Fort Stanwix enjoys first day open since Government shutdown ended

"Open" flag flying in front of Fort Stanwix

When you go inside Fort Stanwix, time stands still in the 1700's. The reconstructed fort has cannons, spears and obstacles to guard the exterior but it had no defense for a very modern government shutdown. Now that the U.S. government is back up and running, tours have resumed and families can enjoy the historic site in the center of downtown Rome.

"It's nice, it's peaceful. in the summer they do reenactments and when we walk through the kids see everyone dressed up," said Alison Button from Rome.

Fort Stanwix is a tourism draw for the city of Rome and seeing the open flag flying overhead was a relief for many who live nearby. The shutdown disrupted normal operations but park supervisor Debbie Conway says they are working to get back on track.

"We did have a few school groups and a couple bus tours that had to cancel but we hope they can reschedule," said Conway.

Conway says the shutdown wasn't just tough for visitors. It was also hard for park employees who wanted to get back to work.

"It is really hard to stay away, I know I have a couple employees that are very Type A, very go out and do things and I know they were stacking firewood and other things to stay busy," said Conway.

Some regular visitors hope that the publicity surrounding the government shutdown will help others appreciate Fort Stanwix and other national parks more

"I think it made people more aware - Hey, we planned that vacation and when we get there it may not be open," said Christine Ruben from Rome.

For now, life in the 1700's is back to normal at the fort but guests know another budget showdown is just around the corner in January.