Apple's Settlement, OH (Olive Branch) - (1799 - present farming & railroad town with less residents than in the past)
Classification: small town
Location: Batavia Township, Clermont County - On Old State Rt. 74 at the intersection of Olive Branch - Stonelick Rd.
Apple's Settlement was named after Andrew Apple (1745 - 1817) & his wife Catherine Elizabeth Apple (1747 - 1822) who settled in the area in 1799 & had 11 children. Andrew was a Revolutionary War Veteran & acquired 2100 acres when he received an Ohio Land Grant for his service. He willed 150 acres of land to each of his & Catherine's children.
The town's name changed to Olive Branch when the post office was established there in 1845. The Clermont County Fair was held at the Olive Branch Fairgrounds from 1857 - 1863 & during the Cival War the land was converted to Camp Lucas & Camp Scott for training Union soldiers. When Olive Branch got a train station on the Cincinnati, Georgetown, & Portsmouth Railroad in 1876 Lake Allyn was built on the site of the old fairgrounds & training camps. It was used for the construction of a water pump station to supply electricity to the railroad when it was converted over from steam trains & to supply electricity the surrounding communities. Olive Branch also had a two story wood frame school that was at the southwest corner of Amelia - Olive Branch Rd. & Old State Rt. 74. It burnt down in a village fire in 1883.
Olive Branch was never incorporated. It lost it's post office in 1922 & then the train station in 1935. It's still a populated area but the old town is gone & the current residents are stretched out over longer roads. Several members of the Apple family are buried in Olive Branch Cemetery on Olive Branch - Stonelick Rd. & there's a Clermont County Bicentennial Marker at the entrance to Lake Allyn about 1/2 mile south of the cemetery on Lake Allyn Rd. off of Amelia - Olive Branch Rd. The old water pump station is still on the north side of the Lake Allyn property & looks like an old fort since the lake was drained a few years ago.
Thanks to Clermont County historian Rick Crawford for providing some of the info on Lake Allyn! He helped the county place many of their bicentennial historical markers.
Location: Jackson Township, Clermont County - On Jackson Pike where it meets St. Rt. 133, back then they were called Williamsburg Rd. & Hartman Rd.
The town was supposedly named after a tornado passed through area. A blacksmith shop opened for business in 1870, followed by a store in 1874. The Blowville post office ran from 1881 - 1886, then again from 1899 - 1905. The Greenberry Memorial Masonic Temple (formerly The Greenberry Methodist Church) is still in use on St. Rt. 133 about a mile north of Blowville. A one room schoolhouse, Jackson Township School #8, used to be across the street. Most of the residents of Blowville moved a few miles to what was called East Blowville Heights. There's now newer residences in the area.
Chilo, OH (Mechanicsburg) - (1816 - present Ohio River town destroyed by flood multiple times but always rebuilt)
Classification: small town
Location: Franklin Township, Clermont Couny - On U.S. Highway 52 at the intersection of Rt. 222
It was known as Mechanicsburg prior to 1816 when Robert Bagby Jr. (1770 - 1818) laid out Chilo with 349 lots including park & market space. Chilo was an important shipping port for steamboats in the mid 1800's & had two coal yards, several general stores, tobacco warehouses, a blacksmith, shoemaker, livery, & a hotel. The town was flooded & nearly totally destroyed in 1887, 1913, & 1937. The population was 63 in the 2010 census. There's a museum & park at 521 County Park Rd. Chilo, OH 45112. Chilo Cemetery is 1.5 miles north of town on Rt. 222.
Thanks to group member Tammy Altman for providing the info on Robert Bagby Jr.!
Elk Lick, OH - (1802 - 1972 farming town destroyed during the Harsha (East Fork) Lake Project)
Classification: ghost town
Location: Tate Township, Clermont County - On Elklick Rd. in East Fork State Park
Elk Lick was settled in 1802 by Rev. John Collins (1769 - 1845) & his wife Sarah (Blackman) Collins (1776 - 1863), named after the abundance of natural salt licks in the area. John built a log cabin church in 1805 which was know as Collin's Chapel. A new one was built on the same spot in 1818 & was called the Bethel Methodist Church. It was re-built in 1867 & still stands today. John & Sarah's son Richard was a lawyer & had a 37 room mansion built at Elk Lick which was destroyed in 1972 when construction of the William Harsha (East Fork) Lake began. Dr. Thomas Pinkham (1802 - 1884) also had a mansion built nearby. Along with John Collins, Dr. Pinkham attempted to get the county seat moved to Elk Lick as it was quickly becoming an affluent community. However, that never happened & Elk Lick was never incorporated.
John & Sarah Collins were buried in the Old Bethel Methodist Cemetery close to the church. Elk Lick had it's own school but it burnt down in an arson fire in 1931 & the site was flooded by East Fork Lake along with a good portion of the rest of the town. There's also the Bantam one room schoolhouse less than a mile away on Williamsburg - Bantam Rd though, which some of the residents of Elk Lick attended.
Lucy Run, OH - (1806 - present farming town with no growth)
Classification: small town
Location: Batavia Township, Clermont County - On Lucy Run Cemetery Rd. off of Rt. 132
Lucy Run was first settled by Charles Robinson (1763 - 1846) & his wife Asseneth (Martin) Robinson (1768 - 1835), who moved to Ohio from Maryland in 1806. Charles was a farmer & built a church in 1808 which was later moved to Amelia, OH & became the Methodist church there. Lucy Run also had a one room schoolhouse that sits next to the cemetery & is currently a private residence.
