Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Marietta Ohio’

Cruisin’ Down the Muskingum River on a Sunny Afternoon

River boats

Camping, boating and fishing are popular along the beautiful Muskingum.

While the Muskingum River begins at Coshocton, between Zanesville and Marietta it holds many points of interest. This river is the only river navigable by larger boats within the state of Ohio. That’s all because of its system of eleven dams and locks, still in working order, that extends for 112 miles.

River Ferry 1900 001 (2)

The Coal Run Ferry delivered a load of railroad crossties on horse-drawn wagons across the Muskingum before bridges were built.

The river received its name from the Native Americans, who called it Moos-kin-gung – meaning “Elk Eye River”. That name happened due to the large herds of elk that once roamed this valley. In those early days, the cargo on the river consisted of essentials such as salt, flour, pork and apples. A round trip took three to five weeks to go from Zanesville to Pittsburgh and back via the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.

Steamer at Lock #3 001 (2)

The steamer approaches Lock #3 at Lowell in the early 1900s.

When steamboats became popular, navigation was rough on the rugged Muskingum River so they designed a system of dams and locks to lift the boats when the elevation changed abruptly. After a boat is secured within the lock, the lock tender closes the gate and opens the valves required to raise or lower the pool level. When the water in the lock chamber has reached the required level, the lock tender opens the through gate just like they did in 1841.

Steamer Marietta stuck on dam at Lock # 1 001 (2)

Steamer Marietta got stuck on the dam when not using the locks.

Sometimes the boats would attempt to go over those rugged spots without using the locks. Once in a while they succeeded, but often they ended up stuck in the river.

River Lorena

The Lorena takes passengers on a pleasure trip down the Muskingum River.

This trip began with a stop at the Lorena Sternwheeler at Zane’s Landing Park in the city of Zanesville. While the original Lorena visited Zanesville in the late 1800s, the present one arrived in 1976 for Zane’s Trace Commemoration. A ride on the sternwheeler gives you a chance to feel the river, as the paddles create a merry sound. Memories of the 1800s ride along with the Lorena.

River Lock 9

Lock #9 at Philo provides a great view of the dam and locks.

Soon Lock 9 at Philo appears with the original lock tender’s house.The falls at the lock sparkle in the sunshine as people stand in the shallow river to fish.

River Ohio Power Plant 1923 001 (2)

The Philo Ohio Power Plant was the first electric plant built along the Muskingum.

In 1923, Philo Ohio Power Company, one of the largest electric plants of that time, was located on an island in the river.

River Hand Powered Locks 001 (2)

The lock tender hand operates the lock at Rokeby Lock #8.

Lock 8, Rokeby Lock at Eagleport, is a special stop along this system of locks, the only hand operated locks still being used in the United States today. In fact, it is believed there is only one other system like this in the world, and that is in China. It was near this lock that General John Hunt Morgan and several hundred cavalry forded the Muskingum River on his raid across Ohio.

River Stockport Inn

Stockport Mill Inn would be a pleasant place to spend an evening.

Beside Lock 6 stands the beautiful Stockport Inn. Today’s Inn was built in 1906 by the Dover brothers; however, there were two mills previously at this site dating back to 1842. This mill was known for its refined flours: Gold Bond, Seal of Ohio, and Pride of the Valley. It’s a perfect place to spend a night as each room has a balcony that overlooks the river. On the weekends, enjoy a tasty meal at Restaurant on the Dam.

River Fishing

Fishermen wade into the river in hopes of a great catch.

During the drive down the river, it is lined with cabins and campers for those that enjoy being near the water. Most have boats at their docks and many slides end in the river. Frequently fishermen are either on the shore or wading nearby waiting for a nibble on their line, and perhaps fish to cook over a campfire in the evening

River Ohio

Imagine early travelers’ surprise upon seeing that the Muskingum River empties into the wide Ohio River at Marietta.

The trip ends at the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory – Marietta. Here the Muskingum River joins the Ohio River to flow eventually to the Gulf of Mexico.

