Campus Martius Museum of the Northwest Territory (Campus Martius) is a great museum with lots to see. When you first enter the museum it has a great main gallery with a second story that wraps around above. The museum does some special exhibits, so a visit yearly would allow for seeing new exhibits. The museum is three stories, so there is tons to see. The museum does have an elevators, so it is accessible (mostly for all).
In order to understand the Museum one must understand what is once was. Here is what their website has to say and it will tell it better than we can.
Campus Martius, a civilian fortification, was built in 1788 by the Ohio Company of Associates. When the fort was disassembled, General Rufus Putnam left his blockhouse on the original fort site. In 1931 Campus Martius Museum was erected over the Rufus Putnam House. The Ohio Company Land Office, the oldest known building in Ohio, was also moved to the museum site. Today, the museum preserves the history of America’s migration west, its earliest native inhabitants, and Marietta’s pioneers.
When we visited there was a great exhibit on the civil war with lots of great artifacts. There was also a great exhibit on the natural world of Ohio and Ohio’s first people. Down in the lower level was a great exhibit called Paradise Found and Lost: Migration in the Ohio Valley, 1850-1970. This exhibit hopefully will be around for a long time. The exhibit shows the migration of people to Ohio and in Ohio and how this affected Ohio and its history. From coming on wagons, to trains or buses. From Ohio’s rural places to the cities or from other states or countries. This exhibit is very interesting because of the many artifacts in it. It is a must see.
When you go to the museum do not miss taking a tour of the Rufus Putnam House. The Rufus Putnam House is in its original location and the museum was built around it. You really can not see the house from outside, so you might miss it or when asked if you want to take a tour, you might not want to. Do not do this, take the tour. The house was part of a larger fort. The house is interesting and has many levels (no elevator). The tour guide will do a great job explaining the family who lived in the house, the history of the fort, and the artifacts in the house. The house is only available if you take a tour. The great thing is the tour does not cost extra.
Campus Martius Museum of the Northwest Territory is a great museum with lots to learn about Ohio’s early history and the Northwest Territory. The museum has lots to see and well worth a visit.
Tip: This museum is down the street from the Ohio River Museum, so you could do both in one day.