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Ohio's Abandoned and Ghost Towns
The Abandoned Towns of Ohio
Ohio is filled with so much. There is the bigger cities like Columbus or Cleveland. There are the small towns Like Gypsum or Pomroy. You have the flat plans of the northwest and the rolling hills of the southeast. Farms, forests, fast attractions and roadside oddities.
Then you have the lost towns. At one time they were booming. But then people moved on. The towns were abandoned. Years passed by and these little communities became forgotten.
I plan to help people remember what they never knew or only heard about. Join me on a trip through Ohio.
[*Image by Ravyn/Krystal Dark*]
[*Images throughout lens found online in Creative Commons*]
We begin our road trip.
We will start our adventure on the Indiana border. Taking a nice scenic drive down S State Line Rd just southwest of Antwerp, Ohio.
Baldwin is locate in Paulding County and slightly spills into Indiana. It is at the intersections of SR-114 and S State Line Road. Baldwin was a lumber town. It met its ends when the timber ran out. There are some buildings left, but mostly it is the remains of the buildings in the ground.
Dague, Folmer, Taits Landing, Nineville, Reinelet, Mcgill, and Batson were all located in Paulding county as well. I don't know much about them other than they were lumber yards that, like Baldwin, died when the timber ran dry.They are now just farm fields.
We will now hop on US-30 and drive to Van Wert. In Van Wert we will look for SR-118 and take this south until we come to Ohio City. Here we will take westbound on Willshire Ohio City Rd for about a mile and turn south Dull Robinson Rd/ Twsp Rd 69.
This is where we find Dull located in Van Wert County. Dull was named after its founder and soon sprang into a nice little town. With its train station, blacksmith shop, general store, sawmill, post office and a dozen homes, Dull had promise. There are a few buildings left.
Now we will hop across Willshire Ohio City Rd and turn west on Twsp Rd-60.
Glenmore, located in Van Wert County, was a town created on the Erie Railroad. It was a well off farming comminuty. It met its end after two fires broke out burning down the business district both times. The only thing left standing is a grain elevator.
We now find our way back to Van Wert and continue our drive down US-30 eastbound until we get to a nice little town called Beaverdam. Here is where we will get on SR-696 and head North about 3 miles. We will then turn westbound on Rockport Rd and go about 1 more mile. This will be our next stop.
Rockport is located in Allen County on SR 696 north of Beaverdam. (Exit 134-135 off I-75). It started as a farming community with a founder that worked hard to bring the area some popularity. Unfortunately all that is left is about a dozen houses, the church and the cemetary.
Alright now we head back South through Beaverdam and Lafayette to get on US-309 East. When US-309 makes a nice big turn we will pretty much be at the next stop.
Huntersville is located in Hardin County on US-309 at the intersection with US-75 (not I-75). This town was a very good sized place. With a school and a post office, blacksmith shop, a doctor and dentist office and three (3) grocery stores. The town just disappeared. All that is left is an abandoned park.
Now we will get on SR-235 Northbound and get on I-75. We will head to the Findlay area. Though I don't know it's exact location yet, you can just take a moment to think about our next location as you continue on I-75.
Beagle, located somewhere in Hancock County, was never really big. It had a train depot, a general store and a post office. There is nothing left there but railroad tracks.
Now that we are through Findlay and still driving North on I-75, we can start thinking about our next destination. You can't miss it since the Exit 171 sign announces our stop.
Cygnet is in Wood County located just off of I-75(Exit 171). It isn't quite a ghost town yet. But it has been working on it. Oil brought people to the area. The oil dried up and people left. It still has a small community and neighborhood.
Now we go for a nice long drive. We are starting to approch Toledo. Here we will take the I-475 split at Exit 192. Then we look for I-475 Exit 13 for Central. This is SR-20 and we want to go West. We will drive about 9 miles and look for SR-64 and take it south.
Ai is located in Fulton County on County Rd L and County Rd 4, Northwest of Swanton- This town was a sin city so what better name then a biblic city of sin. What was so sinful? Well it had 7 bars. It was mostly an agricultural town that started to lose its flair when a neighboring town had the railroad built. There are still some people who live there but not many.