River Lafayette

At the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers stands the Lafayette Hotel.

Some say this beautiful old Lafayette Hotel still holds spirits of many travelers from the past. One nighttime visitor is Mr. Hoag, former owner of the hotel, who appears in his brown derby hat. That’s something not seen by my eyes, but a story heard by my ears.

The locks are open weekends 9:30 – 6:00 from mid May until mid October. Please check their schedule and call ahead if you need to use the locks at another time so a lock tender can be available.

valley-gem-heads-out

While in Marietta, you might want to cruise on the Valley Gem.

Be sure to take time to sit along the Ohio River and enjoy reminiscing about those long ago riverboats that went from Pittsburgh to Zanesville along this route. They carried both passengers and freight. Barges still carry their loads of coal and steel up and down the river, and people enjoy taking a ride in their pleasure boats as well.

Some things have changed, but the Muskingum River has remained the same since the days of ancient visitors. Hope you can enjoy a trip down the Muskingum River sometime soon.

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Ohio Beginnings with Rufus Putnam

Putnam Museum Front

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta contains interesting early Ohio history.

How is The Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston, Massachusetts connected to Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio?

After the Revolutionary War, in March, 1786, a group of men met at The Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston to purchase land in the Northwest Territory.  Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, Samuel Parsons, and Rev. Manasseh Cutler formed the Ohio Company of Associates, also known as The Ohio Company, and purchased what was to become about one-fifth of the state of Ohio.

Putnam Land Office

The Ohio Company Land Office, where Rufus Putnam and his partners worked, is the oldest known building in Ohio. Built in 1788, many hopeful land owners walked the path to its door.

These Revolutionary war soldiers were given land grants in lieu of payment for services rendered during the war. They purchased approximately 1,500,000 acres at roughly eight and a half cents per acre along the Ohio River in southeastern Ohio.

Provisions in this land grant were made for two sections in the center to be set aside for an educational institution. The first land grant college was to be called American Western University, but before opening changed its name to Ohio University.

Putnam Portrait

Rufus Putnam served as a member of the Ohio Company, which laid out the plans for Marietta.

Even though Rufus Putnam. the leader of the Ohio Company, was a self-educated man and did not have any formal schooling after the age of nine, he promoted higher education by serving as a trustee at Ohio University. He also claims a connection to West Point. where he built a fort during the Revolutionary War. Fort Putnam is today being preserved and operated by the United States Army Garrison, West Point.

In his memoirs, which are today at Marietta College, he shared his wish for a better education. One line said, “hence neglecting Spelling and gramer when young I have suffered much through life on that account.” But that didn’t keep him from recording records of all his correspondence, while he also kept a daily journal.

Putnam Sugar

An interesting item on the kitchen table was a cone of sugar wrapped in blue paper from the West Indies, with sugar nippers close by to get the perfect amount of sugar for a cup of coffee or tea. The blue paper had a second use as Persis could use it to dye her spun thread.

Rufus Putnam established the first Ohio Company settlement on the banks of the Ohio River in 1788. This became the first settlement in the Northwest Territory. Adelphia, meaning brotherhood, became its first name, but that was soon changed to Marietta in honor of Queen Marie Antoinette of France.

There the Ohio Company built a fortification to protect themselves from the Indians. They called their stockade, Campus Martius. Rufus Putman’s home was one of a row of plank houses inside this stockade.

A few years later, fortification was no longer needed, so the stockade was disassembled. However, the Putnam house remained at the original site, but with added rooms. He purchased the corner blockhouse for $70 and used its lumber for his house addition.

Putnam Kitchen

This is the original kitchen where the Putnam family prepared and ate their meals.

His wife, Persis and eight children, joined him in Ohio at their new home on the bluff of the Muskingum River. Their home here contained a kitchen, sewing/sitting room and two bedrooms upstairs. Now you can see the need for an addition.

