1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marietta (Ohio)

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MARIETTA, a city and the county-seat of Washington county, Ohio, U.S.A., on the Ohio River, at the mouth of the Muskingum, about 115 m. S.E. of Columbus. Pop. (1890), 8273; (1900), 13,348, including 679 foreign-born and 361 negroes; (1910), 12,923. It is served by the Pennsylvania (Marietta Division), the Baltimore & Ohio (Marietta & Parkersburg, Marietta & Zanesville, and Ohio River divisions) and the Marietta, Columbus & Cleveland railways, and by steamboat lines to several river ports; a bridge across the Ohio connects it with Williamstown, West Virginia. The city is in a hilly country of much natural beauty, and is of considerable historic interest. On the banks of the Muskingum is a public park, facing which stood the oldest church in the state; this was burned in 1905, but was subsequently rebuilt in the old style. Near by are some 18th century buildings, some interesting earthworks of the “mound-builders,” and a cemetery in which are buried many soldiers who fought in the War of Independence. Marietta is the seat of Marietta College, dating from 1830, which in 1908 had more than 500 students. It possesses a library of 60,000 volumes, including some rare collections, especially the Stimson collection of books bearing on the history of the North-West Territory. Petroleum, coal, and iron-ore abound in the neighbouring region, and the city has a considerable trade in these and in its manufactures of chairs, leather, flour, carriages, wagons, boats, boilers, bricks and glass. In 1905 the factory products were valued at $2,599,287.

Marietta, named in honour of Marie Antoinette, is the oldest settlement in the state and in the North-west Territory. It was founded in 1788 by a company of Revolutionary officers from New England under the leadership of General Rufus Putnam, and in the same year the North-West Territory was formally organized here. The pseudo-classicism of the period of Marietta’s foundation is indicated by the names—Capitolium for one of the public squares, Sacra Via for one of the principal streets, and Campus Martius for the fortification. The settlement was incorporated as a town in 1800 and chartered as a city in 1852. In 1800 the village of Harmar, including the site on which Fort Harmar was built in 1785, was annexed.

See Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Ohio (Columbus, 1891).