Ohio River Museum
The Ohio River Museum in Marietta is pleased to exhibit the extensive collection of the Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen. While you tour, discover the golden age of the steamboat and learn more about the ecology of the Ohio River system. The Ohio River Museum consists of three exhibit buildings, the first chronicling the origins and natural history of the Ohio River. The history of the steamboat on the Ohio River system is featured in the second building, along with a video presentation on river steamboats. The last building features displays about boat building, mussels in the Ohio River system, and tools and equipment from the steamboat era.
Outside the museum, on the Muskingum River, visitors can take an escorted tour of the W. P. SNYDER JR.-- the last intact steam-powered "pool-type" stern-wheeled towboat in the United States. After your museum visit, cruise the Ohio River on the Valley Gem, a working sternwheeler docked next door to the Ohio River Museum.
Other exhibits on the museum grounds include the pilothouse from the steamboat the TELL CITY, a full-scale reproduction of a flatboat from Ohio's early settlement period, and an 1800 dug-out canoe used as a ferry between Fort Harmer and Marietta's settlement. Also on site are a series of poles showing the heights of some of the worst floods to hit the area in its recorded history: the 1884 flood at 54.5 feet, the 1898 flood at 49.6 feet, the 1907 flood at 52.1 feet, the flood of 1913 at 60.3 feet, and the 1937 flood at 55 feet.
This exhibit focuses on Captain Cumberland W. Posey from Belpre, Ohio. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Captain Posey, a black man, became one of Pittsburgh, PA's success stories, owning and running several towboats, a bank, and one of the first black baseball teams. Truely a man of industry and finance.
The W.P. Snyder Jr. phase II restoration is complete! The vessel left in October 2013 to have work completed mainly on the exterior. The W.P. Snyder Jr. returned to her Marietta docks in Spring 2014!
G. Whitney Snyder Charitable Fund
Bernard McDonough Foundation
Washington County Commissioners
The Ohio River Museum is located at 601 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio, one block from Ohio State Route 7, and minutes from I-77. Free parking is available in the museum parking lot. Ohio River Museum is also wheelchair accessible, except for W.P. Snyder.
If you planning a visit to the Ohio River Museum, also make time to see Campus Martius Museum of the Northwest Territory, just a three minute walk from the Ohio River Museum.
Use the interactive map below for specific driving instructions.
|April - Labor Day||September - October|
|Monday||9:30 to 5||Closed|
|Wednesday-Saturday||9:30 to 5||9:30 to 5, Saturday Only*|
|Sunday & Holidays||Noon to 5||Noon to 5|
|Closed||Easter & November - March**|
** Tours available by appointment.
Boat closes at 4:00PM.
|1 Day Pass both
Campus Martius & Ohio River Museums
|FOM or OHS Member||Free||Free|
|Students K to College (with ID)||$4.00||$5.00|
|Children 5 and under||Free||Free|
Most educational programs at the Ohio River Museum are geared for 3rd through 8th grades with special programming available for all ages. Programs focus on the relationship between people and the river. View steamboat models and artifacts from hundreds of inland boats. Learn about freshwater mussels and the impact that invasive species such as the zebra mussel have had on native species. Many more learning opportunities are available. Ask for details when scheduling!
Mini-Tours: Available only to schools not doing other programs. ($4 per student per one museum; $5 per student for both museums)
- For schools with a very limited time frame, we will have designated tour guides stationed throughout the museum.
- The guides keep the students focused. They will point out and discuss exhibits with the children and answer questions the students may have.
Educational programs are also available at the Campus Martius Museum, located just one block from the Ohio River Museum. Tour both museums for just $1 more!
Group Programs Available at the Ohio River Museum
- Tour of W.P. Snyder, Jr. plus steam engines and how they work (upon request)
- Stream table: how streams are formed, flood plain, and effects of erosion, etc.
- Flatboats, tows, and more boats
- History of Wildlife of Ohio
- Fresh water mussels, invasive species and the historic button industry!
- Human activity and impact on our rivers and streams can be addressed in multiple programs.
Ask about Hometown History on Wheels! Bus transportation cost reimbursement available to Washington County schools through donations from area groups and individuals on a limited basis. When scheduling, ask for details.
Any group (school, scouts, 4-H, church, etc.) is welcome to reserve either Campus Martius Museum or the Ohio River Museum for programs, tours, events or sleepovers. However, all reservations must be made by contacting Glenna Hoff, Educator/Program Director by calling 740-373-3750 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Any plans made by groups without the approval of the Educator/Program Director and LeAnn Hendershot, Museum Director, are null and void. Any tentative reservations made through any other individual are subject to the approval of Glenna Hoff and LeAnn Hendershot.
Educational rates apply to groups of students of 20 or more. Smaller groups may be accomodated at the discretion of the Education/Program Director.
To plan your visit, contact our staff via email or by calling 1.740.373.3750. For a print copy of our educational programs, download the following brochure:
Educational Admission Rates
|Museum Tour Only*||4th Grade Achievement**||Educational Workshop**|
Please note that membership discounts do not apply to educational admission rates.
* Add the Campus Martius Museum to your tour for just $1 more!
** Museum tour included.