Ohio River Museum

Ohio, Washington County, Marietta

river mile 172.5

River access: yes. Tree cover: somewhat covered. Impervious surface: some. Landscape design strategy: organized. Information about the Ohio River: some.

This Ohio River Museum is a bit mistitled. It is not so much about the river as it is about boats. Boats and boats and boats, especially steamboats. Outside there are several boats to tour: a flatboat, a keelboat, a steamboat used as a towboat.

The museum itself is a wonderful architect-designed high modernist concrete building of the 1960’s, with ripples and rills — unfortunately not in very good shape.

Inside? One of those fantastic museums made by fanatics: here, steamboat fanatics. Lots of models, lots of text and lots and lots and lots of photographs. Maybe there is a bit more about steamboat history here than the ordinary person would want to know, but that is the attraction of a specialized museum. Unusually for one of its type, it does pretty well on labor history as well.

On the other side of the street is another specialized museum, the Campus Martius Museum. It specializes in the history of the Northwest Territory, those first incursions of Western Europeans into Native lands beyond the Ohio River beginning in the 1780’s. Both are built on the site of the Marietta Earthworks, mounds built by the Hopwellian peoples from about 100 BCE to 500 CE.

Camping on the grounds probably would not be appreciated.

1 June 2017