Marietta and Washington County – A Dream Come True!

For years I have wanted to visit Marietta and do genealogical research in Washington County, Ohio.  I have been studying Solomon Goss for years and this was a major goal of mine.  I visited the area on my recent trip from Friday September 2 to Wednesday September 7th, 2011.  It was a very busy visit.

I picked up my hubby at the Columbus airport on September 1st, 2011 and we drove back to Mount Vernon and the Apple Valley Resort (August 8, 2016 they are closed) condo for one more night.  Checking out the next day we drove down to Gambier and took a quite visit to the Oak Grove Cemetery there looking for more Kellers.

Heading south we drove down Hwy to Hwy 229 to Hwy 31, 586 and 146 where we came out in Zanesville. It was an interesting scenic drive over country roads that went through beautiful farmlands.  From Zanesville we got onto Interstate 70 and headed east to Interstate 77 to go south to Marietta.  We stopped at a Denny’s for some lunch and discovered a very different Denny’s.  This one was a vintage Denny’s.  The waitress said there were about 80 built but only around 40 left operating.  This one had an Art Deco appearance.  It was really easy to get to Marietta from Zanesville and took about 1.5 hours maybe less.  Know that I know the way I see that it was pretty easy.

Washington County Historical Society

We arrived in Marietta in time to visit the Washington County Historical Society which is located north of the city in a sort of group of official looking brick buildings.  There was highway work going on so it was a little confusing to find the entrance.  I spent the first part of my visit getting signed up for their membership and studying their cemetery listings.

The sad part was when the President Ken Finkel tried to find the original will of Solomon Goss.  It was missing!!!!!

Someone had taken it back in 1991 and left a note with initials.  Mr. Finkel was very unhappy and tried another document that was also missing.  The rest were okay for I searched for them on the following Tuesday when I visited again.

I had traveled a long way to see this will of Solomon Goss’s and this was very disappointing to me.  Taking a document like this makes it so that those who are descendants will never get to see it.  I can just imagine that it is now lost forever.

I checked the courthouse later in the week and they didn’t have it.  A lot of original documents were given to the Historical Society and they are taking very good care.  This was not their fault.  I felt bad that I upset Mr. Finkel really cares about the records of Washington County.  I do too.


There is a Mound Cemetery in Marietta that is very old.  They have a monument to the Revolutionary war soldiers.  They also have a Pioneer Monument to the lost graves of those buried in the area.  I have been trying to figure out where Solomon Goss, Olive (Scott) Goss, their son David and two of Solomon Goss (Jr’s.) babies might be buried.  Many tombstones are lost, flooding has taken its toll in 1913 and again in 1937?  There are readings of the many cemeteries in Washington County at the Historical Society and the Library but these are the larger cemeteries not the family ones on private land that may exist now or are gone totally.

Mound Cemetery Entrance

We had dinner at the Lafayette Hotel in the downtown area of Marietta.  It is located on the Ohio River and there is a little park there to view the river and see the sternwheeler boats tied up.  It was very lovely inside the hotel.  The dining room looked like it had been a theatre at one time and apparently they do occasionally hold events.  I did not book us into it because their website worried me with the broken links.  My husband was told they were updating it?  We stayed at the Comfort Inn on the other side of Interstate 77th.  It was okay but not the best Comfort Inn that I have stayed at.

Lafayette Hotel in Marietta

The Ohio River at Marietta

The next day we went to the Washington County Genealogical Society which has its collection in the library annex at the Washington County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Annex which is a completely different building than the main Library and situated a block south on the corner.  Again I looked at cemetery records, family history files, and more.  They had microfilm to access as well.  It was a very nice library.  I joined the Washington County Genealogical Society for $8.00.

Washington County Library Local History & Genealogy Annex

The next cemetery was Oak Grove which also had a Section 19 where they had moved many of the old pioneers to that area of the cemetery from the old locations in Marietta.  From the book about Mound Cemetery (very good book) I figured out that there were probably about 3-4 cemeteries that had disappeared because of removal to other cemeteries in Marietta.  I will talk more about this and the cemeteries of Washington County in a future post. Oak Grove Cemetery is on a hill with one lane roads that wind around.  It is a very hilly and scary cemetery because of these narrow roads, so be careful.

Oak Grove Section 19 Pioneer Monument

My husband said the man from the Marietta Cemetery Department called and left a message saying he didn’t find any Goss in Marietta.  So he did search.  The question is whether he did all cemeteries in Marietta or just Oak Grove.  I will let you know when I figure that out.

We also visited the Campus Martius Museum.  There is a three floor museum in the building and out buildings including the original Ohio Land Office that Rufus Putnam worked out of.  Also his home has been rebuilt inside the museum and you are taken on a tour of it.  It was so hot I had to leave because I started to get a little shaky.  Rufus and I are fast friends for I have seen the location of his home in North Brookfield.  I shall do a tribute post to this man, he knew my family and was quite a player in the history of the southeastern Ohio.   The name of the museum is pronounced like Marcius without the “t,” and is a Latin word.  We did not have time for the Ohio River Museum which would have been very interesting.

