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Riverboat History

Take a ride on a riverboat, hear the paddle of the wheel on the water, feel the mist of the river…

They called her “The Lady of the Rivers” Marietta’s founding fathers believed that this location at the confluence of two rivers was the perfect place to build their new city. Not only was the wild country beautiful, but the rivers provided crucial opportunities for transportation and commerce.

Boat building was an industry of importance to early Mariettans through the 1800s. Oceangoing vessels were crafted here before sailing down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.

Rivers and streams provided for the construction of mills and factories- and even more prospects for employment and growth.

In 1893, a unique, hand-operated lock and dam system was created to allow the Muskingum River to be navigated year round, overcoming seasonal variations in the river level. Because of its ideal location, Lock 1 was built at Marietta.

While the rivers have always been a source of recreation for the people who live here, Ohio’s premiere waterways have increased in popularity through the years as generations of river lovers share their passion with their families.

Today, people from all over the world boldly journey to this place in search of the bygone riverboat era and to rediscover the enchantment of life on the water.