Marietta has two fine historical museums, within 2 blocks of each other. The Campus Martius Museum tells the story of the Ohio Company, and the town’s early settlement and history. It preserves the Land Office where the deeds were signed as new settlers claimed their piece of the “West.” The museum stands on the site of the original “Campus Martius” fortification, and contains one of the original corner houses of that structure, with its sawn and numbered boards, and meticulous pegged joints. Rufus Putnam’s own house also provides a glimpse into the lives of those first settlers.
Nearby on the bank of the Muskingum, the Ohio River Museum is a series of pavilions and bridges, where exhibits tell the story of all kinds of boats and river transport, from dug-out canoes to the largest and finest of the steam-powered riverboats, including their mechanical operation, their pilots, and even their steam whistles. Outside on the water, the W. P. Snyder is also open for visits. In connection with the museum, the annual Sternwheeler Festival, regularly draws 100,000 people to Marietta.