24 April 2021

RAPEA - Day 9 - Marietta OH - Part 2

From Lookout Point we could see where the Muskingum River meets the Ohio River. We could also see the Marietta-Harmar Bridge which carried the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad over the Muskingum River between Marietta and Harmar, Ohio beginning in 1873 when the 900ft covered bridge was replaced with an iron superstructure that included a central swing span. That swing span enabled the passage of larger steamboats along the Muskingum River.

The B&O abandoned the Harmar bridge in 1962. The non-profit Harmar Bridge Company was formed in the 1980s, which fundraised money to add a pedestrian walkway alongside the railroad bridge.

On February 29, 2020, the crossing was closed to pedestrians because of the bridge’s structural deterioration and liability to the Harmar Bridge Company. It has been estimated to cost between $2 million and $4 million to build a pedestrian walkway within the iron superstructure of the bridge. 

That was a sad day for the local pub crawl set who used it frequently to bar hop on both sides of the river on any given night.

And last but not least is the beautiful Valley Gem Sternwheeler which I couldn't get a good shot of but you can read all about it online.

From the overlook we headed to the waterfront to see the most important piece of history in town in my opinion. It's the Memorial to the Start Westward of the United States which was sculpted for Marietta's Sesquicentennial by Gutzon Borglum. For any of you history buffs out there who think that name is vaguely familiar, he's the sculptor who is most widely known for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

The Memorial to the Start Westward of the United States commemorates the Northwest Territory’s creation in 1787. It also celebrates the courage, character, and perseverance of those pioneers who wrote the ordinance and started the new settlements in this territory. It was the first territory under American government outside of the original thirteen states. It was a large tract bordered by the Ohio River, Mississippi River, and the great lakes. Marietta, settled in 1788, was the first city in the new territory.

The Ordinance of 1787 which created the territory is considered an important document in early American history. It was a landmark prototype for American governance. It guaranteed citizens many civil liberties now in the Bill of Rights, including prohibition of slavery and freedom of religion. It served as an enduring model for the admission of all new states since 1787.

Our final stop of the day were the stables where Miz T's two horses, Prada and Cobalt are stabled. Prada is an Arabian mare she picked up for a song because of her fascinating beginnings. After she was conceived, her embryo was transplanted from her Arabian mother into a Belgian surrogate. When she was born she was nursed by the surrogate whose milk was so rich it caused Prada ortho issues because she is much taller than the average Arabian. She's a tricky little wench. The minute Miz T turned her back she tried the stall latch to see if it was re-locked. Cobalt was a feisty stallion who was very excited to see Miz T and really wanted to be let out even though Miz T's husband had only left the stable shortly before our arrival.


Bottom line is if Marrietta OH isn't on your bucket list, it needs to be added. It's a great town with lots to do indoors and out. I'm sad to leave it but the road is calling and I must answer. And thanks to an old friend I have a new friend. I'm going to miss you Miz T!

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