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.

  • The Midnight Ride of……William Dawes
    by David Baker on June 16, 2024 at 11:27 am

         They called him Billy. His real name was William Dawes, Jr., ancestor of Marietta’s noted Dawes family. He rode with Paul Revere on his famous 1775 midnight ride. But Dawes was left out of the story, along with a third rider, Dr. Samuel Prescott. To paraphrase author Christopher Klein, “While Paul Revere galloped into history, his […]

  • Marietta College Ambulance Corps
    by David Baker on June 6, 2024 at 2:56 pm

         There is a monument at the corner of Gilman and Virginia Streets in Harmar. It sits near busy traffic lanes, yet offers a serene view of the Ohio River. It was a gift of France, donated as part of the Northwest Territory Sesquicentennial Celebration in 1937-38 in appreciation for the service of the World War I Marietta College Ambulance […]

  • 1924 Election: Marietta Native Charles G. Dawes Elected Vice President of the United States
    by David Baker on April 26, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    Turned off by the spiteful rhetoric in today’s political discourse? Stressed by the twenty-four hour news cycle and social media rancor? Go back to the 1924 presidential campaign. A Marietta native, Charles Gates Dawes, was the running mate of Calvin Coolidge on the Republican ticket. Dawes is the serious-looking one on the right in the photo. […]

  • Catherine Fay Ewing, Children’s Home Pioneer
    by David Baker on April 2, 2024 at 9:28 pm

    The hill behind the former Children’s Home complex in Marietta offers a serene view of the area. Breezes rustle the leaves of giant oak trees towering over the site. A mowed clearing with a chain link fence seems out of place. A plaque identifies the site as a burial ground for children who died while residents of the Home. It is a poignant […]

  • Captain Mary B. Greene, Pioneering River Lady
    by David Baker on March 26, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    History often overlooked women in early America. There were many notable women in our area. This is one such profile. Steamboating was a male dominated vocation in the late 1800’s.  There were no licensed female captains on the Ohio or Mississippi Rivers. Then Mary Becker Greene came along and earned those licenses before age 29. She became an […]

  • Life with Joseph at Fort Harmar
    by David Baker on January 18, 2024 at 8:41 pm

    Joseph Buell, Marietta pioneer, future General of the Militia, businessman, and legislator, had a rough start at Fort Harmar: He was court-martialed. He sold liquor “without permission” when he traded a pint of liquor to buy some catfish. Fortuntately, he was acquitted. Joseph Buell was born in Killingsley CT in 1763. He arrived as a sergeant […]

  • Lafayette’s Perilous Journey to Marietta
    by David Baker on November 21, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    The steamboat MECHANIC chugged along at full throttle up the Ohio River below Louisville on the evening of May 8, 1825. The weather was pleasant; it had been a beautiful day. On board was Revolutionary War hero, French nobleman (General) Marquis de Lafayette, who was on a tour of America. The governors of Tennessee and Illinois, distinguished […]

  • Manasseh Cutler, Mac and Cheese Bad Boy
    by David Baker on November 18, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    Manasseh Cutler was served macaroni and cheese at a state dinner hosted by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802. He did not like it and said so publicly. Cutler was a scientist, pastor, and architect of the new territory that enabled the settlement of Marietta and statehood for Ohio. He is considered a co-founder of Ohio University, chartered in […]

  • Oldest Oil Well in America?
    by David Baker on September 15, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Oldest oil well in the America? Texas, Oil City PA, Saudi Arabia (I know, it’s not in America)? But we think of places like these for oil firsts. Oil has been around for thousands of years, but only in the last 160 years have we been seeking it out through drilling. One of those oldest wells is within 25 miles of Marietta. The first Thorla […]

  • Rufus Putnam Ingenuity Ousts British from Boston
    by David Baker on July 30, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    Rufus Putnam is considered the founder of Marietta, Ohio. He had a distinguished Revolutionary War record. His specialty was fortifications. In early March, 1776, George Washington was planning a campaign to force the British army out of Boston. Rather than a risky frontal assault, he and his staff decided upon secretly fortifying Dorchester […]

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