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Strengthening the Weakest Link

photo from the Harmar Village Facebook Page:

A Chain Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link

Our blog has predominantly focused on the many positive aspects of living and working in Marietta and the Mid-Ohio Valley. There is no need for exaggeration when we talk about the benefits of living in this area. Marietta is a particularly unique small town with a long history and a tightly knit community. The surroundings really are that beautiful and the shops really are that special. Marietta is still, at the end of the day, a real town, and no town is 100% perfect. However, where problems can spell doom for some small communities, challenges simply reiterate what makes Marietta a great community.

Recently, Marietta Main Street hosted a “Clean Sweep” community clean-up event. Traditionally, this annual event has focused on the downtown area. Volunteers weed and mulch gardens, clean up trash, and do other things to spruce up the area for the summer season. The 2018 event added a new dimension. The efforts were extended to the west side of Marietta, an area called Harmar.

A Tale of Two Cities–Almost

While Marietta was founded by settlers from Massachusetts in 1788, additional pioneers moved to the western side of the Muskingum River and lived around Fort Harmar. Residents on the eastern side of the river could make it there easily, but the two settlements grew in parallel to each other as separate villages. The relationship between those on the eastern side of the river and those on the western side was uneasy, and in 1837 Harmar residents requested a separation from the Marietta residents. The two areas merged again in 1890, but there are still some feelings of rivalry and tension between “east siders” and “west siders.”

Harmar is filled with nationally registered historic sites, but it has also seen some tough times. The opioid crisis that has swept across so many states is a bit more visible in this area of town, and the residents often feel like they get lost in the shuffle.

Good Enough is Not Good Enough

While one might venture to say that a lot of towns and cities might just let this part of town fight its own battles, Marietta is doing something quite different. Spurred on by what was learned during the clean-up event, a group called Main Street West has been formed. The group, which is a kind of spin-off of Marietta Main Street, will focus on the residents of Harmar. The Marietta Times recently published a detailed article about the formation of the group and what its objectives will be moving forward.

The initiative shown in this venture reveals what makes Marietta a wonderful place to live and work. No, things are not perfect all of the time. However, when there are issues, Marietta deals with them and works to make the quality of life better. Nothing beats that.

Posted by: Colby Ferraris on June 5, 2018
Posted in: Uncategorized