'Celebrating the Pioneers' exhibition (photo courtesy of Campus Martius Museum)

‘Celebrating the Pioneers’ in Marietta

An exhibition at Marietta’s Campus Martius Museum delves into the people who founded the Northwest Territory’s first permanent settlement. 

As the Ordinance of 1787 opened a vast wilderness west of the Ohio River for settlement, a stoic group of pioneers made their way to Ohio, ready to bring civilization as they knew it to the uncharted terrain. Marietta became the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory, and Campus Martius Museum explores these early days with its exhibition “Celebrating the Pioneers,” on display through Dec. 1.

Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough’s book The Pioneers, this exhibition explores the lives of a handful of the individuals mentioned in the novel and showcases some of their personal artifacts.

Visitors can learn how the early foundations of Ohio were established and explore the history behind notable places and people, from the Coonskin Library to Gen. Rufus Putnam. (The Pioneers & Paddlewheels Celebration, which features historical re-enactors, music, storytellers and hands-on activities, has been rescheduled for Aug. 7, 2021.) 

“If somebody has read The Pioneers and wants to take that experience to the next level, come to Campus Martius,” says museum historian Bill Reynolds. “If [you] have an interest in what became Ohio, the northwest territories, its people and objects, material culture — come to Campus Martius. You won’t find it anywhere else.” 601 Second St., Marietta 45750, 740/373-3750, mariettamuseums.org/campus-martius