Small Town Charm: Marietta, Ohio
For our first post, I couldn’t think of a better place to talk about than the small town in Ohio Tim’s family is from, Marietta. This Mid Ohio Valley town is full of history, charm, and things to do, among those heritage homes, historical parks, monuments and cemeteries. Historic Front Street is right in the heart of downtown and is peppered with charming store fronts that help you support local businesses and shop small. Walking along seven miles of paved brick streets there is so much to discover in this hidden gem of a town.
The City of Marietta was established on April 7, 1788 as the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory, so to say that history is all around this cute little place is an understatement.
Marietta is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers making it a river front town with great hiking trails. The River Trail is a paved trail perfect for walking, bicycling with family, or taking your dog for a walk like we did with the Bonjour Bulldog. It goes right along the river and is lined with monuments and historical plaques that give you a glimpse into the rich history found here.
Off-road adventurers will also find some great trails through the many miles of Marietta Trail Network which are perfect for hiking and mountain biking.
Every house you walk past and building you go into seems to have a historic plaque which, for a history junkie like me, makes every nook and cranny a place to stop at for a quick lesson in the past.
So many places loose their historic buildings through tear downs and rebuilds so to find a place filled with them is really a sight to be seen. If you are a history buff, you know exactly what I mean when I say that there is nothing more heart breaking that seeing a downtown district filled with new buildings and parking lots where there one were old buildings with stories to tell. They just don’t make buildings like they use to!
This town holds a special place in my heart for a variety of reasons, many of which I can’t quite define. I know part of my love for this town is the emotional ties to Tim’s family. The first time we went was full of nostalgia for him and memory sharing as he took me to places he had grown up going to, been to when he was a little kid visiting his grandparents, and seeing his roots in a very abstract way. How can you not love the town that helped mold the man you love?
Another reason I know for sure I love Marietta is because once you step into the time capsule downtown and Front Street area, there are no major chains or franchises anywhere to be seen. There is no Starbucks, only Jeremiah’s Coffee shop. No Denny’s or IHOP, just the Busy Bee. These small little details made me feel like I had left the real world and went back in time.
And then, there are the undefinable reasons why I fell in love with this tiny town on the edge of the Ohio/West Virginia Boarder. One of them could be because it reminds me so much of a Midwestern version of Stars Hollow, the setting of Gilmore Girls. The antique stores on every corner too could be a reason. And maybe, its because every time we’ve come up to visit I’ve managed to find some piece of history, artwork, piece of furniture or antique that I’ve been searching for a long time and magically find so effortlessly in Marietta.