American Educator ext. 226

Genevieve Montante, Tour Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, Clerical Assistant ext. 221

Trish Labosky, Finance Assistant ext. 232  

Please direct any inquiries regarding OFN operations or employment to:  Old Fort Niagara    P.O. Box 169 Youngstown, NY 14174-0169 USA   tel 716.745.7611 fax 716.745.9141 or email us here: (link to contact page)