Putting Historic Marietta on the Map – An Elizabethtown College Research Project

Written by Linda Ross

A full house greeted Professor Jean-Paul Benowitz and his honors student, Kyle Cappucci, when they
made a presentation at First National Coworking on July 17 th . The two were here to discuss Elizabethtown
College’s ongoing Marietta research project. Students in the Honors Program at Elizabethtown have been
conducting research about the historical significance of Marieta. They have published their findings on
two ArcGIS maps available online to the public.

Map 1: Map 2:

They compiled detailed histories of several historic buildings and will work on more next Spring. This
research can be accessed at The
students want their reports and their online map to bring positive attention to the Marietta Historic
Districts, the Chickies Historic District, and the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. To this end, the
students are suggesting that Marietta organizations take the lead in launching a historic preservation
awareness campaign created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, called “This Place Matters”.
Professor Benowitz had high praise for the preservation efforts that have been undertaken here and noted
that among history and preservation organizations he is involved with, Marietta’s preserved streetscapes
are well known and admired.

Traveler readers may have encountered several Honors Students here in town during the Spring semester.
It is, indeed, exciting news that Marietta has been chosen for this extended project and that next Spring,
another group of students will be in town doing further research.

The presentation was followed by a lively discussion of ways this public awareness of our little historic
gem of a town might be increased. Subjects discussed were how to staff an information center, how to
incorporate more historical information into the Borough website, how to improve and add to the GIS
map, how to make people aware of Elizabethtown’s website, and how to tie their work into ongoing
efforts like the Community House’s “Discover Marietta”, the historic plaques project undertaken by
Rivertownes and Our Marietta, the Marietta Candlelight Tour, and other educational initiatives.
The goal of promoting our rich history definitely aligns with the Our Marietta Action Plan as well as with
MRA, The Community House, MABA, Rivertownes, and other local organizations' goals.
If anyone reading this has ideas of ways to increase public awareness of our historic architecture and
heritage, you might jot them down and drop off at the Borough Office. Alternatively, the public is
welcome to attend Public Outreach or Planning Commission meetings listed on the Borough’s website