Not too far back in the past, Lancaster, Ohio was not very different from Marietta, Ohio in terms of its reputation. It was a small, tight-knit town, and much of the culture of the town was based on a few core factories which employed a large percentage of the citizenry and helped fund a lot of the town’s events. Author Brian Alexander weaves the tale of this town in his book called The Glass House. Over a period of several years, the primary employer in Lancaster, Anchor-Hocking, underwent several purchases, leadership changes, and in every update, the employees suffered. As the employees of the leading company in the area began to lose their jobs, prospects for the entire town diminished. Drug use began to take a stranglehold on what was once considered one of Ohio’s best small towns in which to live.
The book is a horror story for anyone who lives in Small Town America. Lancaster is not all that far geographically from the Mid-Ohio Valley, and some of the characters Alexander writes about could easily live anywhere in the region. But
citizens of Marietta will see how the paths have diverged, and how we are on a road that will take us far from the dark place Lancaster found itself.
Build Up Marietta
Recently, Marietta Main Street summarized a 2017 effort called Build Up Marietta. We were very please to be able to participate in implementing this facade improvement program at 106 Putnam. Promanco has long felt that renovating, refurbishing, and maintaining Historic Marietta is one of our most rewarding jobs. The unique combination of a long history with the natural beauty that being at the confluence of two rivers provides inspires us to put our best work on display wherever we go.
The Build Up Marietta program is just one sign that the people of the area understand that a commitment needs to be made to the town in which you live. Time, money, tough decisions, and elbow grease all are invested when you are breathing business and life into buildings that are 100 years old or older. While some small towns may let old buildings and alley ways deteriorate, Marietta as a community is dedicated to beautification and preservation.
An Increasingly Vibrant Downtown
Marietta is also uniquely fortunate to have a diverse offering of eateries and entertainment venues in our downtown area. Rather than putting all eggs in one employment or cultural basket, a mistake Lancaster and other small towns have made over the years, the Marietta culture is diversified and citizens can find enjoyment at a surprisingly high number of locations. While The Adelphia Music Hall is focused primarily on promoting the local music scene and drawing crowds from across the MOV, nearby People’s Bank Theater offers music as well as plays and musicals. Within a short walking distance of both of these places are restaurants that serve everything from Mexican cuisine at Tampicos to a succulent burger at The Galley. While some small towns seem only to have a gas station at which passers-by can stop, Marietta provides a lively environment for its residents and a tantalizingly cozy and unique atmosphere that draws visitors from all over the country.
The story of Lancaster, Ohio, is indeed rife with lessons that any small town can benefit from learning. The forces that are driving Marietta forward, however, are helping Marietta maintain its status as an ideal place to work, live, and play. We are happy to be a part of that powerful force.