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Marietta: More than meets the eye

Lauren Capraro / Red Dirt Report
The Love County Courthouse in Marietta, Oklahoma.
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MARIETTA, Okla. – Nestled on Interstate 35 right in the middle of Oklahoma City and Dallas is an unsuspecting town called Marietta. Recently, the town has been in the spotlight due to scandals regarding the local law enforcement, but this town is much more than meets the eye. Marietta is rich in Oklahoma history, even housing the first courthouse built after statehood.

Driving down Main Street, echoes of the past can be seen on every street corner. Although most are long gone, some businesses still thrive in Marietta’s original business district.

Marietta’s main street has declined over the years, but many of its small businesses still flourish.

Norton’s Jewelry, a long-time jewelry store serving Southern Oklahoma and the surrounding areas, also contains an Indian Territory museum.

Across from Norton’s is Marietta’s Post Office. The inside features pristine hardwood floors and a unique mural above the postmaster’s office.

The post office’s mural is titled “Chicksaw Indian Family Making Pah Sho Fah”, painted by Solomon McCombs.

The building next door to the post office contains the town’s weekly newspaper, The Marietta Monitor.

The paper started production in 1895 and has a current circulation just over three thousand.

Down Main Street, the Love County Courthouse stands out as the cornerstone of the community. Although the clock tower hasn’t kept good time in years, the building still stands to its original glory.

When Marietta is brought up among Oklahomans, many fondly remember the “broken cookie factory” – a mass production bakery that used to sell broken cookies in its small store. The factory no longer operates a store, but does continue to produce baked goods on a smaller scale.

Marietta is full of interesting landmarks — evidence of agricultural and rural influences can be seen throughout the town.

Marietta also has a rich Hispanic heritage. As of 2010, the population count showed 2,626 citizens with a quarter of the town being Hispanic or Latino.

Although the construction of Interstate 35 has significantly weakened Marietta’s Main Street, a local developer recently renovated an old bank building into upscale apartments.

A local developer renovated the old bank building, with new apartments occupying the top floor.

Most interstate travelers might stop at one of the interstate-driven fast food restaurants, but one venturing further into town will notice the self-proclaimed best restaurant: La Roca.

The family-owned restaurant boasts its bottomless chips, salsa, and queso.

The eatery is a family-owned Tex-Mex restaurant that attracts a plethora of locals – day and night. The junction of Oklahoma Highways 77 and 32 on a Sunday afternoon will bear a sight of dozens of pickup trucks parked across the ‘crick’ due to lack of parking in front of the restaurant itself.

On Friday evenings, most of the town can be seen pulling into the school’s football stadium, but when summer rolls around, the town seems to flock to Lake Murray – Oklahoma’s largest state park. Although bustling Winstar Casino is just minutes down the road, Marietta has successfully retained its small town charm over the years.

A 1909 photo of Marietta’s downtown held in its original spot.

Photos by Red Dirt Report's Lauren Capraro.

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About the Author

Lauren Capraro

Born and raised in Marietta, Oklahoma, Lauren moved to the OKC metro to pursue her degree at UCO...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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