The Land Office and the Putnam House are the earliest structures in Marietta and are in the early frontier style. Soon thereafter, that early style gave way to a Federal Period of architecture, and houses were built or occupied primarily by individuals and/or named for founding families. Many times these structures fulfilled public needs as well.
Located at 519 Fort Street, the David Putnam house was probably built in 1804-1805 by David Putnam and was Ohio’s first bank, chartered in 1808. The bank was housed on the second floor, and the house is the oldest standing bank in Ohio.
Henry Fearing was the first Lawyer in the Northwest Territory. Located at Market and Gilman Streets and built in 1847, the house is now owned by the Washington County Historical Society and has undergone renovation.
Located at 127 Ohio Street and built in 1826, The Levee House is the only remaining original Ohio riverfront structure in Marietta, and is an example of Federal style. It was erected for Dudley Woodbridge, first merchant in the Northwest Territory, who was a dealer in dry goods. The store supplied the pioneers who were continuing on into the Northwest Territory.
Located on the corner of Maple and Franklin Streets and built in 1847, Harmar Congregational Church is the oldest church building in Marietta in continuous religious use, it now serves the “Open Door Baptist Church”. Today Marietta is a city of churches. When the pioneers arrived, there was a plan for the construction of the town of Marietta which included allotted space for churches and other public buildings.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ is located on the corner of Fifth and Scammel Streets and was built in 1847. This church is a result of the influx of German immigrants early in the 19th Century. A number of additions have been made over the years.
In the 1830’s, John M. Slocombe, a carpenter, builder and architect, moved to Marietta and designed churches and homes in the Gothic Revival Style.
The Unitarian Church is located at the corner of Third and Putnam and was built between 1855 and 1857. Today it is the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta.
Located at 320 Second Street, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was built in 1856.
The Castle, also known as The Bosley House is located at 418 Fourth Street and was built in 1855.
The Anchorage is located in the Harmar district. You can contact Washington County Historical Society at 740.373.1788.
Another important church is The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Assumption which was built in 1909, with extensive renovation from 2006 to 2009. The St. Mary’s Church located at 506 Fourth Street was bestowed the title of a minor Basilica in June of 2013 by Pope Francis. Now known as The Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, it is one of only 80 churches to hold the honor in the United States.
The next big building phase was in response to the oil boom. New homes were built, and the simpler Federal style houses sometimes got new facades and Victorian gingerbread. The Biszantz-Bosworth House is located at 316 Third Street and was built in 1868.
Located at 515 Fifth Street, The Major John Clark House was built in 1802. As you can see, many homes are named for the family or a prominent individual. Much of the history of Marietta can be told through its public buildings and private homes.
Located at 326 Front Street, this house was built circa 1805 by Return Jonathan Meigs Jr. first Postmaster of Marietta, fourth Governor of Ohio (1810–1814), and later Postmaster General of the United States under Presidents Madison and Monroe (1814–1823).
The George White House is located at 322 Fifth Street and was built in 1855. George White served in the 62nd, 63rd and 65th Congress and was elected governor of Ohio in 1930 and served two terms.
One of Marietta’s most famous families built a house in 1869 at 508 Fourth Street. Rufus Dawes was a military officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War and father of Charles Dawes who was a U.S. Vice President, U.S. ambassador to England and Nobel Prize winner.
Located at 333 Fourth Street, The O’Neill Center was named for C. William O’Neill, who, born in Marietta, was the only Ohioan to serve in top leadership positions in the legislative, executive and judicial branches of Ohio, i.e., as Speaker of the Ohio House, Ohio State Attorney General, Ohio Governor and Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Marietta National Guard Armory is located at 241 Front Street and was built in 1915. Today the Armory houses the Ohio River Scenic Byway Visitor Center at Marietta. Newly renovated, the Armory is a multi-use community center with ADA compliant restrooms, a public meeting room that houses Marietta City Council, WASCO and the Washington County Veterans Services. The Ohio National Guard can be traced back to the initial settlement of Marietta, founded in July of 1788.
The Library preserves rare books, manuscripts, photographs, paintings, and the Marietta College Archives. Students, faculty, visiting scholars, genealogists, and community members are welcome to use the collections in the reading room during posted hours. Plan ahead for your research visit, please e-mail or telephone to let us know of your interests. Staff will locate material in the collections and have it available upon your arrival. For appointments call 740.376.4545 or email Special Collections (SpecColl@marietta.edu). The Digital Collection is available at cdm16824.contentdm.oclc.org
For educational purposes I have quoted from The American Association of University Women’s (1986) wonderful and informative book on the history of Marietta’s houses, A Window to Marietta: A Tribute to our Bicentennial, Richardson Printing Corporation and from the historical plaques of SEWAH Studios in Marietta Ohio.