Day 3: May 30, 2004
Back in Ohio



I continued from Mercer on US 62 and was soon back in my home state. There were some truly nice sections but Mercer isn't all that far from Youngstown and Youngstown isn't far from a whole lot of places. I switched to Ohio Route 7 without actually suffering downtown Youngstown but still spent a noticeable amount of time in city like traffic. The town of Hubbard came along before Youngstown and for a brief moment I thought it contained today's breakfast site. But the Emerald Diner is closed on Sundays so I could only look. I found that this was a diner with a real drive through and that it seemed to be part of a collection of nostalgia generators.

But it all worked out. I eventually escaped the traffic of Greater Youngstown and soon after found a good breakfast spot at the corner of OH-7 and OH-14.

Much of OH-7 is divided four lane but it does carry the scenic highway designation.

A large stockade and some log buildings caught my attention as I passed through Steubenville. I turned aside and easily worked my way back to a reconstructed Fort Steuben. It was just barely past the attraction's noon opening time and things were still being unlocked when I arrived. As guide Jerry explained, the reconstruction is on the actual site of the original and duplicates all structures of the original with the exception of a pair of watch towers. The stone marker attests to the fact that this is proper site for 1788 fort as well as providing a very solid foundation for an abandoned bird nest.

Another 100 miles along the banks of the Ohio brought me to Marietta. One of the earliest European excursions in the area was a French group under the command of Celoron de Blainville. Blainville's 1749 expedition was for the purpose of burying lead plates claiming the territory for France. The pictured marker, inside the boundaries of present day Marietta, is on the site of one of those plates.

I have been thinking of visiting Marietta although I had never thought it would be on a direct drive from somewhere in Pennsylvania. The Ohio River Museum was a big reason for considering a visit so today that was the one thing I sought out. Steamboats played a major role in the history of the river and are a major part of the museum. Displayed artifacts include the name boards from many vessels and a collection of boat whistles all labeled with the name of the boat they were once part of. A recording of the whistles, cleverly named a "tootinanny" is available at the museum. The W. P. Snyder Jr. is a major museum display and project. Plans for the boat extend to getting the vessel once again running under the power of its own pair of steam engines.

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