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.

  • 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 […]

  • The French Celeron Plates Expedition
    by David Baker on March 30, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Perhaps you've heard of the so-called "Celeron Plates." Or, maybe not. It's not headline material for most of us. But it has been endlessly fascinating for history scholars.Pierre Joseph Celeron De Blainville*, a French military leader, led an expedition down the Ohio River Valley in 1749. The expedition buried lead plates at major tributaries, […]

  • The Buckeye Belle Disaster
    by David Baker on February 23, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    The steamboat BUCKEYE BELLE was torn apart in a spectacular boiler explosion on November 12, 1852 at Beverly, Ohio. Wreckage and human remains rained down on the surrounding area. It was a gruesome sight. Witnesses struggled to find words to describe the devastation. Twenty four died, a dozen were injured.The BUCKEYE BELLE was a graceful […]

  • The 1978 Coal Strike: Perseverance and The Wall Street Journal
    by David Baker on January 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    It would be a winter to remember. December 1977 started out harmless enough, though very cold. News about a nationwide coal strike by the United Mine Workers which began on December 6, 1977 was lost in the background of holiday busyness.As 1978 began, the coal strike became national news. Without coal being mined and delivered to supply electric […]

  • The Royal Visitors
    by David Baker on December 3, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    In July, 1839, King Louis Philippe I of France received an American visitor, a Mr. Hughes, the American charge d’affaires in Stockholm. After introductions, conversation turned to the King’s visit to America in the late 1790’s.King: “Have you ever been at Marietta?”Mr. Hughes responded yes, that he had lived there for several […]

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