After this we can take a break in Toledo just to enjoy the sights and sounds and stop at Tony Packo's for an awesome chili dog.
North Central Ohio
We will now take US-24 west out of Toledo and through Waterville to our next location.
Providence is located in Lucas County southwest of Toledo and on the north bank of the Maumee River. It is on US-24. This town was on the tow path for barges. It died with the fire that burnt most of the town down. It is now a park and all the remains of the town are the bridge, an old gristmill, an old canal lock and a one-horse drawn river barge.
Now we will get on the Turnpike I-80/90 or if you don't want to pay the toll we can take SR-2. Either way we will drive a little over 50 miles until we find US-250 and take this south. Soon we will be to our next stop.
North Milan is located in Erie County north of Norwalk along SR-113. Milan grew over the Huron River and a new part of town developed north of the river which became known as North Milan. As the Erie Canal died off (which ran nearby) the towns both did too. Milan is still a village but all that is left of North Milan is a cemetary.
Now for another Sunday drive as we take US-250 through Norwalk and turn onto SR-61 southbound. We will take this until US-224 and head west. Then we find SR-19 and head south until we find our next spot.
Broken Sword is in Crawford County. It lays on SR-19/SR-100 north of Bucyrus. This place had a hard time keeping a name. First it was Portersville named after the founder. Then it changed to Wingert Corners for unexplained reasons. Then after the North's victory in the Civil War, they renamed it to Broken Sword in honor of Cnl. Crawford who was captured by the Delewares and Wyandots and broke his sword in the ground so they couldn't kill him with it. There are still a few homes located here.
Now we take SR-19 south (watch carefully to where it changes roads) until we find US-30 just outside Bucyrus. We take this east and get off at SR-39 going south through Mansfield. You will find Coulter. This is our stop.
Melco is located in Ashland County southeast of Mansfield just off SR-39. There are no roads that lead to Melco and some say that it wasn't even town but the name of the railroad switch. Just on SR-39 is another abandoned town named Coulter. This was the location of a big train wreak on the Pennsilvania RR in the 1940s that killed soldiers on their way home from the war. This is located in Amish Country and there is maybe a couple homes left standing.
Now go back to Mansfield for some good eats.
Further On In the Trip
We are now off to Cleveland so hop on I-71 north. We will exchange over to I-271 and get off at US-322/Mayfield Rd (Exit 34). Heading west we will find Green Rd which we will take north and go a short way to our next destination.
Bluestone is located within the city of Cleveland. It was on the corners of Bluestone Rd and Belvior Blvd in the South Euclid section that is now the Quarry Park. Bluestone was built as a quarry town digging for....bluestone. There are still sidewalks in the area that were made from the bluestone found here.
Back to I-271 and veer onto US-422. After a little while we will find SR-46 and we will head southbound. When we get to Mineral Ridge we will look for Depot Rd and turn west. We will arrive just around the bend.
Ohltown is locate in Mahoning County in the outskirts of Youngstown on Ohltown Rd at the Meander Creek Resivoir. Ohltown was started as a farm community which later turned into a coal town. Most of the town was flooded in the 1920s when they made the resivoir. There is still a church and a few houses left outside the flooded area.
We will continue south on SR-46 and turn east on Mahoning Ave. Here we will take the on-ramp for SR-11 south. Take the off-ramp for SR-170/East Liverpool Rd. Head towards Calcutta and turn north on SR-428/Sprucevale Rd.
Sprucevale is located in Columbiana County north of East Liverpool on SR-428/Sprucevale Rd going north out of Calcutta. It was an outpost for the Beaver & Sandy Canal. There is an old cotton mill, the lock system and a house still standing.
Time for a break in East Liverpool.
Lost Books Found
Something for your coffee table.
Moving on Down
East Central Ohio
From East Liverpool we will take SR-7 south. We will drive alongside the Ohio River and enjoy the sights for a little while. Then we will find Brilliant.
Brilliant is on the Ohio River North of Wheeling on SR-7 in Jefferson County. It was founded around a glass company. There were also coal mines and the railroad at the location. Brilliant has all but died. There is still a neighborhood there but they no longer have their own town government.
