Fort Stanwix superintendent to leave Rome for Philadelphia post
Superintendent of Fort Stanwix National Monument Frank Barrows is stepping down.
Calling the move a “difficult decision,” Barrows said he would be leaving his post by the year’s end.
Barrows said he has accepted another position within the National Park Service, as program manager for visitor experience and community engagement for the northeast region, in Philadelphia.
“This opportunity was a good fit, and a career goal for me,” he explained.
A temporary superintendent, Barrows said, will be appointed by the park service to Fort Stanwix for up to 120 days. During that time, applicants will compete for the post.
Barrows came to Fort Stanwix in late 2014, having served previously at the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in Massachusetts.
His goal then, he said, was to “establish the fort as a leader of centennial engagement” in the run-up to the park service’s hundredth year in operation.
To that end, the fort under Barrows “expanded its involvement in Honor America Day” celebrations and partnered with such community institutions as the Capitol Theater and the Rome Historical Society.
“Strengthening our relationship with the Historical Society ... led to so many opportunities” for the fort, Barrow said. Through a focus on “programs that combine recreation and history,” he “shined a big light on Fort Stanwix,” he said.
Under Barrows’ tenure, the fort entered into an agreement to “collaboratively manage” the Oriskany Battlefield and Steuben Memorial State Historic Sites. The fort under Barrows expanded its social media engagement, notably through its ‘40 for 40’ series of short videos about the fort’s reconstruction in the 1970s, and reimagined its role in the community by offering its 16 acre green for play.
“It’s still the place where you can experience living history,” Barrows said, “but its also the central green space, like the central park for Rome, really.”
“We’re trying to let people experience (the fort) in new ways.”
In his new role in Philadelphia, Barrows said he will still have a connection to the Copper City.
“I’m still going to work to support this place, support Fort Stanwix”
But beyond his capacity as fort super, Barrows said he and his family will miss life in Rome. “My youngest son was born here... My oldest son has spent half of his life here now.”
“This place will always be special to us.”