Two boats, The Adventure Galley and The Adelphia, and a fleet of flatboats carried 48 brave men with the Ohio Company of Associates to establish the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory in 1788. The pioneers named the settlement Marietta to honor Queen Marie Antoinette of France. The Queen would later send a silver bell to our small town, and you can still see it today at the Campus Martius Museum. Marietta offers an incredibly rich history lesson.
Swamp to Spectacular
The first oil in Marietta was discovered in 1860. Still, despite the oil boom, what is now known as Second Street was swampland in 1890. Colonel John H. Riley built up the neighborhood, starting with the three-story brick structure aptly named the New Riley Block. The complex housed the Baker & Uhrane Furniture Company on the first floor, the Joseph Seep Purchasing Agency and a local labor organization on the second floor and there were rooms for board on the third floor. This is the eventual home of The Galley and The Hackett Hotel.
John M. Hackett, a local oil entrepreneur, bought the complex in 1902 and converted the first floor into a bowling alley, offering free lunch, 5¢ beer and 10¢ whiskey. He also expanded the building to include hotel rooms. Eventually Hackett’s son Hanley took over the business and sold the building in 1965. One account Hanley relayed from his father of The Hackett Hotel was when Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show cohorts enjoyed rye whiskey at the bar and stayed at the hotel during their visit to Marietta in October of 1909.
The Adventure Galley
The building shifted ownership various times and in 1981 eventually was purchased and renovated as a restaurant and bar. The business was christened The Adventure Galley, after the vessel carrying the original pioneers to the Queen’s City. In its heyday The Adventure Galley was the gathering place for Marietta College students and locals alike. The food was always great, the drinks flowed generously, and the music was loud.
Marietta’s Entertainment Experience
After changing ownership and names a few more times the building was purchased and renovated in 2006 by a Marietta College alumnus. It was rechristened The Galley after a patio addition and full renovations from top to bottom were complete. In 2010, The Adelphia Music Hall was opened next door after extensive renovations to the condemned building. The decision was made to revive the hotel on the third floor of The Galley. Since The Galley and The Adelphia were named to honor Marietta’s history, it was only fitting to name the 5-room boutique hotel The Hackett, after the man whose original vision inspired the building’s purpose, John M. Hackett.
Marietta ghost stories are so prevalent that there are ghost treks throughout the city. It should come as no surprise the historic buildings that house The Galley, The Adelphia and The Hackett are included in these tours. Although local lore suggests the facility has its fair share of ghostly visitors, there is one in particular who the staff has lovingly named Charlotte. She is a coy lady who tends to take a liking to the gentleman employees on the premises. We surmise that Charlotte remains in the building because she was a “host” during the building’s darker days as a house of ill repute. Reports of tables moving, glasses shaking, doors slamming and eerie presences have been related. Perhaps Charlotte’s most powerful show of presence was when she cleared the bottles and glasses off the bar in one fell swoop shortly after The Adelphia opened. In addition to Charlotte, there have been reports of a playful child engaging with employees and guests in The Hackett. The neighboring Tiber Way building, which once was used as a sanitarium, also has various accounts of spirits. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if the stories are valid.
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