Martins Ferry is the largest city in Belmont County, Ohio, United States, along the Ohio River across from Wheeling, West Virginia. The population was 6,260 as of the 2020 census. It is part of the Wheeling metropolitan area.
Martins Ferry is the oldest European settlement in the state of Ohio, having been settled at least as early as 1779, almost a decade before Marietta. The settlement got its start as a consequence of a land grant to George Mercer of the Ohio Company in 1748 from the British Crown for 200,000 acres in the Ohio Country, a colloquial term for what is now much of Ohio, and western West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The grant called for among other things, establishment of a fort. The grant was for land south of the Ohio River in West Virginia (then Virginia). Settlement was hampered by the outbreak of the French and Indian War. The settlement was named Zanesburg (renamed Wheeling in 1795). The Ohio Company was dissolved in 1779, and claims issued by th