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.

  • John Quincy Adams visits Marietta
    by David Baker on August 11, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Shortly before 2:00 pm on November 15, 1843, the bell tolled at the First Congregational ("Two Horned") Church in Marietta. Crowds rushed towards the church, others to the Ohio River landing. They were eager to see former President John Quincy Adams who would arrive by riverboat and speak at the church."JQA" (Adams referred to himself this way) […]

  • The Woman's Home, a Pioneering Charity
    by David Baker on July 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    The term "pioneer" is synonymous with Marietta's founding and early years. Mariettans were also responsible for establishing two pioneering charitable organizations. One was the Washington County Children's Home, the first government-funded home in the country. It was founded through the pioneering (there's that word again) efforts of Catherine […]

  • July 4, 1788..."We were one great family."
    by David Baker on June 27, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    July 4, 1788 in Marietta, Ohio, dawned warm, humid, and windy. Rain threatened. Joseph Buell was a soldier in the garrison at Fort Harmar. His journal entry for July 4, 1788 was matter-of-fact: "This day was celebrated with thirteen rounds from the six pounder, and repeated again at four o'clock. The troops received an extra […]

  • Burr Conspiracy and the Battle of the Muskingum
    by David Baker on May 15, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Two shots rang out in the early morning mist above the towering Palisades on the Heights of Weehawken NJ. It was July 11, 1804. Alexander Hamilton lay mortally wounded, shot by Aaron Burr in a duel. Hamilton died the next day. The aftermath of the duel would soon be felt in the Ohio Valley.CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGEAaron Burr Portrait, from […]

  • Marietta College and the Floating Dormitory
    by David Baker on February 17, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Colleges are struggling to maintain enrollments these days, primarily because of fewer college age students in the population. Marietta College ("MC"), for example, has seen its enrollment decline in recent years. That forces a grim balancing act - cutting back and conserving resources while maintaining a quality experience for students.Imagine […]

  • WPAR, Radio Pioneer
    by David Baker on January 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    My tennis friend Stev Pitchford sent me a photo he took as a photographer for WTAP TV news in the mid-1950s. It was a fire in downtown Parkersburg: WPAR studios were engulfed in flames. His photos (seen later in this blog post) prompted me to research WPAR history.First, some radio background: The radio phenomenon exploded on the scene in the […]

  • A Tale of Two Country Clubs
    by David Baker on December 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    I have often heard stories about the original Marietta Country Club ("MCC"). There are still traces of the facility along Chamberlain Drive in Devola where the course was located, along with other reminders, such as the street name "Country Club Drive." I learned in my research that there were two country clubs in Marietta in the late 1920's with […]

  • Ivan Was Here - Flooding in 2004
    by David Baker on November 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    The recent flooding in North Carolina from Hurricane Matthew was an unpleasant reminder of a similar event that devastated our area in 2004. By Friday, September 17, 2004, the remains of Hurricane Ivan had dumped five inches of rain over two days in Marietta. Seven inches of rain inundated western Pennsylvania in just a single day. The Ohio River […]

  • Council House and the Treaty of Fort Harmar
    by David Baker on September 24, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    It must have been a startling sight: 200 Indians marching towards Fort Harmar in December of 1788 with an American flag. There was musket fire - a friendly salute from the Indians, followed by several minutes of a cannon and musket fire salute from Fort Harmar. The troops escorted the Indians into the fort with music playing. So began treaty […]

  • 1938
    by David Baker on July 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    The Marietta Times newspaper on July 7 and 8, 1938 was filled with details of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's visit. He spoke in Marietta on July 8 as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of Marietta's settlement. You can learn more of his visit here. I am fascinated by articles, photos, and advertisements in old newspaper editions. […]

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