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The Pioneer City's Hometown Charm

There's something about Marietta, whether it's the red brick streets, the majesty of the two rivers cradling the small, industrial city, or the neat little shops along Front Street that makes this river town such a great place to live, work, study and visit.

In fact, Marietta was among Smithsonian Magazine's top 10 best small towns in the nation to visit, landing sixth on the list.

Revolutionary War officers and soldiers settled in Marietta in 1788, making it the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory. Its location at the convergence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers made quite the impression on one early visitor.

"No colony in America was ever settled under such favorable auspices as that which has just commenced on the banks of the Muskingum. Information, property and strength will be its characteristics. I know many of the settlers personally, and there never were men better calculated to promote the welfare of such a community." - surveyor George Washington, a year before he was elected President of the United States.

So what's so unique about Marietta, Ohio?

For one, the city is steeped in American history - there are more Revolutionary War officers buried in Marietta's Mound Cemetery than in any other location in the country. The town was also a part of the Underground Railroad, which was secret routes by which slaves could travel to escape to free states and Canada.

Local must-have sustenance: Busy Bee's breakfast, Harmar Tavern's bologna sandwich, Thursday Sushi night at Austyn's, Smitty's ice cream cookies, Over the Moon Pizza, pork nachos from Boathouse BBQ, drinks at The Marietta Brewing Co., Sweet Stop's gourmet cupcakes, Stoked Mocha from Stoked Coffee

Ancient history: Marietta is home to prehistoric Marietta Earthworks, which is comprised of Hopewellian Native American ceremonial mounds Conus, Capitolium, Sacra Via and Quadranaou

Annual entertainment: Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, Riverfront Roar, Rivers Trails and Ales Festival, Marietta Sweet Corn Festival, River City Blues Competition

Places to see: The Castle on Fourth Street, the view from Lookout Park, fall foliage tour of the city/county, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption

Things to do: Take a tour of the Muskingum River with a ride on the Valley Gem sternwheeler; take a tour of the historic city on the Marietta Trolley; walk across the Harmar Train Bridge; walk, bike or run on the 3-mile bike path; go mountain biking on one of the city's three trails; visit one of the many museums in the city, shop the River City Farmers Market on Saturday morning

Here are some more interesting facts about Marietta:

Nickname: Pioneer City

Population: 14,027 - the 123rd most populous city in Ohio; conversely, it's the 124th least populated city in Ohio.

Average commute time: 14.3 minutes

Location: Southeast Ohio: two hours from Columbus, Ohio, and Charleston, W.Va.; two and a half hours from Pittsburgh, Pa.

Town & Gown

Marietta College is pleased to offer several of our facilities, events and programs for the enjoyment and enrichment of the local community:

Recreation Center

The Dyson Baudo Recreation Center provides a variety of activities to the local community. Membership allows residents access to an indoor track and basketball courts, gym, a two-story climbing wall, and aerobics classes, all taught and run by certified students and professionals. Click Here for DBRC hours and a schedule of available classes.


The brand-new, state-of-the-art Anderson Hancock Planetarium offers opportunities seldom found in communities of our size. With seating that accommodates nearly 100 people, the full-dome digital video projector allows a view of the stars unparalleled by a regular television. Perfect for children as well as adults, the planetarium is an entertaining, educational experience.


The new Legacy Library is dedicated to bringing education and literature to the entire community. With multiple computer labs, private study rooms, and a special collections room, residents can learn more about the history of Marietta, from original newspapers and documents, dating back to before the turn of the century.

Fine Arts Events

For every season, Marietta College offers a plethora of Fine Arts Events which are open to the public. Throughout the year, community members can peruse exhibitions of student art, attend productions of student and faculty-produced plays, and enjoy stirring musical performances by the many college musical ensembles. In fact, several musical ensembles, such as the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Oratorio Chorus and Jazz Band, are comprised of community members as well as students.

Marietta College also hosts nationally and internationally known performers, speakers and authors, both through our acclaimed Esbenshade series, and in special concerts featuring performers such as Juliana Hough, OAR, Fuel, and Taylor Swift, to name a few.

Additionally, Marietta College partners with Washington State Community College to host the annual River City Film Series, presenting free foreign and domestic films representing some of the best examples of cinematographic art to the citizens of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Public Speakers

Every year, Marietta College hosts a number of speakers, many of whom are politicians, historians, leading authorities on specific subject matters, activists and authors. The College's list of recent past speakers includes former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, retired NASA astronaut and surgeon Dr. F. Story Musgrave, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former Poet Laureate Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem.

Conference Services

Marietta College offers conference services to anyone wanting to hold meetings on our beautiful campus. With multimedia smart-rooms and several executive boardrooms, With the facilities for catering campus-wide high-speed wireless internet, Marietta College can host up to 3,000 guests for a meeting or dinner and can house 1,000 people for multiple nights.

Athletic Events

A member of the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC), comprised of 10 teams in Ohio, Marietta is an NCAA Division III program with 18 varsity teams. These include: Baseball (M), Basketball (M/W), Crew (M/W), Cross Country (M/W), Football (M), Soccer (M/W), Softball (W), Tennis (M/W), Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field (M/W), and Volleyball (W). Also, Marietta College offers several sports camps open to the community throughout the year.

Education Programs

Marietta College students are taught that learning never ends. A wide variety of degree and certificate programs are available for adult students 24 years of age or older through our Continuing Education program. Additionally, our Learning in Retirement program allows older members of our community to continue their education and add to a lifetime of knowledge. Learning in Retirement offers the opportunity to contribute and gain wisdom to and from a group of your peers. And our summer learning camps, such as our reading camps for elementary school children, allow us to focus on helping the community increase their education, as well as the student who attend the college.

Marietta College incoming students walk down Front Street in Marietta
Marietta College incoming students walk down Front Street in Marietta
Marietta College flag hanging in downtown Marietta
Marietta College students walking down the sidewalk on Front Street

About Marietta, Ohio 

The first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory, Marietta was established in 1788 by a band of entrepreneurs, veterans of the American Revolution, and pioneers in education, medicine, business and social reform.

Today, Marietta is a city of beautiful parks, two rivers, 19th-century architecture, brick streets, historical landmarks and museums. Here you'll find one of America's most robust downtowns alive with shops, restaurants and businesses.

Marietta is a great place to visit, and a great place to live. Explore the City of Marietta website to learn what we have to offer you, your family and your business.

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The Mid-Ohio Valley 

Whether flying out of Wood County Airport, visiting the Grand Central Mall, or hiking North Bend State Park, there's plenty to do and see in within a short driving distance from the college.

Visit About the Mid-Ohio Valley