Unlocking the Secrets of the Past

Welcome to Marietta, Ohio.

Marietta is a historic and elegant town nestled at the confluence of two rivers. Visitors come to wander our shady brick streets and gaze at Victorian mansions. They love to browse for antiques and make merry in our bars and restaurants.

Twilight in Marietta Ohio

A perfect summer evening in downtown Marietta

But there is another Marietta, a city few visitors see. A Hidden Marietta exists just below the surface of ordinary life. It is a place where the past bleeds into the present and the line that separates the living from the dead blurs.

Do you believe in ghosts?

The Castle Marietta Ohio

Mist swirls around The Castle

Many Marietta residents do. The entire town is a paranormal hot spot. No one really knows why. Perhaps it’s the layers of history and the lasting impact of the people who lived and died here. Or it could relate to the ancient Hopewell and Adena people whose mysterious mounds dot the city. Whatever the reason, Marietta has more than its share of restless spirits. Curious? Join us for an evening Ghost Trek.

Ancient Magic

More than 2000 years ago the most sophisticated people in North America built grand pyramids, mounds and enormous geometric enclosures in the place we now call Marietta. Time and “progress” have destroyed portions of the original complex, but sacred places have a way of surviving. Join us on a guided walking tour of Marietta’s Ancient Earthworks.

Ancient Adena earthworks in Marietta Ohio

The great mound Conus is at the heart of Mound Cemetery.

In addition to our regular tours, Hidden Marietta offers special programs and events with a historic flavor throughout the year. Enter your email address in the subscription box at the top right side of this page to receive program updates and announcements.

Welcome to the other side of Ohio’s oldest city. Welcome to Hidden Marietta.

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47 thoughts on “Unlocking the Secrets of the Past

  1. Cheryl

    I am trying to find out more about the Marietta , Cincinnati and Cleveland RR, abandoned Trestles that start out in Marietta area, somewhere near Cutler, Washington Co.. It is about seven miles off the main road of Ohio State Route 555 outside Cutler in western Washington County. When built the trestle stood 120 feet above the valley floor on a set of 80 foot stone piers.
    This is the description from the man whose pictures are on the website that I posted on Flickr

    Do you have any info on this… been working on the info of abandoned RR in Ohio… for a friend…
    I would say this is a part of the secrets of Washington Co, Ohio.

    Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      Hi Cheryl!
      That must have been quite a sight! I don’t have any info on it but I have a few suggestions of where you might look. One is the Washington County Historical Society. They have a website http://wchs-ohio.org/ The organization is manned by volunteers so you should definitely call and make sure someone is going to be there before you visit them. The local history branch of the Washington County Public Library may also have info. http://www.wcplib.info/ They are located at the corner of Fifth and Washington. The librarians there know the collection through and through. Plus they are helpful and friendly :) If you are on Facebook, come to the Hidden Marietta page and post your question on the Timeline. There are almost 5000 people there. Someone probably knows something! Good luck! Sounds like a really fun thing to be researching.
      Lynne

      Reply
    2. Aaron Thomas

      Sounds like the trestles you are looking for might be what locals call the “Dunbar piers.” You might use that as a search term. I used to know how to get to them, but have lived out of the area too long to explain how to get there (I think they are just off of what used to be County Road 6, near the small town of Dunbar, but I could be way off). I grew up not too far from there.

      Reply
    3. amanda

      Take State Route 550 to Tick Ridge. Turn Left on tick ridge. Follow tick ridge until you reach a fork turn right and follow rode. You will see trusses on the left.

      Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      Hi Sarah! I have 2 tours – Ghost Trek and Ancient Earthworks. Ghost Trek goes every Fri and Sat night at 8pm from the fountain across from the Lafayette Hotel. You do not need a reservation. $15 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under. The last Ghost trek this year will be Sat Oct 27. The only time it doesn’t operate is Sternwheel weekend which is the weekend after Labor Day. Ancient Earthworks is a walking tour of the Indian Mounds. It’s by appointment. The prices are the same as Ghost Trek. Also both tours last about 90 minutes. If you look at the top of the pages here on the site, there are buttons. Click on those for more info or you can post more questions here. I will be happy to answer them. Hope to see you soon! :) Lynne

      Reply
  2. Janet Halcomb

    I was wondering if there is anything going on this time of year. We want to come and stay at the Lafayette Hotel for a girl weekend. I see that some of the tours are over for the year is there anything else for us to do there that has to do with hauntings?

    Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      Hi Janet! The public tours are over, but you can set up a private Ghost Trek as long as you have at least 4 people. The price is $20 per person. The tour takes about 90 minutes. There is a lot of weird stuff going on in the Lafayette so that’s a good place to stay :) How soon are you thinking about coming? I’m going on vacation tomorrow. But my partner Barb Palmer is here. Her number is 740-525-4517. I’ll let her know you may be calling. I’m here for the rest of today so just hit me here if you have more questions.
      Lynne

      Reply
  3. Devon

    Hi! I’m looking for one or two places in Marietta Ohio that are particular hotspots for ghost sightings. I’m planning on making this hotspot sort of a supernatural expedition for my girlfriend and myself. Any suggestions on where to go?

    Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      Hi Devon! Look at the pages here on Haunted Restaurants and Haunted Hotels. Try to stay in one of those. If you’d rather not, at least visit the Lafayette, wander around the lobby, main floor etc. There is a lot of very strange stuff going on in there. Seriously. Eat at the Galley or the Levee House (or both)! There are a lot of stories about the Castle, which is a museum house. And Henderson Hall is another museum house. It is WAY strange. Was a slave plantation. It’s in WV, but only about 3 miles from downtown Marietta. You’ve picked a good place o come! LOL! Do you know when you’re coming yet?

      Reply
    2. Jimmy

      The Lafayette Hotel for sure I work there and creepy stuff happens all the time I swear on my life. I don’t go into the basement after sundown.

      Reply
      1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

        Oh I believe you! I’ve heard too many reports of strange things in the basement not to know you’re telling the truth. You know there was another hotel there first, the Bellevue. It burned in 1916. I don’t think anyone died in the fire. But the basement and lots of the first floor walls etc are from the old building. I suspect this is all connected.

        Reply
  4. Bill

    Hi-

    I am taking my wife down to Marietta for her birthday weekend on May 11th. She is a HUGE fan of ghost tours. Anyway I can convince you to give a tour that Saturday night even though its not June yet?

    THANKS!
    Bill

    Reply
  5. Mark Johnson

    Hi in town this week: 4/1 thru Sat. Looking for anyone to gather with to request a ghost tour…anyone wanting to team up?

    Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      Hi Mark!
      I am heading out of town myself later today and will be gone till mid-month. I’m sorry we won’t be able to work this out for you this time. Thanks for your interest though. Hope we can connect at another time.

      Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      I’m interested in that too. The best place to try is the local history branch of the library at Fifth and Washington. I’m thinking about developing a tour that focuses on local crimes of the past. Sounds like something you’d be interested in. :) This was a really rough place during riverboat times.

      Reply
  6. Danea Carpenter

    I missed the wrote up about missing Sleepy walking on street in Marietta i would like to have read it he is my brother ty

    Reply
  7. Michael Vannoy

    I’m looking for a Picture of the old Wagon Wheel Bar that was or Rt. 7 Thank You For Your Time and Merrry Christmas .

    Reply
      1. jim bennett

        Not posted anywhere. I have them in bags, boxes, and big envelopes. Where/when can we get together so you can see them? (I am harmless, I assure you).

        Reply
        1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

          So you’re friends with Mike. That makes you very suspicious :) I’m booked solid next week but pretty clear after that. How about meeting at the library? I’d really like to see your collection.

          Reply
  8. jim bennett

    Thurs.12 Feb. 10 a.m. is ok. I will give as much advance notice as possible if I get called back to work. Am laid-off at present.

    Reply
  9. jim bennett

    I read in Readers Digest years ago that a visitor to the Shenandoah crash site found the Captain”s ring on the limb of a very small sapling. It had hooked the ring as it grew out of the ground and the ring was a few inches above the soil. It was returned to a relative of the Captain(a grand-daughter, perhaps).
    Jim Bennett

    Reply
    1. Lynne Sturtevant Post author

      Something along these lines came up in a comment on facebook a little while ago. I am scanning like a crazy woman. Probably one more week. I stop when I start making mistakes :) I began posting your pix on Facebook this morning. People are going wild.

      Reply
  10. jim bennett

    In the photo of the court house: the “float” does not appear to be pushed or pulled by anything, ergo one naturally assumes an internal combustion engine. Steam power could propel it, but smoke from heat-source or puffs of steam would be seen. Appears to be “steered” by man in white shirt & necktie. Because of absence of autos in photo, and fact that court-house is there, I’d say early 1900’s. There was water-fountain on corner sidewalk by court-house. What year did it appear? Is it in photo?

    Reply
  11. jim bennett

    The small bridge crosses the stream, and has been replaced(But not with cement, which is the gray powder which is mixed with sand & gravel to make CONCRETE). The trestle used to cross the entire ravine, as it was less expensive than backfilling. Because a locomotive has steel wheels and operates on smooth steel rails, it can navigate an incline of only a few degrees due to traction issues (ergo tunnels and trestles).

    Reply
  12. jim bennett

    The photo of the barber: I was told by a couple of the old guys (long deceased now ) in the V.F.W. that he charged fifteen cents per haircut for years. When he was asked why he didn’t raise his price like all the others had, he replied,”I don’t have time”. I think he cut hair at Lowell, but not sure.

    Reply
  13. jim bennett

    Have been scanning the other 2 books which are about the history of Washington county. May have found a photo of the locomotive pictured on the Dunbar trestle. It is named The Marietta. Found another photo of the “boat-float”in a Marietta parade, circa 1918. It is a “right-hand-drive” and does have an internal combustion engine. Also found a photo of the stern -wheeler “Kanawha” (1905) prior to its sinking. See you Thursday.

    Reply

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