Putnam Spinning Wheel

Mrs. Putnam used the spinning wheel frequently as her seamstress abilities were well known. When Rufus was on his trips for the country, she often had to earn money for essentials by sewing.

Putnam Museum

Treasures of early Ohio can be found inside this building in Marietta.

What’s behind all those windows at Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio today? Inside is the full size house of Rufus Putnam and it still stands where it was built back in 1788. The museum was built around the house in 1931 after the Daughters of American Revolution with assistance from the state of Ohio saved it from destruction.

Putnam 1931

The house is pictured as it was in 1931 before preservation began.

Rufus Putnam served his country faithfully and was respected by his superiors, especially by his favorite leader, George Washington.  It has been said that so long as the history of his country shall be written and read, the part Rufus Putnam played in that history will be found occupying one of its broadest and brightest pages.

Visit Campus Martius Museum to see where the Putnam family lived and learn more about their new life in Ohio. The museum overflows with Ohio history.

Campus Martius Museum is located at 601 Second Street, Marietta, Ohio, on Ohio State Route 7, and minutes from I-77. Plenty of free parking is available and cost of admission is very reasonable.

Marietta Vice Walking Tour Filled with Thieves, Bars and Murders

This island contained an Amusement Park in 1900.

In 1900, Buckley Island contained an Amusement Park during the day, then became a Lawless Wonderland at night.

You had to be bold and brave if you dared walk on the seedy side of town in Marietta, Ohio back in the early 1900s. But Lynne Sturtevant recently led a crowd of fifty on an adventure back to early days as the old sections of Marietta were revisited. Along the way, characters in costume greeted the tour and told of dangerous adventures at that time.

Riverfront man and Lynne, our guide

Riverfront man and Lynne, our guide

Crime was a severe problem all along the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers in Marietta, with bars, bars, and more bars. The Ohio River flowed around a small island, that served as an amusement park during the day, but a whole new crowd arrived in the evening. They enjoyed all the vices of the time – drinking, gambling, prostitution, and murder. Going to the island in the evening had an added enticement of cheap beer. Along the shore beer was twenty-five cents a glass, but on the island, only five cents. The Island, now known as Buckley Island, was a lawless wonderland. If you wanted to do anything illegal, the island was the place!

Old hotel and bar

Notice the popular shadow advertisement of WHISKEY at The Levee House – just above the table tops.

Despicable characters roamed the streets, drinking and arguing over everything imaginable. One man and his wife were each found with bullets in their head after an argument over a wristwatch. The stories told were all true reports of the Marietta newspaper from that time.

Proud bartender

Proud bartender

Dance halls and saloons were the main businesses in town. Shadow advertising can still be seen on many buildings with words like WHISKEY worked right into the brick works.

Along the way, the group met a delightful bartender who told of some of the fights he had witnessed at the bars. The job he hated the most was cleaning the spittoons.

A character portraying Oliver Hyde, mayor of Marietta in 1904, spoke to the group in front of the police station. The building also served as the electric company and the mayor had his office on the top floor. He gave the latest police report describing real events in Marietta in 1904.

Historic Harmar Bridge

Historic Harmar Railroad Bridge

The historic Harmar Railroad Bridge provided a scenic walkway over the Muskingum River. This is the country’s oldest operating railroad swinging bridge, still using a hand crank to swing it open for passing boats. Where the Harmar Historical Village stands today, Fort Harmar existed in 1785 for the protection of the Indians.

Walking over the bridge, one of the roughest sections of town was on Maple Street. A young man, who lived there, told about his neighborhood. He spoke of Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, who were well known local folks. Mrs. Hayes served as a madam, while her husband usually caused problems. Mr. Hayes was very jealous of his wife and accused her of seeing the local bartender. She begged him, “Don’t kill me!”

He did.

Guy from the rough side of town

Guy from the rough side of town

The young man said the Marietta Police had never caught the husband and asked the mayor why he wasn’t working on it. The mayor, in typical mayor fashion said, “It’s under investigation.” The young man told the group to get back over the bridge as quickly as possible as the area was not a safe one.

