Most stories about the history of Marietta focus on the Revolutionary War veterans who settled the area in 1788. Names like Putnam, Davis, and Wallace signify the predominantly English ancestry of Marietta’s first citizens. However, people of German descent gave back far more than you may realize to this region, as will be uncovered when we dig into the history of many buildings downtown.
One of the best resources to learn about Marietta’s German heritage is Jann Adam’s book, titled German Marietta and Washington County. The book takes you on a pictorial history of Marietta, and more particularly of families, businesses, and organizations of German descent. Beyond the pictures, however, there is a wealth of knowledge that can be gathered that might inspire you to look at Marietta through a new prism. Consider, for example, that there were once so many German businesses in downtown Marietta that there was actually a “Dutch Row.” Grocery stores, breweries, and banks were launched by people of German descent. People of German descent were behind much of the musical entertainment that Marietta hosted in the early 1900s.
Many of our properties can also point to German heritage. Mr. Biszantz, of the Bosworth-Biszantz House, was of German descent. The bankers who started the first bank housed in the Dime Bank Building were Germans. The Otto Brothers store, which you can see in so many historic photos of The Dime Bank Building, was a prominent business owned by Marietta’s of German descent.
Does your building have ties to Marietta’s German history? We would love to hear what you have learned!