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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Ohio

Beginning around 1798, the Northwest Territory, part of which was soon to become Ohio, had some 5000 “adult male” settlers.  At that time they were given the right to elect representatives and begin self-government as a territory.  A year later statehood was mentioned, and in 1803, Ohio became a state.  One tidbit of Ohio history that is rather unique is the fact that eight American presidents were from the Buckeye State. 


Over the past 200 years, the state of Ohio has seen many of its towns and settlements born, live long productive lives, and die out.  Agriculture, coal mining and river traffic probably contributed the largest share of communities to Ghost Town USA. 


As is so common throughout America’s heartland, agricultural communities are rapidly fading, as the need for scads of little towns in this day and age of modern transportation is almost redundant.  Now farmers can live in comfort on their farmsteads OR in larger towns/cities, and commute to work, or to stores that offer less expensive goods than the old Mom and Pop businesses located in the local communities. 


Coal mining in the southeastern part of the state has also contributed its share of coal camp ghost to our roster.  As the need for coal has diminished, so has the need for the support towns located around the various mines, many of which have been merged and conglomerated and mega-sized into monster corporations.


Then there are the river towns that were founded as river ports, and have either faded or disappeared as the need for their services has been supplanted.


Like some of the other eastern states, I have not physically visited any of these ghosts, and have had to rely on research and reader’s help in posting these towns.  If you know of any ghost towns in the Buckeye State that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little information, please contact us at GTUSA.  I want this site to be filled with interesting and helpful information to all searchers of Ohio Ghost Towns!





Hardin Co.

This wannabe town was located in the far northeast corner of the county.  It was surveyed and laid out in 1831, but by 1862 had died and disappeared.


Guernsey Co.

Anyone have any info on this tiny class D town of 30 people (1990 pop)?  My SPECK family originally settled in this area in the early 1800s.  (GBS)


Adams Co.

Located in Jefferson Township, but the actual location is not determined.  The info I have is from: A HISTORY OF SCIOTO COUNTY, OHIO - Together With A PIONEER RECORD of SOUTHERN OHIO by Nelson W. Evans, A.M. Vol. II pg. 900-903:  “William Robert Beatty was born 1840 at Brush Creek furnace, Jefferson township, Adams county, Ohio. His father Rynard Carlyle Beatty was a collier at the furnace....”


Jackson Co.

On CR 58, ten miles east of Jackson, and 7.5 miles southeast of Wellston.  This charcoal powered iron furnace operated from 1851- 1894.  It has been restored to a living history museum.


Putnam Co.

This dead town was located off SH 224 east of Ottoville.  It was located along the Indiana Hi-Rail Corporation rail line, and has totally disappeared.  The school closed in the 1920s, and the store closed in the 1930s.  There was also a coal yard and grain elevator.


Seneca Co.

In early 2002, Wayne P had contacted me about this town.  He said the town “…was in active existence approx. 1830-1860, and now the site of mainly farmland.”  After a little research I also discovered this information.  It was surveyed in 1838, and named after Elizabeth Boyer, the wife of a local doctor.  In 1840, 96 people lived here along with a blacksmith, saloon and a wagon shop.   I was in the Army (1974) with a guy from Tiffin, whose last name was Boyer.  I wonder if there is any relation.  (GBS)


Tuscarawas Co.

Fort Laurens was a half-mile south of present-day Bolivar, on the west bank of the Tuscarawas River downstream from the confluence of Sandy Creek and Tuscarawas.  The octagonal fort was the only Revolutionary War defense post to be built by American troops in Ohio, with some 1000 participating in its construction in 1778.  Only 150 men were actually stationed here when completed.  It was abandoned in 1779 after a lengthy Indian siege.


Defiance Co.

It was listed in a 1984 source as a “near ghost town.”  The 1990 population was 100.  Location not determined, but it was near Defiance, as that was where the mail delivery came from.


Vinton Co. 

This coal/railroad ghost was established in 1856, and was pretty well dead by the early 1900s.  No buildings remain at this old town site southeast of Hope, near where Township Highway 18 crosses the old railroad grade.

See our MOONVILLE page for additional details.


Guernsey Co.

This old town dates to the 1830s, and was located northeast of Senecaville.  Actual location not determined.


Green Co.

This old town is located at the northern end of present-day Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  Maps from 1896 and 2005 are courtesy of Dave Haas. May 18, 2006


Wood Co.

This Miami & Erie Canal town was a bustling community in the 1800s, until a fire destroyed it in 1852, at which time it was supplanted by Grand Rapids.  It was located at the present-day Providence Metropark just west of Grand Rapids.


Ross Co.

In Jun 2002, Diana J asked where Pride was located.  My response was…  “I don't know what county your Pride is in, but there is a rural community called Pride in Franklin Township, Ross Co., about 13 miles southeast of Chillicothe.  It is on the Norfolk Southern Railroad line, west of the Scioto River.  It is not shown on any of my Official state maps, nor my AAA maps, so I can't place it much closer than that.”  Anyone have any additional info??? (GBS)


Seneca Co.

This rural community today once had a post office and small cluster of businesses as well as a rural church that was established in 1842 and had over 200 members by the late 1800s.  It is located along the Bloom and Venice Township line in the southeast corner of the county, southeast of Tiffin.


Fulton Co.

The town had a post office from 1901-1910, and also consisted of a general store and a grain elevator complex along the Toledo & Western Electric Railway.  In the 1930s the population was 20, and the elevator remained active until the 1980s.  In 2000 the store/post office building and elevator were still standing.  Location not determined  (SEE below for additional contributed info)  (GBS)


“First, I'd like to say that I really like this site. It's nice to see people who wish to preserve the history of not only the US, but of these places so they can be enjoyed and not forgotten.  The reason why I e-mailed is that I saw in your Ohio section that you are missing the location of the town of Whiteville. It is located in Fulton County near the intersection of SR 120/CR 6.  Also, the grain elevator (as of 2008) is still there, as well as the building that used to be the town's post office (which has been turned into a occupied home).  It's on the same side of the street as the elevator complex.“

Contributed by Ally W.


Tuscarawas Co.

Founded by 300 or so German Separatists, this old commune was founded in 1817 and lasted until 1898.  It is located on SH 212, 2.5 miles southeast of I-77, at EXIT 93, south of Canton, northwest of present town of Zoarville.  The restored village is called ZOAR VILLAGE STATE MEMORIAL.





Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.


Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!


For more information on the ghost towns of OHIO, contact us at Ghost Town USA.


E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 




These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in OHIO above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.


If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.


When you are exploring the ghost towns of OHIO, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.




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FIRST POSTED:  December 27, 2003

LAST UPDATED: November 28, 2010




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