We departed that morning for the Campus Martius Museum, under whose umbrella the river museum falls. We parked in the lot next door and entered to spend an hour or so viewing the exhibits and taking a tour of the Rufus Putnam House. Originally built as a defensive fortification in 1788, the fort was home to Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, Arthur St. Clair, and other pioneers from the Ohio Company of Associates during the Northwest Indian War, making Marietta the first settlement in what was then known as the Northwest Territory.
The company’s investors named the community after Queen Marie Antoinette of France, in honor of France’s contributions to the American victory in the American Revolution.
Originally a blockhouse in the Campus Martius fortification, the Rufus Putnam House remains in its original location. Most of the fort was disassembled and used in the settlers’ new construction, but the Putnam House remained in place and is now restored to its original configuration. Preserved through the unique approach of building the museum around it, it sits enclosed in a large room.
Our enthusiastic tour guide walked us around the exterior and then inside, discussing the rooms and the activities that would have taken place in each. Many of the objects in the kitchen and others areas are original to the house and when touring properties like these, its fun to imagine what life would have been like using the tools, gadgets and household appliances displayed before you.
We finished at the museum and drove a couple of blocks back to the river front to park again at the Ohio River Museum complex, where we entered the facility and spent an easy hour or more viewing the extensive exhibits that explore the history of steamboats, particularly stern wheelers and the role they played in ferrying passengers and freight up and down the great rivers of America. We then walked down to the river to take a tour of the W.P. Snyder Jr., a restored stern-wheeler anchored there.
Originally constructed by the Carnegie Steel Company, it was sold by them in 1945 to the Crucible Steel Company of Pittsburgh and remained in service until 1955, when the Ohio Historical Society acquired it.
Our guide, himself a retired river captain provided us with a detailed and entertaining look at the engine room, the stern wheel, the crews quarters, galley, and bow of the ship, which had been specifically designed to enhance its ability to push barges up and down the river.
We left the Museum site, and still full from our large breakfast, hopped on the I-77 for the three-hour drive up to Cleveland, our next destination.
We pulled up in front our Airbnb house, Urban Homestead in the Making, parked and using the provided access instructions let ourselves in to a spacious three-bedroom two-bath accommodation. We would soon discover that as described, the location was nearly ideal, the center of town being just a short drive away with plenty of dining options to choose from.
A charming aspect of the house is the owner’s intent to create a farm like setting in the heart of the city. The fenced backyard was occupied by a flock of chickens including a crowing rooster who would entertain us to no end. When combined with a well-equipped kitchen and easy to use technology (a nice speaker system and stream able flat panel TV) we had all we needed for a comfortable stay.
After relaxing a bit and enjoying a beverage or two, we started to discuss dinner options. Our hostess at Urban Homestead had left us some dining recommendations, but they didn’t resonate so we checked Trip Advisor and found a few that looked promising. One in particular caught my eye with its menu descriptions and reasonable pricing. And thus it was that we drove a mile or two towards city center to eat at Le Petit Triangle.
We parked a couple of storefronts down from the restaurant, lucky for us as the heavens opened up with a torrential downpour just as we entered the venue. We were seated promptly in the main room which shares space with the open kitchen. A cocktail or two and glass of wine were ordered and we started with the Assiette di Framage (choice of three cheeses, baguette, crackers, fresh fruits, and currants), a nicely put together combination that started of the meal in a fine fashion.
For entrees Joanna chose one of her favorites, the Moules au Safran et Tomate (steamed mussels, white wine, tomato, saffron broth, and a baguette) while Bev and I both got the Poulet Roti (Pan roasted airline chicken breast, potato leek mash, asparagus, and Dijon glace), perfectly cooked chicken delivered in a savory broth with a delightful mash, potatoes made smooth with the addition of leeks.
Too full by dinner’s end to consider dessert, we closed up shop and exited actually thinking about returning later in the visit, the food that good and moderately priced. We hopped in the car and drove a couple of blocks to a nearby supermarket to pick up a few supplies and the returned to the Urban Homestead, our initial hours in Cleveland already successful. The next day would be a full one with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the docket. We were ready to be entertained.
Campus Martius Museum: http://www.campusmartiusmuseum.org/
W.P. Snyder Jr.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._P._Snyder_Jr._(towboat)
Urban Homestead: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10344121
Le Petit Triangle: http://lepetittriangle.com/