Day 2 of our Oct 26th & 27th history mystery trip
Before we set out on today’s tours let’s have a little history lesson, in 1788, pioneers of the Ohio Company made Marietta the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory and soon a bustling community grew along banks of the rivers. As commerce flowed the town expanded, people flocked into the countryside and the Northwest Territory soon became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota.
Bright and early on this crisp autumn Saturday morning a very well informed local tour guide stepped on our coached and informed us on the city’s rich and colorful history and heritage as toured around town.
Our 1st stop was a visit to the “Castle” one of the best executed examples of Gothic Revival style architecture in Ohio. With its octagonal tower, trefoil attic window, and stone capped spires on the outside and with interior architectural details include a scagliola fireplace surround, coodge papier-mâché moldings, and floor to ceiling shutters on the parlor's bay window it was a home to behold. The house, once the home of Ohio Senator Theodore Davis, is furnished with items of historical significance to the area, as well as those typical of the Victorian Era.
Nearly midday it’s time for lunch and/or shopping in the downtown historic districts. There are plenty of options to search out but most of the group headed to the Marietta Brewing Company for oversized sandwiches and hand-crafted birch beer. The Raspberry Wheat along with the Scotch Ale were tasty too!
Our afternoon stops Campus Martius Museum and the Ohio River Museum deal with much of the early history and eventual development of the region. Both of these venues offer excellent interpretations of our past with dramatic displays and unbelievably authentic artifacts and displays. These two sites are only a few blocks apart so it’s easy to walk between both museums and the downtown is only a few minutes drive away. Let’s start our afternoon at the Campus Martius Museum. It highlights migration in Ohio's history and is located on the site of the first organized American settlement in the Northwest Territory. Founded by the Ohio Company of Associates in 1788, Campus Martius was a fort that served as home for some of the pioneers while they established Marietta. The restored Rufus Putnam house, part of the original fort, is now enclosed within a wing of the museum. Behind the museum is the Ohio Company's Land Office. History and artifacts are everywhere here.
After an hour or so here, head down the gentle sloping sidewalks towards the Muskingum River and in a few minutes you’ll approach The Ohio River Museum. This attraction consists of three exhibit buildings, the first of which houses displays depicting the origins and natural history of the Ohio River. The golden age of the steamboat is featured in the second building, along with a video presentation on river steamboats. The last building explores the enduring relationship between man and the river. Boat building is also featured. Outside the museum, on the Muskingum River, visitors can take an escorted tour of the W. P. SNYDER JR. -- the last intact steam-powered, stern-wheeled towboat in the United States. The TELL CITY pilothouse and a full-scale reproduction of a flatboat complete the outside exhibits.
You can learn more about Marietta this region by calling the Marietta/Washington County Visitors Bureau at 1.800.288.2577 or visiting them online at http://www.mariettaohio.org/. Happy travels!