While visiting a housewife in Sin City, she told of a murder that happened next door to her house. She was hanging out the laundry when she heard a husband and wife fighting next door. The husband yelled, “I’ll break your face right in if you do that again.”

Later she smelled a fire burning in their back yard and hurried to get her clothes off the line. About 5:00 the next morning, there was a knock at her door. At the door stood the next door neighbor. “Good morning, the missus has gotten drunk and fell into the fire and burned right up. She’s always getting drunk.”

When the police arrived at the scene, over half of the woman’s body was severely burned, but they could see severe bruises on her neck. Perhaps she didn’t just fall into the fire, but was pushed. You’ll have to visit to find out…the rest of the story.

A rainy ending to an educational and interesting day

A rainy ending to an educational and interesting day

Rain held off until the very end of the tour, when it came down from the sky in buckets. The wind, rain and lightning made it seem that this place was perhaps still dangerous.

Marietta, Ohio is located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers in southern Ohio. Take Exit 1 off I -77 in Ohio to experience this delightful town. Characters along the way were provided by Paskawych Entertainment, LLC of Marietta.

“Digging the Past” at Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio

Dig into the past and discover facts about people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago. At Campus Martius Museum in Marietta, Ohio, those interested in archaeology had an exciting day called “Digging the Past”. Special displays by area people, who are interested in what is under the ground, provided valuable information for anyone who wished to listen.

One of the speakers at Archaeology presentation

One of the speakers at Archaeology presentation

Five knowledgeable archaeologists and collectors gave slide show lectures on various archaeological subjects. Some of my favorite dealt with the various groups of mounds around the state of Ohio. Bruce Lambardo, ranger at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, explained why we should change the term “mounds” to “earthworks”. These structures are not just piles of dirt built by early Native Americans, but precise, geometrical art works that were not only enormous in size, but also aligned astronomically. He described the Hopewell Culture site near Chillicothe as the most spectacular configuration of Earthworks in the world.

Dr. Jarrod Burks, Director of Archaeological Geophyics at Ohio Valley Archaeology, discussed the earthworks throughout the state including Newark, Chillicothe, and Marietta. While many of the mounds have been destroyed by farming and housing developments, there are still new ones being discovered in the last fifty years.

Mound City Artifacts explained.

Mound City Artifacts explained.

There seemed to be a strong connection between the Newark and Chillicothe Earthworks when they were constructed in 300 B.C. – 400 A.D. These earth architects constructed these ceremonial mounds, where the circles had the exact same diameter, and squares measured the same corner to corner. Even more exacting was the fact that the circle would fit perfectly inside the square. How did these early people perform such mathematically correct shapes and even have them aligned to the winter and summer solstices? How did they construct Great Hopewell Road directly between the two mound centers? Either they were geniuses or perhaps they had some extraterrestrial help. Keep your mind open to all possibilites.

Wes Clark explained his finds at The Castle Museum, where pottery and earthworks artifacts have been discovered. Nathaniel Clark Pottery (1808 -1849) existed on the same site as today’s Castle, so many pieces of pottery have been discovered from red earthenware to stoneware. Earthworks artifacts also frequently appear, including flint arrowheads.

From all the buttons found at the military sites, Archaeologist Greg Shipley remarked, with a smile, that the thread must not have been very strong. A wide variety of buttons appeared in archaeological digs in western Ohio military sites while looking for footprints of an outpost there. The hot spot for buttons seemed to be in the area of the taverns.

Flint Knapper demonstrates skills.

Flint Knapper demonstrates skills.

Flint knappers displayed  the intricate methods they use to shape the pieces of flint found. Their methods are beyond my description as they magically formed arrowheads by chipping and shaping the layers of the flint. Long ago the Indians used either stone or bone to shape their arrows from flint, in much the same manner. After use, the arrowheads would need re-sharpened by removing flakes to reshape, so they would get smaller and sharper as time passed. The flint knapper at Marietta had been creating flint pieces for fifteen years so was quite excellent at his craft.

