After the Revolutionary War, veterans from New England pooled Continental Certificates received in lieu of pay for war services and formed the Ohio Company. Along with other adventurers who provided currency, the joint-stock corporation purchased nearly a hundred thousand acres in what is now southeastern Ohio. In 1788, forty-eight members of the Ohio Company landed at the mouth of the Muskingum River and built a civilian fortification that they named Campus Martius. This fort provided shelter for the settlers during the Indian Wars of 1790 to 1794.
Although the settlement was originally called Muskingum, derived from the Delaware Indian word meaning Elk Eye River, at the first meeting of the directors and agents in the Northwest Territory, it was resolved on July 2, 1788, that “the City near the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum be called Marietta.” The name was derived from the first and last syllables of Queen Marie Antoinette of France. These veterans wanted to honor the nation who had allied itself with their country during the struggle for independence from England.
Today, Marietta is a charming historic town, home to Marietta College, several historic homes, museums, antique shops, boutiques and riverfront parks. Visitors enjoy its wide streets, friendly people, and the luxury of the Lafayette Hotel. Activities for tourists are available throughout the summer season, concluding with the Nationally recognized Marietta Sternwheeler Festival in the fall.
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