Early Marietta: A blog by Dave Baker – local historian and Campus Martius & Ohio River Museum volunteer – that offers facts, photos, opinions, and commentary about life in the Marietta area over the years.

  • Black History Month: 3 African American Pioneers
    by David Baker on February 20, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    These are profiles of three African American men from our early history. Each distinguished himself with a life of courage and perseverance. Each had the opportunity to live as a free man in the Northwest Territory or Ohio where foresighted leaders had adopted laws to prohibit slavery.Christopher Malbone aka “Kitt Putnam”Kitt Putnam panicked […]

  • Wood County Pioneer: Alexander Henderson, Jr.
    by David Baker on February 5, 2021 at 2:45 pm

     A duel was fought in Belpre, Ohio on October 8, 1805. That caught my attention. I had never heard of this or any other duel in the Ohio Country. It seemed out of character with practices of that time, though the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr had taken place just a year earlier. The duel combatants were Alexander […]

  • What do Rufus Putnam and Ohio State Football Have in Common?
    by David Baker on January 12, 2021 at 8:09 pm

    Never thought I’d see Rufus Putnam, venerable pioneer and founder of Marietta, mentioned in college football playoff hype. The occasion was the build-up to the College Football Playoff  (“CFP”) semi-final game between Ohio State and Clemson on New Years Day, 2021. Ryan McGee, ESPN Sports Network Senior Writer, wrote an article for ESPN […]

  • Rebecca
    by David Baker on December 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Rebecca Williams was a true pioneer. Her full name, Rebecca Tomlinson Martin Williams, tells much about her. She was born in 1754 in Cumberland, MD to Joseph and Rebecca Swearingen Tomlinson. She had six brothers and two sisters. Her brother Joseph II and his son Joseph III were early Wood County WV pioneers. Rebecca married John Martin, an […]

  • Cap and Anna Posey
    by David Baker on October 2, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Cumberland (“Cap”) and Anna Posey were a remarkable African American couple with Southeast Ohio connections. They achieved a level of success in life that was unusual for Blacks in the late 1800's and early 1900's. I found their story captivating. What was it that motivated them - from humble beginnings -  to learn, to strive, to persevere […]

  • Lillian Cisler, Personal Recollections
    by David Baker on August 2, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Below are very special, and personal, recollections of two people who knew Lillian E. Cisler well. As a brief introduction (see also the “Thomas Cisler Family“ post on this blog), Lillian (1903-1993) was the third generation of Cislers to live at the Cisler Terrace home. Her grandfather Thomas Cisler (1838-1920) started the Cisler Brick […]

  • The Thomas Cisler Family
    by David Baker on August 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    A stately thirteen room brick home sits nestled in the trees, mostly hidden from view. Many are unaware of its presence along Seventh Street in Marietta - and its rich history. Three generations of the Thomas Cisler family lived at the “Cisler Terrace” home built in 1886.Cisler Terrace home, restored by current owners Dr. Jesse and Laurie […]

  • Rufus Putnam helps the “Dellaware Woman”
    by David Baker on May 31, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    I came across a curious letter written by Rufus Putnam. It probably the shortest he ever wrote:                                                                MARIETTA, May 17th, 1797.Sir :—Pleze to Deliver the Dellaware woman, widow of the murdered Indian Such goods as she shall chuze to wipe away […]

  • Amos Harvey’s Tavern-Keeper License
    by David Baker on April 30, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Marietta resident Amos R. Harvey wanted to renew his liquor/tavernkeeper license in 1811. He figured it would be routine. But there was a glitch. A group of prominent citizens filed a petition recommending that his license not be renewed.He had presumably been in the tavern business for a while. Taverns at that time were an important public […]

  • Epidemics: Disease, Courage, Perseverance in Early Washington County
    by David Baker on April 11, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    We rarely experience serious epidemics today. That’s why the Covid-19 virus pandemic is so unusual - and traumatic. The experience will be etched into our memory and our national psyche for decades to come. The terms social distancing, apex, surge, hot spot, flattening the curve, and shelter-in-place will become part of our lexicon. But in the […]

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