Archaeology displays filled the lobby of Campus Martius Museum.

Archaeology displays filled the lobby of Campus Martius Museum.

Numerous displays throughout the lobby included historic artifacts from collections around the state. Not only were there Indian artifacts from the Adena and Hopewell people, but also artifacts from military camps of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as historic Marietta.  The Pipe Tomahawk intrigued me with a head that has an ax on one edge with a pipe bowl on the other. It enjoyed multiple uses as a pipe to smoke, a ceremonial instrument, and also a weapon.

Tomahawk Peace Pipe

Tomahawk Peace Pipe had several uses.

Campus Martius Museum in Marietta holds informative speakers throughout the year on a wide variety of subjects. If you are interested in Ohio history, check out their schedule at Campus Martius Museum website.

Marietta is located on the beautiful Ohio River just off I-77. Take Exit 1 to downtown Marietta and follow State Route 7 / 60. Turn left on Washington Street and one block down on the right hand side, you’ll see Campus Martius Museum. There is parking to the right of the building or one block behind at the Ohio River Museum. Visit both museums if time permits.

 

 

Ghost Tales Flourish in Historic Marietta

Welcome to Hidden Marietta, where some stories – and some people – simply refuse to die.

The fountain marks the starting place for the Ghost Trek.

The fountain marks the starting place for the Ghost Trek.

The most haunted town in Ohio seems a natural place for a Ghost Trek – the streets of Marietta. Meeting near the Lafayette Hotel along the Ohio River, excellent guides tell some of the scariest stories about restless spirits left over from the past in this paranormal hot spot. Even rain won’t dampen your spirits.

While ghost stories are told at each stop, the tour also tells the history of early Marietta. As you hear stories of murder and paranormal activities, the heart races just a little faster as you glance around to see if there’s anything unusual happening.

The tour takes about two hours with perhaps a dozen stops, so many interesting ghost and historic tales are told along the way. Buckley Island in the middle of the Ohio River has experienced everything from Native American Indian attacks to an amusement park. At one point it also contained “Pest House”, where all sick people were quarantined to prevent illness from spreading on land. Once there, you stayed permanently. Today, hikers still feel sick and weak on the island…perhaps leftover energy?

Staircase the Ax Murderer used in 1890's.

Staircase the Ax Murderer used in 1890’s.

Walking down the brick streets, with Victorian style buildings, gives you the feeling of stepping back in time. Listen to the tales of footsteps, knocks, and voices in the night. When you visit the old La Belle Hotel, the eerie glow of the night beckons for a close look at the staircase where the ax murderer walked slowly up, then ran down. Those footsteps are still heard frequently today and reflect a residual haunting – energy left over from 130 years ago.

Today, guests at the Lafayette Hotel often comment about unusual happenings in their rooms. Glasses may be moved, lights turned on or off, and people are frequently seen roaming the halls. One of those nighttime visitors appears to be Mr. Hoag, former owner, in his brown derby hat.

Haunted Lafayette Hotel

Haunted Lafayette Hotel

Employees of long ago recognized Mr. Hoag as the best possible manager. Employees today say that sometimes during the night, the elevator will suddenly light up for 6th floor, which is where maintenance equipment is stored, and the manager frequently visited. After a short time, the elevator comes back down to the ground floor. Just Mr. Hoag, still checking on his hotel.

Former home of Marietta Sanitorium

Former home of Marietta Sanitarium

Another eerie stop was the Tiber Way Grille, where people hear moaning and sobbing. Close inspection of the old ghost advertisement on the side of the building, brings out the letters saying: Chronic Disease- Marietta Sanitarium. After the hospital moved, a funeral parlor occupied this building. Now you see the reason for the crying sounds. Soon this will become a Victorian style hotel – complete with ghosts.

