statue in Marietta Ohio

Surrounding Areas


The county was formed in 1831 from parts of Kanawha, Wood, and Mason counties, and named for General Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States.  Jesse Hughes, noted Indian fighter, spent his declining years here and is buried in this county.  Leading industries include pulpwood, oil and gas, poultry, livestock, hay and grain, and tobacco.


These lands were surveyed in 1771 for George Washington who had camped nearby in 1770.  The town was originally chartered in 1852 and named after Allan, Lord of Ravenswood, in Sir Walter Scott’s “The Bride of Lammermoor”.


The county seat of Jackson County, Ripley was originally chartered in 1832 on land which was settled in 1768 by William, John and Lewis Rogers.  The town was named in honor of Harry Ripley, who drowned in Big Mill Creek in 1830.


The county was created in 1851 from Wood, Tyler and Ritchie Counties, and named for James Pleasants, Jr., who represented Virginia in the United State Senate, and who was its Governor, 1822-1825.  The county’s early development was due to resources of oil and natural gas.  In addition to petroleum, present-day industries include poultry, livestock, dairying, hay and grain.


St. Marys is the county seat of Pleasants County.  It was originally chartered in 1851 and named by its founder, Alexander H. Creel, in honor of the Virgin Mary, who according to legend appeared to him in a vision one night as the steamer upon which he was traveling on the Ohio River was passing the point where he afterwards established the town.


The town was incorporated April 19, 1946, by the Circuit Court.  Belmont was named for the beautiful hills surrounding the area.


Ritchie County was formed in 1843 from parts of Wood, Harrison and Lewis Counties and named in honor of Thomas Ritchie, a distinguished journalist from Richmond, Virginia.  In 1772, Elias and Jesse Hughes and Colonel William Lowther explored this region.  Leading industries include petroleum, natural gas, clothing, glass and glassware, livestock, hay and grain.


The town was incorporated in 1900 and was formerly known as Bone Creek and Newburg.  The name “Auburn” was suggested in 1871 by Major Joseph C. Gluck.


Cairo was incorporated October 22, 1895 by the Circuit Court.  Its first settlers were devout Scotch Presbyterians who named the town after the city by that name in Egypt, because there they found water and fertile ground for their crops.  This small town lies along the banks of North Fork of Hughes River.


The town was incorporated in 1903 and named in honor of Ellen Mariah Williamson, first postmistress, daughter of John Williamson, an early settler.  It was formerly known as Shumley.


The county seat of Ritchie County, the town was established in 1832.  It was chartered in 1869, by Act of the Legislature and named for Thomas Harris, an early pioneer.  His nephew, General Thomas Harris, distinguished himself in the Union Army and was one of the commissioners who tried those charged with assassinating Abraham Lincoln.


The town was settled by John Bunnel, a veteran of the American Revolution.  Pennsboro was incorporated in 1885 as a town and incorporated as a city in 1915 by an Act of the Legislature.  It was named for a Baltimore surveyor named Penn, who made the first town plat.  It is the location of “The Old Stone House,” built about 1810, long a well known tavern on the Northwestern Turnpike during stage coach days.


Pullman was incorporated in 1901.  It was named for George M. Pullman, of Chicago, famous as the manufacturer of Pullmans, then commonly known as “palace cars.”


Formed in 1848 from Wood and Jackson Counties and named for William Wirt of Maryland, who gained fame as an author, orator and lawyer in his adopted state of Virginia.  He was most prominent in his prosecution of Aaron Burr.  The development of the Burning Springs oil fields started in 1859, the year of the Titusville, Pennsylvania oil boom.  Leading industries include lumber, petroleum, hay and grain, livestock, poultry and dairying.


The county seat of Wirt County, the town was settled by William Beauchamp in 1796.  It was originally chartered in 1822, and named for Elizabeth (Woodyard) Beauchamp, wife of David Beauchamp, prominent early settler.


Washington County was the first county to be formed in the state of Ohio.  It is named for George Washington and was formed by Governor Arthur St. Clair.  In 1811, the riverboat appeared on America’s rivers, and Washington County became a major center for building steamboats.  In the mid-1800s the county enjoyed another economic boom with the development of the oil and gas industry.  Primary industries in Washington County are metal, chemicals, stone-clay-glass, food, lumber, plastics, dairy products and cattle.


Situated just across the Ohio River from Parkersburg is Belpre, the second oldest permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory.  About 40 associates of the New England “Ohio Company” settled it in 1789.  The town’s name is derived from a contraction of “Belle Prairie,” French for “beautiful meadow.” 

By 1791, the Indian Wars caused the pioneer families to join together for protection.  They moved to a central location where they constructed their fort, “Farmer’s Castle.”  After defeat of the Indians in 1794, the settlers were able to begin new lives in the western wilderness.


In the early morning mist of April 7, 1788, a flatboat, a galley and three log canoes arrived at the mouth of the Muskingum River.  A vanguard of 48 men of the Ohio Company, led by General Rufus Putnam, came ashore and began a great, historic adventure.  These intrepid pioneers, veterans of the Revoluntionary War, perservered through daunting hardships to found Marietta, the first organized American settlement in the Northwest Territory and Ohio’s first city.

Marietta, the county seat of Washington County, was named for Marie Antoinette, the French Queen who supported the Americans in the Revolutionary War against Great Britain.  Marietta became the seat of government for the Northwest Territory.  Drawing pioneers wishing to purchase land, it soon became known as the “Gateway to the Northwest.”  The city is situated on the site of important prehistoric earth works.