The Castle Historic House Museum stands tall on fourth street in historic downtown Marietta. In the past, The Castle was home to the most prominent people in the small town of Marietta. Melvin Clarke built the house in 1855. The inspiration for the castle was a gothic architecture style, which can easily be seen by taking a look at the exterior of the castle.
“The house is one of the few remaining Gothic Revival style architectural homes in the country,” Kyle Yoho, Education Director at The Castle, said.
It is believed that the “summer kitchen” inside The Castle was built as early as the 1830s by Nathaniel Clarke, who was a potter. Nathaniel Clarke made milk pans, jugs and jars. The Castle has an archaeologist on staff who is conducting studies on pottery that is still being found on the grounds. The Castle hosts an archaeology camp for kids and an archeology school for adults.
“This is the oldest site for archaeology on a pottery site in Ohio,” Yoho said.
The Castle just finished the second installment of their “Food History” series where they teamed up with The Cook’s Shop to put together a program focused around “tasting” history. Participants took old recipes from cookbooks, menus, or descriptions of picnics and were given the opportunity to try food as it was made ages ago. Local names and businesses can be found in historic cookbooks, and they can tell you a lot about that time frame in history. You can also see what ingredients they were using based on the resources that were available.
A lot of people forget that Marietta is the oldest town in the Northwest Territory. The Castle staff is working hard to restore an interest in the town history.
“Our goal is to make local history available to the public and show those who are interested or to garner new interest,” Yoho said.
On September 25th, The Castle is leading a Cultural Caravan bus trip to Dayton, Ohio where guests will visit the National Air Force Museum to learn about aviation. The trip will include a guided tour and guests will get to visit the museum and have free time to explore. While on this trip, guests will have access to a behind the scenes tour of the new exhibit “Dayton and the Great War” with Dr. Paul Lockhart, whose research contributed to this exhibit commemorating Dayton’s contributions to World War I.
“We are even providing dinner on this trip at Carillon Park’s new historic tavern “Carillon Brewing Company” where not only will you be able to get a chance to enjoy a great historic meal, but also learn about Dayton’s brewing history and those that so choose can even sample some of the “brews” made on site,” Yoho said.
A brand new program, “Octoberfest” will take place at The Castle on October 15th. The Castle is partnering with Jessica Wielitzka from Hidden Marietta Tours and local author Jann Adams whose new book “German Marietta” will be hitting the shelves later this month. The day will include speakers, food programs and workshops.
In 1994 The Castle became a museum. Today, guests can take a tour of the castle to find out how the prominent families of Marietta lived in the past. Tours take place Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and reservations are not needed unless you have a group of 10 or more. Also, tours begin whenever you arrive, so you do not need to arrive on the hour.