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The city of Marietta—the County seat of Washington County—is beautifully situated at the junction of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, 204 miles above Cincinnati and 196 miles below Pittsburgh, Pa, It is regularly laid out with large town plat, wide streets—running with the points of the compass— neatly planted with shade trees, large public squares and commons dedicated to the use of the city.

The first settlement west of the Ohio River, in the northwest territory, was commenced at this place the 7th of April, 1787, since which time the county has rapidly filled with an industrious and enterprising population. Washington County borders on the Ohio River 60 miles. The land near the river lies in large bottoms, whilst the interior is rough and broken, but rich in agricultural and mineral wealth. The county contains a population of 50,000, the city of Marietta, 6,000 inhabitants.


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In point of educational facilities, Marietta stands amongst the first cities of the West. Marietta College was located here in 1837, and now ranks among the first of the country. Its alumni are found in the front ranks of every improvement throughout the United States, looking to progress in intellectual culture, and the advancement of education and good morals in society.

The College has the finest library in Ohio, containing over 25,000 volumes. A magnificent library building has just been erected at a cost of over $25,000. It is to be used jointly as a library and memorial hall. The trustees and faculty, in answer to the demands of the age for increased knowledge in the practical sciences, have made arrangements for a school of Mining and Metallurgy in connection with the College.

The Public Schools, with large and comfortable houses, supplied with all the improvements in modern school apparatus, have attained a high position throughout the State, and, in consequence, have attracted many students from abroad, and furnish a first class common school education to all the children of the city without fee or reward. Marietta has long enjoyed the reputation of possessing the best system of common schools in the country, and to enjoy their advantages has attracted, as residents, many families from a distance.

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Already Marietta stands well as a manufacturing place, and the day is not far distant when it is destined to be one of the great manufacturing centres of p 160 Ohio. The country around the city is one vast, inexhaustible field of coal of good quality, especially for all manufacturing purposes, and, with the railroads now building, will bring a full and constant supply to our very doors, and at a price but little more than the cost of digging. One large rolling mill, the Marietta Iron Works, is in active operation, employing over 300 men, and investing a capital of $75,000 per month. All kinds of iron are manufactured at these mills; railroad iron especially is turned out in vast quantities, supplying rail for roads all over the West. It is supposed a second one will be erected during the course of the next year.

A large chair factory is doing a good business, and annually ships hundreds of dozens of chairs, sofas, bedsteads, &c., to all points of the country. It furnishes employment to a large number of hands, and disburses no inconsiderable amount of money in the course of a year.

A number of foundries and machine shops are constantly employed in filling orders, turning out engines, agricultural implements, stoves, &c., and supplying a vast portion of country. Prominent in this branch of industry, located at this place, is the Penn Brass Works, which manufactures all kinds of brass goods for rolling mills, oil mills, engine builders, steamboats, &c., which are supplied to a large wholesale and retail trade.

Many steamboats are built here every year, and with the low price of lumber, and other materials, renders it the cheapest building point on the Ohio River. Several oil refineries have been erected here, and are doing a large business, and, being situated in the immediate neighborhood of the oil regions, produce a cheaper oil than foreign refineries can possibly do.

Tanneries, flouring mills, bucket factories, planing mills, and woolen factories are all doing a profitable business, employ a large number of hands, and invest a fair capital. Carriage factories, hub factories, and a number of other manufacturing establishments are engaged in a profitable and constantly increasing business.

THE MARIS BOX AND WHEEL COMPANY, located on the corner of Front and Sacra via streets, with A. J. Warner, president, and C. K. Leonard, secretary. This company manufactures the celebrated Maris Patent Wheel and Box, and supply a very extensive trade. For description see advertisement in another part of this work.

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Several wholesale dry goods and grocery houses have been established here and have been very successful in doing a large and constantly increasing business. Drug houses, hat stores, and hardware establishments are numerous and all doing a fair business in their line, and from the increased facilities for transportation must greatly increase the trade in 1871.

The wholesale trade is in its infancy, but its location and facilities for quick and safe transportation will rapidly develop a heavy trade. The retail business is large, supplying, as p 161 Marietta does, not only Washington County but the bordering portions of West Virginia. Marietta may be said to be a great produce region, judging from the amount brought to the city.


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Marietta is connected with Cincinnati by the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad, three trains leaving and arriving daily. This road connects at Parkersburg, West Virginia, 12 miles below, with the Grafton branch of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, making all points south, east and west readily accessible, and, with the Hocking Valley Railroad, at Athens, completing the northern route, and bringing it within a five hours run of the capital city.

A road is also building, — the grading and heavy tresseling being mostly finished,—from this place to Pittsburgh, Pa., by way of Caldwell, Noble Co., crossing the Central Ohio Railroad near Cambridge, or Campbell's Station, Guernsey Co., 0. This road will be finished during the next year and will open up the finest coal region in the country, almost the entire route through Washington and Noble Counties being lined with veins of excellent coal, varying from six to ten feet in thickness.

A company has lately been organized and incorporated for the purpose of building an Ohio Valley Road from here to Bellaire, Belmont Co., and make the connection at that place with the Central Ohio Road, the right of way being already secured. With these roads in running order, Marietta will rank as the railroad centre of eastern Ohio. A line of daily steamers connect the city with Wheeling, West Va., and a tri-weekly line with Cincinnati, bringing it by water and rail, in close connection with all important business points of the country.


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Eight miles from Marietta are situated the Cow Run oil regions, being, beyond a doubt, the greatest oil-producing region in the world, hundreds of barrels being produced daily. It is transported from here to the Ohio River by means of an iron pipe, a large engine being used to pump it into a tank on a hill above the oil wells, and from thence it flows to another large tank, capable of holding thousands of barrels, situated on the river, and there awaits shipment to every part of the habitable globe. The oil found here is of a light quality and is used in burning and almost all other purposes; it is found at a depth varying from 600 to 700 feet.

On the east of the city, at Long Run, heavy oil, used almost exclusively for lubricating purposes, is found in large quantities at a depth of 15 feet. This oil almost entirely supercedes lard oil for machinery, &c. being much cheaper and equally as good.

Marietta is probably the healthiest city on the Ohio River, never having been visited by an epidemic of any kind. During the cholera season, whilst towns and cities above and below were attacked, Marietta remained perfectly...
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...free from its fearful ravages—the well paved, drained, and shaded streets being, no doubt, the preventive.

Four weekly newspapers are published here—three English and one German — all conducted in a highly creditable manner, and receive a fair share of public patronage. The Children's Home, an institution supported by the county, is situated on the Muskingum River two miles above the city. About one hundred children are kept here, clothed, educated and cared for. This institution might be imitated by other counties with profit.

A large portion of the citizens of Marietta are Germans, and are noted for their industry, and as reliable business men, and to them the city is largely indebted for the fact that it is now fairly awakened from its Rip-Van-Winkle sleep and is rapidly progressing in all the elements of material wealth and prosperity.

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