Now that you have heard a few of the ghost stories, perhaps you’ll enjoy a visit to Marietta sometime soon yourself. While Halloween seems the perfect time for a Ghost Trek, this event is held every Friday and Saturday evening from June to November at 8:00. Meet at the corner of Front and Greene Streets, at the fountain by the famous haunted and historic Lafayette Hotel.

Watch out for those ghosts!

To arrive in Marietta, Ohio take Exit 1 off I off I-77 and head west on Route 7, Greene Street. Where the Muskingum River meets the Ohio River, you will find the old Lafayette Hotel, the starting point for the Ghost Trek. This walking tour is under the expert guidance of Lynne Sturtevant, founder of Hidden Marietta and author of several books of Marietta history.

 

Ohio’s Historic Lafayette Hotel – A Haunting Experience

Ohio River at MariettaMay the ghosts be with you while you spend the day or night at the Lafayette Hotel in historic downtown Marietta, Ohio.  Visitors and employees anxiously report stories of paranormal activity in this grand hotel on the banks of the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers.

Back in 1882, river traffic was heavier than it is today. The Ohio River provided the freight and passenger routes for much of the eastern part of the United States. Of course, these riverboat travelers needed a place to get meals as well as a place to spend the night. Here at the meeting place of two major rivers, the Bellevue Hotel was built. This quite modern hotel, for the late 1800’s, had a fast running elevator taking guests to 55 rooms, five of which had baths. Rates at the Bellevue were $2.00 a night

lafayette hotel 013After a fire destroyed the Bellevue Hotel, another hotel was constructed on the original foundation. In 1918 the present triangular shaped Lafayette Hotel opened for business. The name was chosen to honor Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, who was believed to be the first tourist to visit Marietta in 1825. There is even a plaque, near the hotel at the edge of the Ohio River, marking the spot where he came ashore.

A popular meeting room bears the name of Rufus Putnam, who many list as the founder of Ohio.  His leadership established Marietta as the first permanent United States settlement in the Northwest Territory.   In a letter sent to his former home, Rufus Putnam described the land along the Ohio River to his friend as: “a country of most pleasant climate and of the rarest beauty and enduring charm”.

Riverview LoungeThe Riverview Lounge is where the “Lady in White”  often appears hovering over the carpet, while she smoothly moves through the room. The bar happens to occupy the same area where the ladies’ dressing room was located  in the original hotel.

When selecting a room in Marietta’s only downtown hotel, you will probably be given a choice of view – either the Muskingum River or the Ohio River. Here the ghost of Mr. Durward Hoag, former owner of the hotel, watches over guests and staff from both directions. Sometimes guests feel an icy cold draft pass through their well heated room. Evidence of his presence appears in flashing light bulbs, rearranged papers, hidden objects,  and often merely a wisp of light. Maybe Mr. Hoag’s spirit is bored!

When speaking with recent visitors, footsteps were reported outside their door, but no one was in evidence. The elevator, carrying no passengers, left the floor a couple times during the evening and headed to the rooftop. Later that night when they were in bed, another couple felt someone jump in the center of the bed where they were resting. All guaranteed they had not visited the Riverview Lounge.

Gun RoomThe Gun Room is a popular place for lunch. The walls are adorned with photos of great majestic sternwheelers that traveled the Ohio River.  A display of antique long rifles contains one made by J.J. Henry that accompanied the Benedict Arnold expedition to Canada in 1775. Waitresses tell of coming in early to work and seeing a figure leaving the front section of the restaurant. Often the swinging doors to the kitchen open for no reason at all. Some feel that Mr. Hoag is checking on his staff.  On the plus side, these spirits are never harmful.

Enjoy the ambience of this richly historical Lafayette Hotel on the river sometime soon. They have been expecting you for nearly a hundred years!

The Lafayette Hotel is located  at 101 Front Street in Marietta, Ohio. Exit I-77 at Exit 1 and follow Route 7 South, which is also Pine Street.  At the third light, Pine Street continues straight and becomes Green Street. Continue on Green Street until you come to the hotel on the corner of Green Street and Front Street. Parking is available between the hotel and the Ohio River as well as on the other side of the hotel.

