Exploring Historic Marietta

The most asked question about this trip: Why Marietta? The short answer can be found in this blog article. After seeing the Lafayette Hotel, we knew we found our destination. Our after researching the town and discovering the historical significance of the area (first territory settled in the Northwest!) we looked into a stay at the Lafayette. Unfortunately, our last minute planning failed us here as we were too late to book a room for the upcoming weekend. Our next place to look was Airbnb where I found this gem of a house:
A tiny house (literally!) right on the Muskingum River, about a five minute drive from Historic Marietta. Score! If you have never stayed in a tiny house, I highly recommend it. It forces you to be cozy and spend quality time with the person you are with as there is no personal escape space. Not even in the bathroom - which didn't have a door - in this house was an escape; It was more necessity. It also helps you realize all the clutter in your own house is totally unnecessary. We survived a weekend in 200 square feet with six pieces of furniture total - including the mattress (which was on the floor). While siting on the futon couch, we made plans of how we would arrange the house if it was ours. We decided floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases were a must.

We also figured out that a kitchen is another must-have. Instead of using the provided coffee pot (who knows how often it gets cleaned....I never clean mine at home!) we decided to bring out french press. The problem with that was heating up the water. An electric kettle would have been a life-saver here, but alas we were not that prepared.

Here's some perspective: For this photo, the camera was placed in the middle of the house on the ladder to go "upstairs" and we are standing against the far wall. So the space between us and the camera is about half the distance of the house. 

Shout out to being matchy-matchy in our Guinness t shirts in honor of St. Patrick's Day and our honeymoon in Ireland.

Our first night we arrived after dark, and it was raining/snowing. We weren't able to see much, but we drove through the town and had dinner at the Marietta Brewing Co. I, of course, had the fish and chips and Jesús had the Ale Braised Philly sandwich. We paired them with local beers from the brewing company, and had a rare encounter of Jesús liking my choice better than his own and switching with me (usually it's the other way around). The blessing and curse of living in a micro-brewery epicenter like Columbus-we have high expectations.

I woke up early the next morning (more out of discomfort than an actual desire to be awake at 5am) BUT I was able to see some beautiful fog and take some great pictures! I even met a local out walking his dog near our house.

We headed into town early in order to make the most of our trip. Per Trip Adviser and Airbnb suggestions, we decided on Emanuel's Bakery and Diner for breakfast. As I try to do on trips, I ordered something completely out of the ordinary. I ordered their New York style breakfast, which was a bagel with cream cheese (ew), salmon (iffy), tomatoes (ew), lettuce (iffy), and capers (ew). Although this bagel was comprised of mostly things I did not like, somehow all put together it was AMAZING! Seriously I devoured this sandwich and was a little sad when it was over. It was also served with a salad that had tomatoes, cucumbers, peanuts, and a house dressing. Salad seems like an odd choice for breakfast, but all of their breakfast options came with it and it was delicious! I had never thought of putting peanuts on a salad before, but it's definitely something I will try at home!

After breakfast, we explored the town. It was still pretty rainy and cold, so we ducked into any open shop we could find. The town has a plethora of small nik-nak shops and antique stores to keep us busy most of the day! A few favorites were Sy's Place, the Cook's Shop, and Wit and Whimsy (where I got a super soft and cute Marietta T-shirt!).

The next part of was probably my favorite of the whole trip! We walked across the Historic Harmar Bridge. The days' fog made for excellent picture weather! I could not get enough of this place!

This 828-foot rotating railroad bridge was built in 1859, around sixty years after Marietta was founded, to connect the small town with Harmar Village on the other side of the Muskingum River. It has been tweaked and fixed after years of wear and tear and flood damage, but the essence of the bridge remains.

An interesting find on this bridge were all of the Love Locks. Traditionally, two lovers write their names on a padlock, attach it to a bridge (or other metal structure) and throw the key into the water below, symbolizing their eternal love. The trend started in the early 2000's in Paris and has spread world wide. Some places encourage the locks, while others remove the locks as they can damage the structures. 

We crossed into Historic Harmar Village and did a little exploring. Since it was off season for tourists, there was not a ton of options open for us to explore. We walked a couple blocks and looked at the houses and historic markers before crossing back into Marietta.

After several hours in the cold and rain, we were ready for a coffee break! We went to Jeremiah's and got hot drinks and hung out for a while. There was comfy seating and caffeine, so we were happy there. We spent the rest of the afternoon snacking and playing cards in our tiny house. It was so little and cute, it was impossible not to want to spend time there!
We had burgers at the Harmar Tavern for dinner that night. The place was packed and we barely got a table. I didn't even bother to try to take a picture of the place because it was so full and busy constantly. After dinner, we drove around the town and drove up into the nearby mountains (where we accidentally turned on a wrong street and almost rolled off the side of the mountain to a quick and unfortunate death). We ended up at The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Assumption, which was a beautiful building in the daylight and breathtaking at night. 

 It was so ominous and had a larger-than-life feel to it. Construction on the building began in 1903, following the design plans of Cleveland architect Emile M. Uhlrich. The building was consecrated in 1909 as a church under the Cincinnati Diocese. In 2013, the church was decreed a Minor Basilica by Pope Francis, one of only 69 Basilicas in the United States.

The next day, we explored more of Marietta, thankfully with blue skies this time! Although many of the museums were closed due to off season, we were still able to read the historical markers and signs and see the buildings around the Ohio River Museum. Although we couldn't go onto the boats and see inside, we were able to see pictures and read information. The boat shown below is one of the last of its kind. It operated from 1918 to 1955 whens she was donated to the museum. The boat is on both the National Register of Historic Places (1970) and a National Historic Landmark (1989). 

One of the most interesting things to be about the museum was the outside marker of the floods. Since the town is right on the river, any amount of rain (or tropical storm) can cause severe flooding. These markers indicate the height of the biggest floods in the area, the most drastic one occurring in 1913

 Our next site-seeing place was Mound Cemetery. Originally an Indian Mound, the cemetery has memorial markers for the Indians, Pioneers, and Revolutionary War vets. Among those buried in this cemetery are several of the founders of Marietta, including Rufus Putnum and Benjamin Tupper.

All in all, it was a very historic and fun weekend. Learning about my home state and the people who helped found the first territory there was exciting. It was also a great experience learning to live in a tiny house, even if only for a few days, and trying new foods for the first time. My desire is that this post would spark interest in its readers to explore their own home state, whether Ohio or other, and remember those who went before us who make our lives today possible. 


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