Monuments




Marietta Flood History Markers
601 Street behind the Ohio River Museum.


Marietta's flood history reaches back to 1790, when the first recorded 'freshet' occurred. January 1813 saw the first big flood since the Ohio Company's settlement, with water 8 feet deep on Front Street, while pieces of ice up to 18 inches thick carried by flood waters crashed into buildings and destroyed fences and orchards. In February 1832 there was another severe flood with water rising nine feet deep on Front Street. The city lost about twenty structures, including a fire engine house which floated downriver and was snagged in Louisville, Kentucky. Steamboats passed through the streets to deliver passengers to third floor windows. In 1884. there was a dramatic weather change of 84 degrees in just 17 days; it went from fourteen degrees below zero with a foot of snow on the ground at the end of January to 70 degrees on February 12. The river waters crested at 52.9 feet, the third highest level in city history. March 1913's flood saw the river crest at 58.7 feet. The flood swept 120 homes away, knocked 200 homes off their foundations and water was eight feet deep in the old Post Office. January 1937's flood covered 46 percent of the city and the downtown business area was under eight to sixteen feet of water. The flood marker photo (left) shows a comparison of the depth of the historic city floods.