Continuing on south along SR-7, we will find SR-147 and turn away from the river. Be careful driving. The road has a lot of curves.
Jacobsburg is in Belmont County at the intersection of the windy roads SR-147 and CR-5. This was a mining town that shutdown when its mines and railroads did. There are still some residence there and some abandoned buildings.
Maybe we can find a local campground for a rest.
To the Heart of It All
Following along SR-147 we will eventually run into I-70 and hop the on-ramp westbound. We will then take I-270 to the north. We now want Exit 37 for south Hamilton Rd.
Wonderland is located in Franklin County within the city limits of Columbus where Hamilton Rd crosses under I-270. It was built as a resort location. It died due to the local airport being too close for a get-away location. A couple roads are still there under bushes and weeds.
Back on I-270 and getting off at US-23/N High St (Exit 23) and head north. US-23 will combine with US-42. We will follow US-42.
Leonardsburg is located in Deleware County northeast of the city of Deleware at the intersection of SR-42 and Leonardsburg Rd. Leonardsburg had its own post office and store. Now it is disbanded and belongs to the surrounding area. There are still residence there along with abandoned homes, there is nothing left of the village though.
Now farther north on US-42 we will drive into the town of Mt. Gilead. Here we take ST-95 west. Then SR-28 North. Keep you eyes open for CR-59.
Climax is located in Morrow County east of Marion. It is located on CR-59 just off of SR-28 and St-309. No one knows the origin of the name. It was a small town with a town hall, a general store, a post office and a church. It had a railroad that would end up being the towns end. The railroad stopped servicing Climax and the buisnesses died. There are still a few people who live there.
Over Halfway Through
Now we will get back on SR-95 and head west to Marion. We will then take SR-4 south. You will take SR-4 through Springfield and soon we will find our next location.
New Boston is in Clark County where SR-369 passes under SR-4. It is currently the George Rogers Clark Park. When Clark County was established there was a rivalry between New Boston and Springfield for the county seat. Springfield won and New Boston slowly died away. There is nothing remaining of the town.
Moving to the South
We will now follow SR-4 into I-70 and continue west. We will then take I-75 North and get off at the first exit for US-40/Rational Rd (Exit 63). We will take National Rd east until we find Old Springfield Rd and again turn east. After the railroad we find a gravel parking lot. Pull in.
Tadmor Village is located in montgomery county a path that leads off Ross Rd. It is believed to be a mining town for the railroad. The only things left are some foundations, a couple out buildings and a sign that says Tadmor.
We will get back on I-75 but heading south. We are now looking for Exit 32 for SR-122/Roosevelt Blvd and head west a little.
Blueball is located on SR-122 in Butler County and now is southeastern annex of Middletown. It was a pioneer town originally named Guliford. Blueball changed its name later so that stagecoach drivers who couldn't read knew where they were because of a giant metal blue ball that hangs at an intersection.
Now we want to turn south on Cincinnati-Dayton Rd then look for SR-73 Oxford State Rd heading west. We now enter Trenton and look for Hamilton Rd going south.
Busenbark is located in Butler County,west of Trenton at the intersections of Trenton Rd, Busenbark Rd and Riverside Dr. This is where a famous boxing match involving an American and an Englishman was held in the late 1800's. All that is left is the farm in which the fight took place.
Now we will go back a little and turn south on Wayne Madison Rd. This will dead end into Princeton Rd and we will turn east. Then to the south again on SR-747.
Rialto is located in Butler County just outside of Cincinnati on SR-747. It was built as an oupost on the Miami & Erie Canal. They had a paper factory built with a water tower and a warehouse. Of the dozen or so houses, only 4 are left.
Continue south on SR-747 and we ride I-275 eastward around Cincinnati. We will look for Exit 71 for US-52 and head east. Again we follow the Ohio River and get a whole different view. Then we find our next two stops not far from each other.
Chilo is located right on US-52 about 30-35 miles east of Cincinnati. It would be where US-52 intersects with SR-222 Chilo was a ill-fated community prone to the Ohio River's flooding. It died after the inhabitants decided not to rebuild after a flood that left the area as a lake before the Ohio River finally settled again. There remains an old hotel and may still be some homes.
