Campus Martius Museum, Marietta Ohio Founded 1788

Revolving Exhibits
Ohio's First Peoples
Marietta Pioneers
The Ohio Company
The Rufus Putnam House
Marietta Memories
Paradise Found and Lost


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Campus Martius Museum houses three floors of historical exhibits focusing on the Northwest Territory and its first settlement, Marietta. Visitors can also tour the Rufus Putnam House and the Ohio Company Land Office. Use the links at right to browse through what Campus Martius has to offer.

Special Exhibits

Campus Martius reserves one of its galleries for changing exhibits. These displays center on themed topics.

2Imagining Marietta

Kicking off the 225th Anniversary of the Founding of Marietta, Campus Martius Museum is proud to offer a unique exhibit to the community, entitled "Imagining Marietta". The exhibit houses 12 murals depicting the first settlement of the Northwest Territory, each painted by William Mark Young. Also, on display are rare and seldom seen artifacts ranging from Rufus Putnam's banjo clock, hand-written letters, historic newspapers, & photos of early Marietta. “Imagining Marietta” encourages visitors to view somewhat romanticized images of early Marietta as well as artifacts from the past 225 years that are not currently on exhibit.

This exhibit would not be possible without the contributions from Peoples Bancorp, the City of Marietta, and Dr. Andrew Wehrman, of Marietta College.

2 Civil War MenTouched By Conflict: Southeastern Ohio & the Civil War

Using southeastern Ohio as a model, exhibit themes explore events in the State leading to the conflict, local support of the War effort, recruitment, service in various campaigns, and the private lives of both officers and private soldiers as they performed in campaigns in various armies. The exhibit also examines human costs of the conflict on Ohio communities and how veterans were assimilated back into home life following military duty.

Central to the presentation is the use of the collection of Ohioan, Larry Strayer. Strayer is one of the foremost collectors of Civil War photographs in the United States. He also has amassed a significant collection of artifacts relating to the War and, in particularly, from communities in southeast Ohio.

This exhibition, a cooperative venture between a number of area institutions and the Ohio History Connection, highlights the stories of individuals who served in many capacities during the War, as soldiers, women from relief associations, politicians, fraternal organizations, and religious support groups.

Native American Exhibit at Campus Martius Museum, Photograph courtesy of New Creation StudiosOhio's First Peoples

Marietta's earliest known civilization, Adena/Hopewell moundbuilders, built an extensive mound  and earthwork complex where Marietta now resides. When Rufus Putnam and company arrived they decided to survey and map the mounds. Several were set aside as protected monuments, an unusual act for the 1780s. Our museum collection includes their original maps and surveys plus artifacts of the Hopewell period.

Though no tribe lived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, several traveled and hunted throughout the region. Delaware, Wyandott, and Pottawattomie tribes were among those that signed the 1789 Fort Harmar Treaty. As you tour Campus Martius, view authentic clothing, items of trade, tools, and learn of the culture of these late 18th century Native Americans.

General Rufus PutnamMarietta Pioneers

Many Revolutionary War veterans were granted lands in the Northwest Territory in lieu of payment for their tour of duty. General Rufus Putnam, friend of George Washington, led the Ohio Company to the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers to claim their land grant. Campus Martius Museum exhibits a large collection of original artifacts, documents, and possessions from these pioneers. Learn about colonial migration, Indian treaties, fort building, city planning and more.

Ohio Company Land OfficeThe Ohio Company

The Ohio Company of Associates was formed in 1786 by General Rufus Putnam, Rev. Manasseh Cutler, Samuel Holden Parsons, and Benjamin Tupper with goal of acquiring and settling land in the Ohio Country. After Congress enacted the Ordinance of 1787, creating the Northwest Territory, the Ohio Company made its purchase. Rufus Putnam led the first group of settlers to the Ohio and Muskingum in 1788. Tour the original Ohio Company Land Office where Rufus Putnam worked, oldest known building in Ohio. Walk in the steps of hopeful land owners, view the maps and stake your claim in the Northwest Territory.

Rufus Putnam HouseThe Rufus Putnam House

Originally a blockhouse in the Campus Martius fortification, the Rufus Putnam House remains in its original location. Most of the fort was disassembled and used in the settlers' new construction, but General Putnam chose to remain on the bluff above the Muskingum River. The Rufus Putnam House is now restored to its original configuration. Step back into to time and see how a pioneer lived in the 1780s. Interpretive guides will show you how Mrs. Putnam fixed toast on an open fire, where General Putnam kept his private papers, and the Putnam family bedchambers.

Marietta 1913  FloodMarietta Memories

Browse our collection of Marietta memorabilia throughout the years. Exhibits include antique furniture, clothing, photographs, fire equipment, toys, and possessions of notable citizens. These items tell the story of Marietta over its 200 years of existence.

Paradise Found and Lost: Ohio Migration ExhibitParadise Found and Lost

The focus of the exhibit Paradise Found and Lost: Migration in the Ohio Valley, 1850-1970 goes beyond Ohio's early settlement. It explores two later waves of migration that shaped the state's history: the movement of many rural Ohioans to cities between 1850 and 1910, and the influx of Appalachians from Kentucky and West Virginia into Ohio's industrial centers such as Dayton and Akron between 1910 and 1970.

The exhibit includes 90 objects from Ohio History Connection collections, ranging from an early mechanized seed drill to a jacket worn during performances by contemporary country music singer Dwight Yoakam, the son of Appalachian emigrants. In addition to artifacts, exhibits contain audio accounts taken from diaries and journals kept by these people on the move, video views of factory and city life, and interactive computer programs showing migration patterns and Ohio's economic development.