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.
- Fabulous Fourth Fridays, fourth Friday of every month
- Marietta Day, mid-May
- River Run Race, mid-late May
- Garden Ganza, mid-late July
- Christmas Candlelight Tour, December
Susquehanna Valley Visitors Center
2014 Lancaster Getaway Guide
The 2014 Getaway Guide is packed with information on where to stay, where to eat, where to have fun, where to shop — you name it!find out more
Choo Choo Barn, Traintown USA®
See a work of art in this gigantic model train layout, hand-crafted by one family for 50+ years. With 150+ miniature animations, it’s much more than “just trains”.find out more