Marietta, tucked in along the Susquehanna River just two miles north of Columbia, was founded in 1718 by Scots-Irish immigrants and was formed by the alliance of four separate settlements. This river town, which was originally established as an American Indian trading post, soon grew into a thriving lumber industry due to its location on the river. Hence, many Marietta homes were built with the material, as opposed to most other Lancaster County buildings, which were typically constructed with stone or brick. Many of the houses on the farms surrounding Marietta, however, are built of native fieldstone.
The construction of the Pennsylvania Canal in the 1820s attracted more trade and entrepreneurs to Marietta, stimulating the cultural and economic development of the town. However, over the years, the economy declined as more corporate entities began to preside over small, individual business. This economic downtown was a blessing in disguise in terms of Marietta maintaining its small-town charm and remaining the historical gem it still is today.
Relaxed and welcoming, Marietta carefully preserves its 19th century flavor and architecture. More than half of the town is designated as a National Historic District, including Market, Front, Biddle and Waterford Streets - some of which contain historic brick mansions and working-class row homes. Marietta also hosts independent and charming art galleries, antique stores and coffee shops - perfect for those seeking a quiet moment to discover the past by way of the present. The village and its surrounding covered bridges are also part of the Historic Rivertowns and Western Villages Trail.
Susquehanna Valley Visitors Center
Where To Stay
Bird-in-Hand Village Inn & Suites|
This historic Inn, built in 1734, offers uniquely decorated guest rooms complete with period furnishings.
Where To Eat
Kitchen Kettle Village|
Village of 42 country shops and restaurants built around our nationally celebrated Jam & Relish Kitchen. Don't miss our fun food festivals celebrating everything from rhubarb to tailgating!
Where To Shop
An 18th Century Moravian, Mennonite and Amish Community.
What To Do
Antique shops hosting over 3,000 dealers within a three-mile radius, also restaurants and lodging.