About Marietta, Ohio
Founded and settled by former Revolutionary War soldiers and pioneers in 1789, Marietta, Ohio is the oldest settlement in the Northwest Territory. Marietta’s founders brought their New England heritage and architecture with them. Marietta’s tree-lined brick streets and stately Federal and Victorian homes evoke notions of how a small town should feel. Add a rich history as a river town, and one senses a distinctly southern feel, yet uniquely Marietta. A visiting lecturer recently remarked, “I feel as though I have stepped into a Mark Twain novel.”
Marietta also offers culture. The Marietta-Parkersburg Symphony performs several times a year. Marietta College hosts various nationally-known speakers, with lectures open to the general public. A tribute to its history as a river town, Marietta sponsors an annual Sternwheel Festival, featuring the largest fireworks shows in the region. Marietta also hosts a yearly Blues Festival and a weekend of powerboat racing.
Marietta’s downtown is a source of local pride. While many Midwest towns suffer from blight in their town centers, Marietta retains a vibrant, historic downtown. Numerous antique stores, restaurants, coffee shops, candy shops, craft stores, boutiques, spas, a brewery, and a riverboat-era hotel populate our preserved downtown. During the summer, people from Marietta enjoy the monthly Merchants and Artists Walks on Front Street featuring music, food, and art, all while showcasing Marietta’s downtown merchants.
Industry remains the backbone of the local economy. Many large companies operate plants in the Marietta-Parkersburg area: DuPont, Shell, Eramet, Solvay, just to name a few. Marietta is home to many mid-size manufacturing companies, producing everything from flexible magnets to street sweeping machines. This industrial base provides many stable and high-paying jobs.
Manufacturing is not the only base of the local economy. Marietta was home to the country’s first oil and gas boom. The oil and gas industry remains a substantial component of the economy.
Marietta is home to Peoples Bank, a commercial bank with 48 branches in the U.S. and overseas, with over $1.8 billion in assets. At the confluence of the Muskingum and the Ohio Rivers, with access to major highways, Marietta is also a regional transportation center.
High-tech industry and services have a strong presence in Marietta as well. Broadband internet and full communications capabilities have made it possible for many Mariettans to work for distant companies by telecommuting.
Marietta offers affordable housing. While many larger metropolitan areas were in the midst of a housing boom (now a bursting bubble) with prices still out of reach for many buyers, Marietta’s housing market has remained stable with normal appreciation. As the chief expense for most families, Marietta’s housing prices contribute to a very favorable cost of living.
One of the major attractions of Marietta’s housing market is the opportunity to live in a restored historic home in Marietta’s downtown (or to restore one yourself). Washington County offers many opportunities for home buyers to purchase acreage for those desiring more elbow room.
Marietta prides itself in educational opportunities. Marietta College is among the oldest liberal arts colleges in the country. With over 1,300 full-time students, Marietta College offers a variety of bachelors degrees and masters degrees, with programs in petroleum engineering, education, and many other traditional liberal arts majors.
Located in downtown Marietta, the college campus displays architectural beauty and provides modern amenities for its students. The recently-built Dyson-Baudo recreational facility and Ban Johnson Field House offer a world class fitness facility complete with weight rooms, an indoor track, racquetball courts, and a climbing wall. Marietta College offers a limited number of community memberships each year for non-students to enjoy these facilities as well.
Marietta is home to Washington State Community College, among the finest technical colleges in Ohio. Washington State offers specialized certificates and associate degrees in nursing, physical therapy, radiology, computer programming, broadcasting, automotive engineering, industrial technology, social services, criminal justice, and many others. Washington State is located on a 280-acre campus within Marietta’s city limits and boasts large, modern facilities.
Marietta City Schools offers a solid education for children in the community, outperforming state averages on Ohio’s standardized achievement tests. Marietta High School offers advanced placement courses for it students and allows students to take courses at Marietta College for credit. Marietta High School has produced a number of National Merit Scholars in recent years.
Marietta Memorial Hospital is a full-service medical center that serves Marietta and the surrounding region. The hospital has over 1,200 staff members and is served by 139 doctors, representing 37 medical specialties. It is the largest single employer in the area. The hospital recently completed a multi-million dollar expansion.
The hospital offers a new birthing center, surgical services, inpatient rehabilitation, specialized cardiac services, and state-of-the-art outpatient cancer treatment at the Strecker Cancer Center.
The hospital is part of a larger partnership, the Memorial Health System, which includes Harmar Place, a 70-bed facility for long-term rehabilitation, Glenwood, a 121-unit assisted living facility for the elderly, Marietta Health Care Physicians, Inc., a network of primary care physicians and psychiatrists serving the region, and Marietta Memorial Health Foundation, providing economic assistance and charitable care for those in need of medical treatment.
Marietta is also served by Selby General Hospital, providing a wide range of medical services to include emergency care, radiology, physiatry, chemotherapy, MRI services, among others. Marietta’s health care system is further complemented by Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
There is plenty to do in Marietta. The confluence of the Ohio and the Muskingum make water activities a favorite. Boating is popular. Hot summer days will find many cruising the rivers in everything from speedboats to large river yachts. Rowing has a long history in Marietta. Both Marietta High School and Marietta College sponsor crew teams, and there is even a local rowing club for those not students in high school or college.
Bordering the Wayne National Forest, Marietta offers a complete range of outdoor activities. There are many places to hunt and fish on public lands. One can even go on a winding canoe trip down the Little Muskingum. The Marietta Country Club provides an 18-hole golf course. Marietta recently opened an aquatic park with two-story water slides, fountains, swimming pools, and a “lazy river” for floating on inner-tubes. Marietta also recently completed the RiverTrail, a two-mile asphalt bicycle and jogging path along the Muskingum River.
Marietta has a myriad of clubs. Clubs range from the familiar veterans organizations, Boy Scouts, and Rotary – to the unusual, such as the Betsey Mills Club. Housed in its Federal-style brick building on the corner of Fourth and Putnam, the Betsey Mills Club offers a dormitory for single women, a restaurant, a gymnasium, a warm-water pool, and several large classically designed and decorated parlors for hosting social organizations and activities.
No recounting of the local industry, hospitals, and clubs can effectively convey the essence of a community. Perhaps the best way to capture Marietta is to mention the small things. The chimes of competing clock towers marking the hours in the afternoon.
The smell of tree blossoms in the spring. The accordion player at the First Settlement Diner on Fridays. The summertime echoes of calliope music from the Delta Queen Riverboat. A chance meeting with a friend while walking downtown. Having shoes re-heeled at the local cobbler (yes, there is a local cobbler). Banter at the corner barber shop. Pipe smoke on Front Street.
All of this is Marietta, but merely a glimpse. We hope you enjoy Marietta.