Marietta celebrates 234th Founding Anniversary
MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) -It was 234 years ago that settlers found themselves along the banks of Ohio and created what we know and love today as the city of Marietta.
To celebrate this special day, Bill Reynolds, a historian at the Campus Martius Museum, impersonated General Rufus Putnam, the “father” of Ohio, and talked about Putnam’s journey to Marietta from New England.
Reynolds said he’s been studying General Putnam and many other settlers from the Ohio Company for over 40 years.
“Marietta’s history is important because you have a group of people looking to start a new life, they’re starting to live in a new democracy, so this is sort of a litmus test of how that democracy will actually function,” Reynolds said.
“I personally think it boils down to the individuals. We have so many remarkable people here, not just Rufus Putnam.”
A flag ceremony was also held at the Start Westward Monument where Jean Yost, VP of the Marietta chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, spoke about the significance of Marietta being the first settlement of the Northwest Territory.
“This is really the beginnings of the true unfoldings of the American Spirit,” Yost said.
“When you look at 1787, the Ordinance was passed, it opened land as large as the original 13 colonies. It opened this land free of slavery, special rights for women, and special rights for children allowed for our court systems. So, this is really an important step from being colonies to being the United States.”
More celebrations took place at the historic Fearing House in Harmar Village.
Mary Joe Hutchinson is a long-time volunteer at the house who said she takes pride in knowing she descends from some of Marietta’s founding fathers.
“I’m very interested in history and I’m proud of my heritage. I have connections with people way back. And I like sharing it with people because there are some really interesting things,” Hutchinson said.
“I just like it when people say, ‘I never knew that,’ and we hear that a lot.”
She and other volunteers let visitors ring the bell outside the house as a way to say happy birthday to Marietta and to pay homage to its founders.
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