Washington County, Ohio

United States


Joseph-Pierre CÚloron de Bienville places a lead tablet at the mouth of the Muskingum River and other confluences on the Ohio River, claiming the territory for France




U. S. Declaration of Independence



Revolutionary War


Fort Harmar established west of Muskingum River to prevent “squatters” from settling

Land Ordinance of 1785

  1785  Treaty of Fort McIntosh cedes territory of         eastern and southern Ohio to the U.S.
  1786  Ohio Company of Associates formed at Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston


Ordinance of 1787 establishes Northwest Territory (northwest of the Ohio River)

US Constitution

  1787  Site of the future Marietta chosen by directors of the Ohio Company


48 pioneers establish settlement at Marietta on Ohio Company lands

US Constitution is ratified

  1788  The name of the town Marietta is chosen by directors of the Ohio Company
  1788  Governor Arthur St. Clair assumes office in the Northwest Territory
  1788  The first law enacted in the Northwest Territory provides for a militia
  1788  Campus Martius is erected
  1788  First court of Washington County is held at Campus Martius
  1788  Washington County is created
  1788-1789  The first school in the Northwest Territory is established in Campus Martius
  1789  The Fort Harmar Treaty is signed
  1789  The American Union Lodge of Masons holds the first regular session in Marietta;  previously it had been a traveling or military lodge during the Revolution.


The swindled “French Five Hundred” arrive at Marietta and form Gallipolis, Gallia County


  1791  The Big Bottom Massacre occurs, beginning the Indian Wars
  1791  The First Sunday School in the Northwest Territory is started by Mrs. Mary Bird       Lake


The Donation Tract is obtained (100,000 acres)


  1792  General Putnam's treaty with the Indians provides for their perpetual peace   with the U. S.
  1794  The first regular mail delivery at Marietta is established by Return J. Meigs
  1794  General Anthony Wayne defeats the Indians at Fallen Timbers.
  1795  The Treaty of Greenville is signed.
  1796  The First Religious Society is formed in Marietta (Congregational Church)


Muskingum Academy is founded


  1799  Methodism is established in Marietta
  1800  Shipbuilding begins in Marietta
  1801  Marietta is an incorporated town, co-extensive with Marietta Township
  1801  The Ohio Gazette and Virginia Herald is founded in Marietta


The Ohio Constitution is adopted

  1803  Presbyterianism begins in Marietta


Ohio enters the Union

Louisiana Purchase

  1806  Capture of the boats of the Burr-Blennerhassett expedition
  1808  First Congregational Church building is completed in Marietta 


First steamboat is on the Ohio River

First steamboat reaches New Orleans



War of 1812


Oil is discovered in Duck Creek


  1817  The Universalist Society is organized in Marietta
  1818  The First Baptist Church is organized in Marietta
  1819  The first agricultural society (fair association) is organized in Washington County



The Land Act sells land at $1.25/acre.

  1824  The first steamboat trip from Marietta to Zanesville
  1825  The second act of incorporation for Marietta passed, providing for a mayor and council form of government
  1825  General Lafayette visits
  1826  St. Luke's Episcopal Church is organized in Marietta 


The first Washington County Agricultural and Mechanical Fair is held in Marietta


  1830  The Institute of Education, successor to Muskingum Academy, opens
  1832  Marietta Collegiate Institute and Western Teachers Seminary are chartered


Marietta College is chartered


  1836  The Muskingum River Improvement bill is passed by the Ohio legislature


Harmar is incorporated as a town


  1837  Work begins on the Muskingum River (locks and dams)
  1838  A Roman Catholic Church is organized in Marietta
  1839  A German Methodist Episcopal Church is organized in Marietta
  1839  St Paul's German United Evangelical Church is organized in Marietta
  1840  Harmar Congregational Church is organized in Harmar
  1841  The Muskingum River Improvement is completed; slack water navigation begins
  1842  A Marietta Historical Association is organized
  1842  Charles Dickens visits Marietta
  1849  Marietta public schools are reorganized with a superintendent and graded classes
  1850  Marietta High School is founded
  1850  Western Liberal Institute is opened
  1853  Marietta is incorporated as a second class city
  1853  The first class graduates from Marietta High School
  1855  The First Unitarian Society in Marietta is organized
  1856  The first parochial school is opened in Marietta
  1857  The first railroad tracks are laid in Harmar


Catherine Fay Ewing opens first Children’s Home in the US at Moss Run, Lawrence Township


  1858  St. Luke's Lutheran Church is organized
  1860  The first oil well in the region is drilled near Macksburg, Ohio


Camp Marietta is formed 

US Civil War

  1862  The Marietta Register newspaper is founded



West Virginia is admitted to the US

  1864  The Marietta Times newspaper is founded
  1867  The Marietta Rolling Mill is established
  1873  The Marietta City Hall is completed
  1888  Marietta celebrates its Centennial
  1890  Harmar rejoins Marietta under one government


The Great Flood occurs in the Ohio River valley



 Washington County suffers 70 casualties in World War I.

World War I

  1923  Marietta is connected with the National Highway (Route 40) by paved highway

1929- 1940


Great Depression


The 2nd largest flood occurs in the Ohio River valley



President Roosevelt speaks during Northwest Territory Sesquicentennial year celebration




US in World War II


Manufacturing plants open – B F Goodrich plastics, Union Carbide, Dravo



Marietta hosts world premiere of movie “Battle Hymn” about local hero Dean Hess



Interstate Highway I-77 opens to through traffic



Disastrous fire at the Harmar House nursing home; new national fire standards are a result


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