The Castle Radiates Victorian Elegance

The Castle Oozing Victorian charm and Victorian Christmas, The Castle in Marietta, Ohio takes one back to a simpler time – from a wealthy viewpoint! Even though now situated in the center of town, back in 1858 when it was first built, the house was on one of the highest spots in the area and overlooked the then existing town of Marietta. Two trees still stand in the front yard where they were planted over a hundred and fifty years ago.

Today The Castle is operated by Betsey Mills Corporation and is dedicated to the education of the public regarding Marietta history as well as life in Victorian times. Tours of The Castle are given on a daily basis whenever visitors happen to arrive. The guides are very knowledgeable of the history of The Castle and share a lot of humorous stories that make the visit extra enjoyable. If you enjoy life in Victorian times, perhaps this glimpse inside will make you eager to visit there yourself.

The Carriage HouseBeginning in the Carriage House, which now serves as the Visitors’ Center, a video explains a brief history of the people who have resided at The Castle. Back in 1855, Melvin Clarke paid $2000 for two empty lots where the house was to be built. Ownership by prominent and influential citizens has changed quite often over the years from original owner/builder, who was an attorney and first city solicitor, and continuing with the person who established the Bank of Marietta,  the owner of Marietta Gazette, and even an Ohio State Senator.

The Castle EntrancewaySince taking pictures inside was not permitted, decided to buy a couple postcards of my favorite rooms. Walking in the front door, the spirit of Victorian Christmas surrounded you with beautiful poinsettias, decorated trees, and Victorian figurines and dolls. The first thing to catch my eye was the pump organ from Stevens Organ and Piano Company. Music was an important part of Victorian times, and there were two more pianos in their parlors, as well as an Edison music box from 1892, which played the cylinder records of hard black wax. The song, “Echo All Over the World,” was on display in its original case from Edison Gold Moulded Records.

Another item of special interest was a hat rack just inside the front entrance. Not only was there a place to hang your hat, but also a beautiful mirror to make certain your hair was perfectly in place…’hat hair’ would not be acceptable! The plate for calling cards still held those of people who had visited the house many years ago.

The Castle LibraryIn the library, Captain William Holden had what they called the ‘first lap-top’ where he kept all his important paperwork and records. This was also the place, right next to the sitting room, where adults read while the younger ladies were having gentlemen callers. Even though their chairs were separated by a table, some of the elders in the family watched and listened carefully. The chairs themselves were intriguing as they sat very low to the floor so there was no possibility of a lady’s ankles showing, an act of disgrace during Victorian times.

Fascinating also were the items made of human hair. If a young lady or gentleman wanted to keep a remembrance of their special person close to them, they would weave their hair into a special design. Some were braided, then used in place of a watch chain to attach a pocket watch to the jacket, while others were intricately designed necklaces and broaches. All were quite beautiful.

All furnishings in The Castle were either original Victorian items, which had actually been used in the home, or furnishings from other Marietta homes of that time. Wood trim and doors were made of red oak downstairs where guests would be entertained, but upstairs were made of pine as only the family would be upstairs. According to the guide, one beautifully designed wall shelf had originally held a collection of Captain William Holden’s, who they called the original Spiderman. Captain Holden had collected 3,000 different spiders and actually kept them on display.

In the 1890’s, a water closet was built to include indoor bathroom facilities. This was originally upstairs only and could only be used by family members, while servants had to use the outdoor privy. Guests were not permitted upstairs so if they had been there long enough to need to use the bathroom, perhaps it was time for them to go home. Goodbye for now my friends!

If you want to hear more fascinating stories of The Castle, take a trip to Marietta on I-77 and use Exit 1 to Route 7 South.  Turn right on Fourth Street and The Castle is located on the hill at 418 Fourth Street. There is a handicap entrance in the rear with limited parking.

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