Marietta was founded in 1788 and was the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory. We all probably know this fact by now – but what came before that? Thousands of years ago, Native Americans lived life in a compelling and scientific way right here in Marietta. The remnants of this ancient culture surround us in our local earthwork mounds, yet few give any thought to it today.
The ancient mounds in Marietta have long been a topic of discussion. Where did they come from? When were they built? Why are they here? While we don’t know every detail of what our local mounds were built and used for, we do know they are of historical importance to our native culture.
There truly is ancient magic right in our own backyard for those who know where and how to look.
Local historian, Lynne Sturtevant, owner at Hidden Marietta, has this to say about these ancient indigenous structures, “We take the mounds for granted, barely noticing them as we go about our busy lives, but the incredible story of the people who inhabited our river valleys 2000 years ago is where Ohio’s history begins. There truly is ancient magic right in our own backyard for those who know where and how to look.”
In Marietta, over 2000 years ago, ancient peoples lived in what is now Washington County and archaeologists believe that these natives were part of the Hopewell and Adena tribes. Marietta is thought to be a sacred ceremonial center where these natives built multiple ceremonial mounds. Like many earthwork structures, before settlers recognized the historical significance of the mounds, many were destroyed – but according to local history, there are three major mound earthworks still remaining in Marietta.