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


Bruce Newton, President

Toby Jewett, Vice President

Elizabeth Kahn, Secretary

James Frank, Treasurer


Timothy Adamson

Michael Blenk

Deborah Breed 

Paul Casseri

Harry DeBan

Aaron Dey

Thomas Faith

Karen Fenzl

Elizabeth Kahn

Richard Lewis

Craig Maefs

David Martin

Arthur (Skip) Mazenauer

Sandra Hayes Mies

Thomas O'Donnell

Thomas Palmer

Neil Patterson, Sr.

Paul Reid

David Rogers 

David Truesdale

Harry Wright

Old Fort Niagara Board of Director Biographies for 2023

Thomas J. Faith

Mr. Faith is a native of Elma, New York. He went on to attend Canisius High School in Buffalo and St. John Fisher College in Rochester New York. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Public Health and Hospital Administration from the University of Missouri, Columbia

Mr. Faith has been employed in Health Care since 1969.  During his professional career he held C-Suite positions at Southwestern General Hospital, El Paso, Texas, Calhoun County Medical Center, Pittsboro, Mississippi, and the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo New York.   Currently, he is Vice President for Healthcare Operations of the C/N Group, Inc., a health services management company headquartered in Merrillville, Indiana.

He is a Fellow of the National Association of Public Hospitals.   He has held Board positions For Deaf Adult Services, Child & Family Services, and Haven House, all of Buffalo, NY.   Additionally, he has held Committee positions for the WNY Healthcare Association, NYS Department of Social Services Medicaid Reform, and served as President of the NYS Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers.

Mr. Faith’s non-work activities include military modeling and living history.   He is Treasurer of the Armor Modeling & Preservation Society and IPMS Niagara Frontier.  He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Fort Niagara Association for 10 years.

James K. Frank

Mr. Frank is a CPA and a Tax Partner at Tronconi Segarra & Associates, LLP, a full service accounting firm with offices in Williamsville, Niagara Falls, and Clarence, New York. He joined the Firm in 2012 upon retirement from Ernst & Young after almost thirty years, the last twelve of which were spent manning the U.S. Tax Desk in the Toronto Office.

Born and raised in Western New York, Jim graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Buffalo School of Management (B.S.) in 1978.  He and his wife Kathy reside in Alden.  A retired teacher of French in the Buffalo Public Schools, Kathy regularly conducted field trips with her students to Old Fort Niagara, especially on French Heritage Day!

A lifelong student of American history, Jim is a member of several historical associations.  He has been a member of the OFNA Finance Committee since 2013, and has served as the Association Treasurer since 2015.

Elizabeth Kahn

Ms. Kahn is a native of Youngstown, is a former journalist and non-profit leader, and currently works in the Marketing and Communications field. She grew up a mile from Fort Niagara, where her mother Leila, still lives.

Liz graduated from Lew-Port schools and Pennsylvania State University, earning a degree in Journalism. After starting her newspaper career at the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, she moved back to Western New York and in 1988 she joined the Buffalo News, where, over a 23-year career at the paper she held several leadership positions, including Niagara County Bureau Chief and Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing several sections of the paper.

She left The Buffalo News and the newspaper business in 2011, worked in health-care marketing for the MASH Care Network, then in 2014 became Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Western New York, the breast cancer awareness and research non-profit. At Komen, she oversaw the merger of four local chapters to form one Susan G. Komen Upstate New York affiliate in 2016.

In 2018, she joined the newly formed Person Centered Services Care Coordination Organization as Director of Marketing & Communications, overseeing all internal and external communications. Person Centered Services, headquartered in downtown Buffalo, has 740 employees who manage care for over 17,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across 18 New York counties.

She lives in Buffalo with her husband, Steve Bell, and has four adult children and two grandchildren.

LTC Craig Maefs (Ret)

LTC Maefs was the Mid-Atlantic Regional Supervisor for IT services for Northrop Grumman Corporation in Amherst NY.  He retired from Northrop Grumman in 2022 after 22 years with the company. He has a Degree from the University of Akron in History and is a Graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas.  He served in the Army and Army Reserve for over 32 years retiring in 2003 as Commander of Second Brigade (Engineer One Station Unit Training), 98th Division (Institutional Training).  He was recalled to Active Duty in 2006 and served a year in Kabul Afghanistan as the Current Operations Officer for Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan, Police Reform Division.  He was awarded the Bronze Star for his services upon his second retirement. 

Craig lives in Kenmore with his wife of 47 years Patricia.  They have four children: Robert, Matthew, Sarah and Theo.