I have to admit I am confused.  I have seen documents coming from Campus Martius regarding genealogical research but apparently that has changed.  I tried to find out on my visit just what the status was for researching at this museum but I did not make much progress.  I was told it was not a research library but maybe you can visit by making an appointment.

The weather in Ohio had been fine till I picked up my hubby at the Columbus Airport on Thursday September 1st.  It had turned hot and muggy.  They did not get hit with Hurricane Irene but they were just about to get hit with heavy rain from Tropical Storm Lee. The Washington County Fair was taking place while we were there so we visited on Saturday in hot, muggy weather to see the hynotist at 6 pm.  It was a fun performance but I decided we needed to eat in a cool restaurant and they had an Applebee’s near our hotel.  It worked.  We would be missing the Sternwheeler Festival coming up in the next week.

On Sunday, September 4th we toured Washington County and visited several cemeteries:  Rainbow, Watertown, Rockland and Harmar.  I will discuss my findings in future posts.  I was looking for Goss, Scott and Lake burials and I wanted to see the general state of condition of the cemetery and get a feel for the distances.  We stopped in Belpre where the Historical Society is located but they were closed for the weekend.  I did call them before I headed to Ohio and they were very helpful in locating a grave in the Rockland Cemetery.  They are redoing the cemetery publications.

Belpre Historical Society

Sunday we ate at Austyn’s which was very fancy and located in the heart of Marietta.  Later was the Buckley House on our last night which was even more fancy.  I had salmon with peach sauce and it was delicious.  The Buckley House is an old Victorian home that used to be a B&B so it is a little unusual for a restaurant.  The theme is black and white with touches of red.  A really happy end for a last night in Marietta.

Tuesday I revisited the Washington County Historical Society and dug into the court documents for Solomon Goss, Obadiah Scott and Wine Rood.  They have indexes and finding aids.  I used white gloves to look a the original records.  Mr. Ken Finkel the President helped me try to find Obadiah Scott’s burial but it was not happening in published records.  He should be in the Waterford Cemetery.  He also helped with trying to locate a deed regarding Solomon Goss.

After the historical society we headed to the Marietta College in the rain.  My goal was the Special Collections.  I was greeted by Linda the archivist and she helped me to further dig for clues and answers.  I highly recommend a visit to this College which is in the heart of Marietta.  Linda is wonderful and friendly and very helpful.  They have a lot of information about the Ohio Company and Rufus Putnam on their digital website.  Very good.

Marietta College Special Collections

On Wednesday our last day, I visited the Washington County Courthouse probate office, recorders office and clerk of the courts.  It was a wonderful visit.  In fact, all my visits to courthouses in Ohio have been very enjoyable and the staff have been helpful and friendly.

Washington County Courthouse records

My time was up and we headed back to Columbus via Interstate 77 north and then west on 70.  We stopped in Zanesville and visited the Pioneer & Historical Society (Muskingum County) there and took a tour.  Did you know Zanesville was on the Muskingum River and did you know it was four towns before becoming one? Rufus Putnam and family were big in the history of the area?  Oh, it was also like Marietta part of the Underground Railroad.

Ah yes, Solomon Goss’s land.  Where is it?  That is for another post in the future.  It is on private land so I cannot reveal too much.  I would like to point out that a cousin gave me information years ago and it is wrong!  So be careful.


About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here:
This entry was posted in FAMILY SURNAMES MAIN LINE GOSS Surname, GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH TRIPS, Harmar Cemetery in Marietta, Marietta, Marietta College Special Collections, Mound Cemetery in Marietta, Oak Grove in Marietta, Olive Scott Goss, The Wife, Rainbow Cemetery, RESEARCH REPOSITORIES - OHIO, Rockland Cemetery in Belpre, Solomon Goss (Jr.) and Polly Coburn Devol, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss, Special Collections Marietta College, Washington County, Washington County Genealogical Society, Washington County Historical Society, Washington County Library Local History and Genealogy Annex, Waterford Cemetery and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Marietta and Washington County – A Dream Come True!

  1. Carol says:

    I also dream of visiting Washington County. I hope to learn more about the Emmons and Fletcher families.

    • bonmac says:

      Carol: It was definitely on my list to get to Washington County and I have good memories of being there. I found the Historical Society and the Library Annex to be very helpful and worth the visit in Marietta. When you get close to going contact me again with questions and I will be happy to help. There are not Fletcher and Emmons names in my family that I am aware of but you never know. Depending on the time period will determine if you are able to find information, good luck and thanks for stopping by.

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