Captain James E. Sands Sr. and his wife Peggy put their first 98 passenger sternwheeler into operation in 1973. They named it the VALLEY GEM after a historic packet boat that plied the Muskingum River (from 1898 to 1918) between Marietta and Zanesville Ohio, during the previous century.
Captain Sands spent several years designing a brand new boat. With the assistance of his friend, master welder Ivan Arnold, he completed the new Valley Gem Sternwheeler in 1989. What is a Sternwheeler? A Sternwheeler is a boat with a wheel at the back, or stern, of the boat.
Sands specifically designed the boat for the Muskingum River. It has two decks so that it can clear the low bridges. It is narrow so that it fits in the hand-operated locks. And it can carry 296 passengers.
Captain Sands passed away in 1998, after living his dream of being a riverboat captain for 25 years.
90-minute sightseeing cruises depart everyday at 2:30 and returns at 4:00 p.m.
Boarding at Valley Gem Landing, 601 Front St.
Children (3 - 12) $6.00
I always like to get information on the area I am visiting, so I stopped in at the Marietta VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER and received a number of booklets and brochures. One booklet in particular, "2010 Visitors Guide" was absolutely wonderful as it had a wealth of information about what to see and do in Marietta with colorful pictures of this charming city. Inside was where to shop, where to stay, what to see and do, etc. And of course, I am always looking for information for my scrapbook.
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Marietta is a pedestrian-friendly city. Take a stroll along the RIVER TRAIL. The bike and pedestrian trail begins its more than two-mile journey at Marietta Harbor and winds along the Muskingum River through historic downtown, connecting many park and scenic attractions.
The day Hans and I were there, the weather was perfect for a day in October. Many folks were out and about enjoying the day.
We thoroughly enjoyed two long walks around the city of Marietta. There is a trail along the riverfront for starters, and Front Street is great for strolling with its many interesting shops and fine old architecture. Don't miss taking the footbridge which follows an old railroad threstle across the Muskingum River to the village of Harmar. It's an easy hike, very picturesque, with much to see.