Hello! My name is Jessica and I am the owner of Hidden Marietta Tour Co. A history nerd by nature, I followed my heart to Marietta after visiting the town during college. There is so much to learn about this old town: from ancient Adena and Hopewell structures to Victorian eccentricity, there is something for everyone here!
After working in museums and doing land title research, I found myself wanting to connect with our visitors in a fun and entertaining way, and what better way than through history and ghost tours? I worked extensively with the founder of Hidden Marietta, Lynne Sturtevant, on local tours and events and took over for her when she moved on to New Mexico. Lynne taught me that history needs to be fun and engaging. For me, it has always been that way but many people see history as dry and boring. That is not the case! On our tours, we focus on the shocking, the creepy and the weird side of history. And believe me, there is plenty to talk about!
When I took over in 2015, Ghost Trek had been the only regular tour, and it had not changed since 2008. But there are so many stories to tell! So we revamped the Front Street Ghost Trek and added a brand new Putnam Street Ghost Trek in 2017. We also have fun history tours: Ancient Earthworks, Fires & Floods, and Marietta’s Mansions. Our team is made up of local historians, actors, ghost hunters and artists, and we all have something in common: we are passionate about our area!
My background is in research. I love to get elbow deep in dusty old books and newspapers, searching out interesting tidbits about Marietta’s history. And then of course I want to tell everyone about what I found. So there is always the possibility for new tours and events! Part of why I love giving tours is that people actually seem to enjoy my endless rambling about strange events in the town’s past.
This year, we opened our first Tiny Shop! The Lafayette Hotel has a great little spot located right off Front Street where we have set up an Old-time Photo studio and gift shop. Now if you walk down the stairs into the (haunted) basement, you will find us! We’ll have beautiful costumes and lots of ghost stories to tell you.
We wanted to expand into a storefront to allow people to find us and learn more about our tours. And personally, having learned so much about Marietta’s history has excited me to become part of that history. And what better way than setting up shop? I also have a personal love of costumes; each summer I’m off to Renaissance Faires and every Halloween I’m wandering around in my favorite creepy costumes. Having an old-time photo studio is a fun way to allow people to become part of the history - to put on a top hat or hoop skirt lets you experience history first hand. Instead of listening to a story, you become the story.
So stop by and see us at our new location, and be ready to brave the hauntings and search out the hidden history that Marietta has to offer!
This article was authored by Jessica Wielitzka, Owner of Hidden Marietta Tour Company located on Front Street in historic downtown Marietta.