Ohio River Museum
W.P. Snyder Jr. Mid-Spring 2014!
The Ohio River Museum in Marietta is pleased to exhibit the extensive collection of the Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen. While you tour, discover the golden age of the steamboat and learn more about the ecology of the Ohio River system. The Ohio River Museum consists of three exhibit buildings, the first chronicling the origins and natural history of the Ohio River. The history of the steamboat on the Ohio River system is featured in the second building, along with a video presentation on river steamboats. The last building features displays about boat building, mussels in the Ohio River system, and tools and equipment from the steamboat era.
Outside the museum, on the Muskingum River, visitors can take an escorted tour of the W. P. SNYDER JR.-- the last intact steam-powered "pool-type" stern-wheeled towboat in the United States. After your museum visit, cruise the Ohio River on the Valley Gem, a working sternwheeler docked next door to the Ohio River Museum.
Other exhibits on the museum grounds include the pilothouse from the steamboat the TELL CITY, a full-scale reproduction of a flatboat from Ohio's early settlement period, and an 1800 dug-out canoe used as a ferry between Fort Harmer and Marietta's settlement. Also on site are a series of poles showing the heights of some of the worst floods to hit the area in its recorded history: the 1884 flood at 54.5 feet, the 1898 flood at 49.6 feet, the 1907 flood at 52.1 feet, the flood of 1913 at 60.3 feet, and the 1937 flood at 55 feet.
This exhibit focuses on Captain Cumberland W. Posey from Belpre, Ohio. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Captain Posey, a black man, became one of Pittsburgh, PA's success stories, owning and running several towboats, a bank, and one of the first black baseball teams. Truely a man of industry and finance.
The Ritts' W.P. Snyder Jr Legacy
The exhibit features artifacts, photos, and writings by Captain Charles E. Ritts and his son Charles E. Ritts, Jr. Captain Ritts worked for Crucible Steel Company of America over 40 years, most of which in the capacity of Manager of transportation. He was intimately connected with all their boats but seemed especially fond of the W.P. Snyder Jr. Son, Charles Jr was unofficial photographer for Crucible Steel and his artwork is liberally used throughout the exhibit.
The Ritts Collection was donated to Sons and Daughters of Pioneer River by Barbara and Beatrice Ritts in Memory of Captain C.E. Ritts, C.E. Ritts Jr. and C.E. Ritts III.
The W.P. Snyder Jr. phase II restoration is going as planned. The vessel left in October 2013! With her new hull completed in 2010, she will now be getting a face lift. The W.P. Snyder Jr. will return to her Marietta docks in the Spring of 2014!
G. Whitney Snyder Charitable Fund
Bernard McDonough Foundation
Washington County Commissioners
The Ohio River Museum is located at 601 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio, one block from Ohio State Route 7, and minutes from I-77. Free parking is available in the museum parking lot. Ohio River Museum is also wheelchair accessible, except for W.P. Snyder.
If you planning a visit to the Ohio River Museum, also make time to see Campus Martius Museum of the Northwest Territory, just a three minute walk from the Ohio River Museum.
Use the interactive map below for specific driving instructions.
|April - Labor Day||September - October|
|Monday||9:30 to 5||Closed|
|Wednesday-Saturday||9:30 to 5||9:30 to 5, Saturday Only*|
|Sunday||Noon to 5||Noon to 5|
|Closed||Easter & November - March**|
** Tours available by appointment.
|1 Day Pass both
Campus Martius & Ohio River Museums
|FOM or OHS Member||Free||Free|
|Students K to College (with ID)||$4.00||$5.00|
|Children 5 and under||Free||Free|
Most educational programs at the Ohio River Museum are geared for 3rd through 8th grades with special programming available for all ages. Programs focus on the relationship between people and the river. View steamboat models and artifacts from hundreds of inland boats. Learn about freshwater mussels and the impact that invasive species such as the zebra mussel have had on native species. Many more learning opportunities are available. Ask for details when scheduling!
Mini-Tours: Available only to schools not doing other programs. ($4 per student per one museum; $5 per student for both museums)
- For schools with a very limited time frame, we will have designated tour guides stationed throughout the museum.
- The guides keep the students focused. They will point out and discuss exhibits with the children and answer questions the students may have.
Educational programs are also available at the Campus Martius Museum, located just one block from the Ohio River Museum. Tour both museums for just $1 more!
Group Programs Available at the Ohio River Museum
- Tour of W.P. Snyder, Jr. plus steam engines and how they work (upon request)Due to restoration, the Snyder will not be available during the 2013-14 school year.
- Stream table: how streams are formed, flood plain, and effects of erosion, etc.
- Flatboats, tows, and more boats
- History of Wildlife of Ohio
- Fresh water mussels, invasive species and the historic button industry!
- Human activity and impact on our rivers and streams can be addressed in multiple programs.
Ask about Hometown History on Wheels! Bus transportation cost reimbursement available to Washington County schools through donations from area groups and individuals on a limited basis. When scheduling, ask for details.
Any group (school, scouts, 4-H, church, etc.) is welcome to reserve either Campus Martius Museum or the Ohio River Museum for programs, tours, events or sleepovers. However, all reservations must be made by contacting Glenna Hoff, Educator/Program Director by calling 740-373-3750 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Any plans made by groups without the approval of the Educator/Program Director and LeAnn Hendershot, Museum Director, are null and void. Any tentative reservations made through any other individual are subject to the approval of Glenna Hoff and LeAnn Hendershot.
Educational rates apply to groups of students of 20 or more. Smaller groups may be accomodated at the discretion of the Education/Program Director.
To plan your visit, contact our staff via email or by calling 1.740.373.3750. For a print copy of our educational programs, download the following brochure:
Educational Admission Rates
|Museum Tour Only*||4th Grade Achievement**||Educational Workshop**|
Please note that membership discounts do not apply to educational admission rates.
* Add the Campus Martius Museum to your tour for just $1 more!
** Museum tour included.
Welcome Back Carp
April 5, 2014
Where: Ohio River Museum
Time: 9:30AM - 5PM; Programs 10AM - 1PM
Cost: $5 Adults $2 Students; Admission is for both museums! This day only!
DID YOU KNOW that carp lay eggs? In fact, a single carp an lay over a million eggs in a year! While it may be difficult to see carp eggs in the river, you can search for them for FREE, on the grounds of the Ohio River Museum during our CARP EGG HUNT!
The Ohio River Museum invites you to Welcome Back Carp. Admission to both museums (Campus Martius & the Ohio River Museums) is just $5 for adults and $2 for students! The event kickoff is a FREE Carp Egg Hunt beginning at 10:00 AM on the grounds of the Ohio River Museum! Inside the museum will be a variety of hands-on children's activities that will be available until 1PM! The W.P. Snyder Jr. will not be open that day but the Schoonover Shanty Boat will be open for tours! Our special guest, Carpy will be there to greet visitors as we celebrate the opening of the Ohio River Museum for the 2014 season!
National Museum Day
September 27, 2014
Where: Campus Martius Museum & the Ohio River Museum
Time: All Day
Cost: FREE Admission (Does not apply to groups)
If you’re looking for something fun and cheap to do this weekend, celebrate National Museum Day with the Friends of the Museums. Campus Martius & the Ohio River Museums are joining dozens of others across the nation and by offering Free Admission on Saturday, September 27, 2014!