Ohio River Museum and Washington County Local History and Genealogical Archives Construction

The first River Museum in the United States opened in Marietta, Ohio in 1941.

The project was a collaborative effort among local residents, The Sons and Daughters of the Pioneer Rivermen, and the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society (now Ohio History Connection).  These organizations are again working collectively with the Northwest Territory Museum Society and the Washington County Public Library to construct a new Ohio River Museum to meet the changing needs of our visitors.

This multi-phase project will build a new facility for the museum, co-located with the Local History and Genealogical Collections of the library and allow for shared space and year-round access to the museum. The first phase will construct the new facility, build out the library and meeting rooms, and improve the parking lot. The second phase of the project includes exhibit development and installation. This project is on track for completion before the United States Semiquincentennial celebrations in 2026.

The new facility will allow for:

  • A re-envisioned interpretive plan for permanent and traveling exhibits
  • Expanded in-person and virtual programming for many different audiences
  • Visitor access to genealogical resources
  • Collaboration among library and museum staff under one roof
  • Updated technological resources
  • School and Community use of classrooms
  • Available conference space for civic, business, and private use

We invite you to learn more about this project, and its significance to the educational and economic needs of our community.


Estimated Project Budget:

Total Project Costs: $10.7 Million
Total Funds Secured: $4.4 Million
($3.4 Million from Washington County Public Library and local contributions)

Funds Need to Commence Phase 1: $2.9 Million
Funds Needed to Complete Entire Project: $6.3 Million

Contact Us!

Christina Tilton
Assistant Executive Director
Email Christina