Located in southeastern Ohio and approximately 111 miles (179 km) long, the MUSKINGUM RIVER is a tributary of the Ohio River. Once an important commercial route , it flows generally southward through the Eastern Hill country of Ohio - past Conesville, Trinway and Dresden to Zanesville, then southeastward past South Zanesville, Philo, Malta, McConnelsville, Beverly, Lowell, Stockport and Devola. It joins the Ohio at Marietta.
The Muskingum waterway is one of the few remaining systems in the U.S. to use hand-operated river locks.
Fondest memory: At approximately 981 miles (1580 km) long, the OHIO RIVER is the largest tributary of the Mississippi River. The River had great significance in the history of Native Americans, as numerous civilizations formed along its valley. For thousands of years, Native Americans, like the European Explorers and Settlers who followed them, used the river as a major transportation and trading route.
The Ohio flows through or along the border of six states - Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. One of the major tributaries of the river, is the Muskingum in Marietta, Ohio.
Pioneers of the Ohio Company made MARIETTA the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory. Founded in 1788, Marietta is the state of Ohio's oldest city. It was named in honor of Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France (1755 - 1795). The municipality is in southeastern Ohio where the Muskingum River joins the Ohio River.
I found Marietta very charming, especially near the Harbor where we first saw the Valley Gem coming in on the River, to pick up the day's passengers. The Lafayette Hotel, which faces the river, is full of local history. Also across the street, you will see a plaque reading that Lafayette landed at this point in May 25, 1825.
The city also offers its River Trail and the old Railroad Bridge, which is now a pedestrian walkway that takes you to Harmar Village. We also admired the Washington County Courthouse and the Lockmaster's House. Also we were amazed at the beauty of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
So overall, we were happy that we decided to spend the afternoon here (Tuesday October 19, 2010).
Favorite thing: As we did not eat at the LEVEE HOUSE CAFE' I have put this tip in General. Located at 127 Ohio Street, Marietta, the restaurant is housed in the oldest building on the Riverfront. It has a patio area with casual seating, that faces the Ohio River.
One of the very first things we saw when we entered Marietta was the tall towers of ST.MARY's CATHOLIC CHURCH. The church is absolutely beautiful. Located at 506 Fourth Street at the corner of Fourth and Wooster, the Church was built in Spanish-Renaissance style, a blend of Romanesque and Baroque. On December 12, 1909. Bishop Hartley dedicated the new St. Mary's Church and celebrated the first pontifical high mass in Marietta.
One of the glories of the church, is the stained glass windows.
Favorite thing: Historic HARMAR RAILROAD BRIDGE traverses the Muskingum River to Harmar/West Side Marietta. The Bridge was built in 1873 and was used until 1969. It now serves as a Pedestrian Walkway, connecting the Historical Harmar District with Downtown Marietta.
Located at 243 Front Street, the LOCKMASTER'S HOUSE was the home of the Lockmaster for Marietta and Muskingum Valley towns from the 1840's to the 1940's.
A sign at the front of the house reads:
"Built in 1899 to service adjacent locks which replaced those of 1840's on Harmar Side. Locks and dam removed 1968. Muskingum was first canalized US river."
Located at 205 Putnam Street (corner of Second and Putnam) is WASHINTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE. The ornate clock and bell tower rises to 158 feet. The McShane Bell, weighing about 3000 pounds, was hung in the tower in 1903. The column-lined balconies that face both Putnam and Second streets were typical of public buildings built in the early 1900's.
The courthouse contains several memorials to local servicemen and women, including photographs of county veterans who lost their lives in World War I, Korea and Vietnam. A Word War II mural on the second floor memorializes the sacrifices of local veterans in that war. Also on the second floor is the County Recorder's Office containing land records dating to the founding of Marietta.