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

Officers

Bruce Newton, President

Toby Jewett, Vice President

Elizabeth (Betsy) Diachun, Secretary

James Frank, Treasurer

Directors

Michael Blenk

Deborah Breed 

David Caldwell

Paul Casseri

Harry DeBan

Aaron Dey

Thomas Faith

Karen Fenzl

Stephen Jackson

Everell Jewett

Elizabeth Kahn

Richard Lewis

Craig Maefs

Arthur (Skip) Mazenauer

Thomas O'Donnell

Thomas Palmer

Neil Patterson, Sr.

Paul Reid

Jodee Riordan

David Rogers 

Bruce Sutherland   

Board of Directors Candidates for 2020

LTC Craig Maefs is the Mid-Atlantic Region Lead for Computer Support Services for Northrop Grumman Corporation in Amherst NY.  He has responsibility for supporting NGC facilities in the Northeast of the United States.   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 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 44 years Patricia.  They have four children: Robert, Matthew, Sarah and Rachel.

 

 Bruce 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.

 

DAVID MARTIN 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. (2013 to 2017)

 

Paul Reid serves as CEO of the Reid Group, a group of companies focused on marketing transportation fuels regionally and operating convenience food stores in NY and PA through the Crosby’s chain of stores.  He graduated with a B.S. in Management/Accounting from Syracuse University and a J.D./M.B.A. from Indiana University and is a member of the NYS Bar. 

Paul has served on the Old Fort Niagara Association's Board of Directors since 1997.  He serves on the Board of The Fuel Foundation; Board Member with the Grigg-Lewis Foundation, Lockport Children's Memorial Park Committee and Lockport Community Band.

His interests include boating, biking, hiking, skiing, reading, music, and astronomy.  Paul and his family live in Lockport.

 

Thomas J. Faith is Vice President for Healthcare Operations of the C/N Group, Inc., a health services management company.  He is one of the original members of Brant's Volunteers.  Since 1988, Brant's Volunteers have been active at Old Fort Niagara and other historic sites, and the group has grown to almost fifty men-at-arms and an equal number of camp followers.

Mr. Faith is a Fellow of the National Public Health and Hospital Institute and has been active in a number of regional and national committees dealing with such health-related topics as trauma system development, hospital bed utilization, and Medicaid reform.  He is the past Chair of the Erie County Citizens' Committee for Rape and Sexual Assault, Inc., the Committee on Domestic Violence, and Deaf Adult Services, Inc.  He is the Treasurer of the Armor Modeling and Preservation Society and Niagara Frontier Chapter of the International Plastic Model Society.

 

Elizabeth Kahn 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 parents, Warren and Leila, still live.  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.

 

Thomas M. O'Donnell was appointed to the Board in 2003 and elected to a full term in 2005.  He is an attorney in private practice and was the Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Niagara Falls.  He participates in several professional organizations and is a Past President of the Niagara County 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 50 years and is a member of the Executive Board of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is the New York State Secretary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.  Tom previously served as a Trustee of Niagara Catholic High School, Treasurer of the Nine Mile Island Youth Camp and President of the Buffalo Ornithological Society. He is a Life Member of the Old Fort Niagara Association.  Avid nature enthusiasts, Tom and his wife, Susan, live in Niagara Falls.

 

James K. 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 teacher of French in the Buffalo Public Schools, Kathy regularly conducts 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 served on the OFNA Finance Committee since 2013.

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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:

Hours of Operation

The Fort is open year round with the exception of New Years Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Jan - June 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • July - Aug - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Sept - Dec - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

General Admission

Adults:

$15.00

Children (6 to 12 years) 

$10.00

Children (5 and under):

  FREE

 

Please note: Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing time.

 

 

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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