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.

  • Two Gems
    by David Baker on November 15, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Valley Gem..... the name has a nice ring to it, especially since Marietta, Ohio is nestled in two valleys. Today’s VALLEY GEM sternwheeler cruise boat has been operated at Marietta for nearly fifty years by the Sands family. That boat’s namesake was a Muskingum River steamboat, also named VALLEY GEM.    Captain J. J. Sands explained that […]

  • George Washington and the Ohio River Valley
    by David Baker on July 14, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    The George Washington we know was an accomplished person in so many ways - surveyor, military and civic leader in Virginia, Commander-in-Chief in the Revolutionary War, and first President of the United States. He was also an astute businessman who owned large amounts of land, including tracts in the Ohio River valley, some within 20 miles of […]

  • The Dean of Hollywood
    by David Baker on May 7, 2021 at 11:08 am

    You may not know that a prominent movie star, producer, director and industry leader was born in Marietta. I didn’t until I learned about Hobart VanZandt Bosworth. Few people have heard of him, except maybe historians and long time Hollywood residents. That’s because Hobart was active in stage and silent movies in the early 1900’s. He was […]

  • 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 […]

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