Robert Maefs

Mr. Maefs is a Buffalo native, having grown up in Kenmore and is now living downtown in Allentown.  He has been an active member of the Buffalo Startup Community for the past 20 years working with early stage companies to design their technology for rapid growth.  He has a consulting practice and works with state and federal government suppliers on technology challenges.

Personally, Robert is passionate about history, tabletop games and game design, and human factors in complex systems.

Robert serves on the board of Shakespeare in Delaware Park and as a descendant of the one of the original founders and historians of Old Fort Niagara, carries on a long family tradition of association with the fort.

David Martin

David is passionately interested in history and believes Old Fort Niagara to be an absolute gem.  He was a member of the Old Fort Niagara Board from 1994 to 2004 and left when he moved to London, England for eight years.  He returned to the U. S. in 2012 and is now living in Lewiston.

David was educated at Leaside High School (Toronto), University of Toronto (BA, Modern History), University of Windsor (Ll.B.), Harvard Law School (Ll.M.)

He spent two years (1967 – 1969) as a volunteer teacher with CUSO in Ghana, West Africa.

He practiced tax and corporate law with Fraser Beatty in Toronto (now Denton's). He left the law firm to join his family’s truck body and equipment business in 1977.

From 1977 through 2000 he owned and ran a company manufacturing and selling hydraulic liftgates for trucks, with operations in Canada, the U.S. and the U. K. 

He sold this company in 2000.  Since then he has focused on work with the Comart Foundation (run by the Martin family) with particular interest over the past 15 years in working with the Coady International Institute of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia developing the Asset Based Community Driven Development approach through on the ground practical research in Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana).  This work is showing a lot of promise.

Advisory Group Member,  Coady International Institute

Board Member, Diesel Equipment Limited

Board Member, Comart Foundation

Board Member, Harmonia Chamber Singers, Inc.


Bruce Newton

Mr. Newton graduated from Lewiston-Porter High School in 1965.  He was hired by Delphi Harrison that same summer as a Co-op Student at General Motors Institute.  He graduated from GMI in 1970 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He retired from Delphi in February 2009 after working for GM / Delphi for 44 years. 

Having been "born and raised" in Lewiston and Youngstown, Mr. Newton has had a life-long interest in the history of the area, and has always been attracted to Old Fort Niagara and its immense aura of history.  He would consider it an honor to continue serving on the Association's Board of Directors.  His current interests include reading, weight lifting, home and garden improvements, automotive restoration, and wood working.

Thomas M. O'Donnell

Mr. O’Donnell was appointed to the Board in 2003, and elected to a full term in 2005.  He was the Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Niagara Falls.  He participates in several professional organizations and is a Past President of the City of Niagara Falls Bar Association.  Tom is a graduate of Niagara University and the University of Buffalo, School of Law.  He has been an active Scouter for more than 40 years and is a member of the Executive Board of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America.  Tom currently serves as a Trustee of Niagara Catholic High School, Treasurer of the Nine Mile Island Youth Camp, President of the Buffalo Ornithological Society, and is a Life Member of the Old Fort Niagara Association.  Avid nature enthusiasts, Tom and his wife, Susan, live in Niagara Falls.

Paul D. Reid

Mr. Reid serves as Executive Chairman of The Reid Group, a group of companies based in Lockport focused on transportation fuel marketing and convenience retail food stores (Crosby’s) in New York State and NW Pennsylvania.  He is a licensed attorney who graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Syracuse University and a J.D. /M.B.A. from Indiana University.

Reid served as President of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), a national trade association from 2006-2008 and served on their board from 1994-2010, continuing as a board member for their Foundation to present. Other service includes as President of the Reid Family Foundation; Treasurer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers of NY; Old Fort Niagara Association’s Board of Directors; Grigg-Lewis Foundation’s Board of Directors; and Trustee for All Saints Parish in Lockport. Reid is affiliated with the Lockport Children’s Memorial Park Committee, the Lockport Community Band and YPO.

His interests include skiing, biking, boating, reading, history and various family activities.  Paul lives in Lockport with his wife, Katie, who together have two adult children and 5 grandchildren.



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

Hours of Operation

January 13 through March, Open Wednesday-Sunday  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


General Admission



Children (6 to 12 years) 


Children (5 and under):






Support the Fort

Old Fort Niagara is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, an independent, not-for-profit organization established in 1927. We do not rely on tax dollars. Instead, the Fort is funded through a combination of admission fees, museum shop sales, and charitable contributions.

Donate today!


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