Lancaster County PA Realty Check: Historic Marietta, PA

Historic Marietta, PA

Historic Marietta, PA

Marietta, PA started out in colonial days as Anderson's Ferry after a service established in the late 1720s by James Anderson, crossing the Susquehanna river to York County.  Marietta got its name from Anderson's two daughters, Mary and Henrietta.  After the Erie Canal was built between 1825 and 1830 along the river, a thriving lumber trade from the virgin forests of north central Pennsylvania brought wealth to Marietta, and many fine architectural specimens of the homes built during that period still remain.

A combination of lumber, lumber mills, and iron furnaces fueled the Marietta economy through the Victorian era, aided by the golden age of the railroad that went along the river.  Until the 1930s, the town thrived.  After the depression of 1929, Marietta was affected as was the rest of the country.  The final blow to the economy was the great flood of 1936, during which the Susquehanna overflowed its banks and devastated the community.

East Market Street, Marietta

This building on East Market Street, taken in the 1930s, still exists.  It is typical of the Federal style of the first decade of the 1800s in Marietta.

Like Williamsburg in Virginia, a long recession had the silver lining of preserving many of the historically significant homes, ironically because no one had the money to "remodel" them or tear them down for new houses.  Today Marietta is going through a renaissance.  Together with Columbia and Wrightsville, restoration, cultural, and artistic events are bring in tourists and businesses.

                              Linden House

I was privileged in the early 1980s to personally restore three Marietta homes, including saving both an eighteenth-century log and stone house on East Market Street and the magnificent Linden House built in 1805 by lumber tycoon Henry Cassel, from condemnation and demolition.  As a member of the Marietta Restoration Association at that time, I became fascinated with the town, its history and architecture.


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Comment balloon 2 commentsBrian Schulman • May 12 2007 09:44PM


Found a small antique cast iron double boiler with "Marietta, PA" on the bottom.  Guessing 1880-1920 - can anyone tell me of a foundry name that may have made this (or any other info)?


All the best!


Joe Ward (Wichita, KS)

Posted by Joe Ward almost 9 years ago

Vesta Furnace and Chickies Furnace are two possibilities from Marietta.  I don't have any information on specific dates or products they made.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) almost 9 years ago