And as I said before, our next stop is just a little further east on US-52
Utopia is located in Clermont County on US-52 along the Ohio River southeast of Cincinnati. It was built to be the start of a perfect peaceful society. The spiritualists built a huge mansion to live together. They shared all work and all money. Those people left and a new group of spiritualist moved in. The new group relocated the mansion closer to the river despite neighboring locals warnings of the river flooding. Two days after the completion, the town held a celebration in the mansion. There was a flash flood that tore down a wall and flushed the majority of the people away. All that remains of the town is the mansion's foundation that is visible when the river is low.
The Hills are Starting to Roll
South Central Ohio
Let's continue down the river on US-52. Eventually we will come to SR-93. Let's head north. After driving through some more windy roads we will find our next location.
Blackfork is located in Lawrence County on SR-93 just South of Oak Hill. Blackfort was a brickyard located on an old expired railroad system. The only things left are some of the railroads and the foundation to the old theater.
We will continue north on SR-93 until we find US-35 and we will head northwest. We will take the off-ram in Chillicothe to take US-50. After leaving the town we will start looking for CR-167/Blain Hwy. Not even a mile and we will turn onto CR-156.
Knockemstiff is located in Ross County about 6 miles southwest of Chillicothe at the intersection of CR-156, CR-151 and Twsp Rd-156/Minney Hill Rd. Knockemstiff also goes by the names Shady Glen and Glen Shady. There are some residence there.
Now back on US-50 heading east. After we have gone through McArthur, we will start looking for SR-278 and turn north. Soon we will see Lake Hope State Park and we need to find Hope-Moonville Rd.
Moonville is located in Vinton County about 10 miles west of Athens. There are no roads that directly access this town. The closest you can get is on Twsp Hwy 3/Hope-Moonville Rd off of SR-278. From there you can walk the gravel path that used to be a railroad. There are foundations left on the grounds and the famous Moonville Railroad Tunnel that is claimed to be haunted. There is also said to be a cemetary nearby.
Our Final Destinations
South East Ohio
Back on SR-278 and heading north, we will go through Nelsonville until we come to the dead-end at SR-595. Here we turn northest. This will run us straight to our next stop.
New Straightville is located in Perry County southeast of Lancaster near where SR-93, SR-595 and SR-216 meet. It was settled for the coal mining. There was a battle over wages and the workers sent flaming carts down into the mines. The fires were so big that they continue to burn today. It is now called Old Straightsville. There is still a community there but barely. Most it moved up the road a bit to form the new New Straightsville.
Now we leave New Straightsville via SR-93 going northeast. When we get to Shawnee we will turn east on SR-155 until Coming. Now we are at SR-13 and will turn south. Don't worry we will be back to Coming in a moment.
Hatfield's Crossing is located in Perry County on SR-13 about one mile south of Coming. The old stagecoach road is still there and now called Twsp Rd 295. The town was abandoned after multiple floodings. There is still one residence there.
Now back north on SR-13, back to Coming, through Coming and just a little distance further. (Told you we would be back in Coming.)
Rendville is located in Perry County on SR-13 not even one mile north of Coming. It was built as a coal mining town and grew quite popular and ruthless. The town was hit hard by economy then again by the Depression. The post office was lost in the early 1980s and there are not too many people who still live there.
Now on to our last stop! Aww I know this was fun. But we have saved a really interesting one for last. Onward north on SR-13. Look hard for CR-22/Tatmans Rd northward. Then east on R-37. Now south on SR-555. Again keep your eyes open for CR-37. When we start to go around the curve, we look for Twsp Hwy-318.
San Toy is located in Perry County south of Zanesville on Twsp Hwy 318 near SR-555 where San Toy Rd intersects. It was a mine town as well as a bootleg town during the Prohibition. It was a rough place with murders and shoot-outs. One of the mines caught fire and the other one closed and San Toy died. Currently it stands in an incredibly thick wooded area with the church, a home and the old jailhouse still standing. The two mine shafts can also be found nearby as well as the rumored ghosts. [Image by Mark Spearman Photography]
Now lets rest and enjoy what we have seen. Thank you and good night.