The area was named after Lucy Robinson who was either a daughter or niece of Charles & Asseneth. She was engaged to be married in 1806 or 07 with a local man who had met another woman. He showed up at the Robinson cabin one day & told Lucy the bad news that he couldn't marry her because he was in love with someone else. After he left, the distraught Lucy mounted a horse & rode after him in an attempt to change his mind, or maybe kick his ass, no one is certain about that. A bad storm was rolling through the area & Lucy fell off her horse into the swollen creek near her family's cabin & drowned.
The creek was later named Lucy Run & the road still bears the name to this day. Lucy can supposedly be seen at night running in a white gown from the creek to the cemetery or from the cemetery & across the creek to where the Robinson cabin was, looking for her estranged lover. It's one of the most infamous ghost stories in Clermont County. Lucy was buried in an unmarked grave in the Robinson family Plot in Lucy Run Cemetery on Lucy Run Cemetery Rd. The town never grew to be more than a hamlet & is currently considered to be part of Amelia.
Nicholsville, OH (1842 - present farming, orchard, & merchant town with little growth)
Classification: small town
Location: Monroe Township, Clermont County - On SR 222 at the intersection of Bethel - New Richmond Rd.
The area was originally settled in 1825 by Joseph Dole (1766 - 1846) & his wife Rebecca (Smith) Dole (1771 - 1843). They received 100 acres of land from William Lytle. Later that same year, the Doles sold an acre to Daniel Fee (who opened up a general store & post office. In 1842 one of the Dole's sons, Elisha Smith Dole (1814 - 1845) who was running the family land & a hotel in nearby Laurel, set aside 6 acres to be divided up & sold for town lots. He named it Feetown after Daniel Fee who was still operating the post office at the time.
The following year Nathan B. Nichols bought Fee's general store & also took over the postmaster position. Other members of both the Fee & Nichols families owned stores in several other Clermont County towns in their early days. Nathan B. was a great grandson of Revolutionary War veteran Nathan Nichols Sr. (1748 - 1822) & Hannah (Hodgson) Nichols (1769 - 1853), the patriarch & matriarch of the Nichols line in the county. They bought 1,000 acres along the Little Miami River between Mt. Washington & Newtown in the first decade of the 1800's but were eventually run off by mosquitoes. They subsequently bought a comparable value of land in what would become the Nicholsville area where the family's next few generations greatly expanded.
In 1847 town proprietor Erin Cole renamed it Nicholsville after Nathan B. Nichols who was also a church clerk & notary public. Farming & orchards were the main source of income for residents but on top of the store in the mid 1800's the town also had a school, cabinet maker, wagon maker, tailor, saddler, doctor, wheelwright, & a blacksmith. There was two churches, one Baptist next to the cemetery & Spring Grove Methodist Chapel on Bethel - New Richmond Rd. which was across the street from the school. The Baptist church is gone but Spring Grove Chapel still stand on land that was once owned by the Roudebush family who had extensive orchards.
A Pentecostal church was later built north of town on SR 222 & is still in operation. A few members of the Nichols family were buried in the town cemetery at the intersection of SR 222 & Bethel - New Richmond Rd. but most, including Nathan B., were buried in the old Nichols farm family cemetery now on private property off of Carnes Rd. The current grocery store sits in the same spot as the former general stores dating back to the town's beginning.
Perintown, OH (Perins Mills) - (1830 - present mill town with little growth)
Classification: small town
Location: Miami Township, Clermont County - On U.S. Highway 50 at the intersection of Roundbottom Rd.
In 1815 Samuel Perin (1785 - 1865) & his wife Mary (Simpkins) Perin (1789 - 1851) settled in the area & had nine children. Samuel was a veteran of the War Of 1812 & a freemason. He built a saw mill & a grist mill in 1815, & a distillery in 1826. Samuel was the Clermont County Commissioner from 1825 - 1830. He also built a mill for Dr. Richard Allison who settled the nearby town of Owensville.
When the water was high in wet seasons Samuel would ferry boats loaded with pork, lard, & whiskey to New Orleans & bring back manufactured goods for sale at his stores in Perins Mills, Milford, & Fayetteville. Samuel's distillery caught fire & burnt down in 1853, & the grist mill suffered the same fate in 1862. The Perins Mills post office opened up in 1830 with Darius Perin (1805 - 1889) , one of Samuel & Mary's sons, being the first postmaster.
The town's name changed from Perins Mills to Perintown in 1890 when the post office changed it's name. Perintown also had school & a train station on the Norfolk & Western Railroad in the late 1800's to early 1900's. It was on the other side of the Little Miami River & named Cahoon after the family of the landowner Olive A. Cohoon (1846 - 1914). The train station attendants house still stands close to the railroad tracks on Round Bottom Rd. Samuel & Mary Perin are buried with many of their family members in the Perintown United Methodist Church Cemetery at 1260 U.S. Highway 50 Milford, OH.
Point Pleasant, OH (1813 - present river town with less residents than in the past)
Classification: historic town
Location: Monroe Township, Clermont County - On U.S. 52 at the intersection of State Rt. 232
Point Pleasant was founded in 1813 by Joseph Jackson (1774 - 1841) who later moved to Indiana. The town is most know for being the birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant (1822 - 1885), the general of the Union troops in the Cival War & 18th president of the U.S. from 1869 - 1877.
His parents Jesse Grant (1794 - 1873) & Hannah (Simpson) Grant (1798 - 1883) rented their home in Point Pleasant for $2 a month. In the 1930's the house was moved from it's original location near the Ohio River because of concerns about the possibility of floods & took a river barge tour to several cities around the country. After that the house took a train ride to Columbus, OH where it was displayed at the Ohio State Fairgrounds before returning back to Point Pleasant in 1936 to the spot where it now sits. Grant's Birthplace Home is open for tours Wednesday - Saturday 9 a.m - noon & 1 - 5 p.m. April through October 31. Ohio Historical Marker # 5 - 13 is in the front yard of the house & tells it's story.
The Grant Memorial Church on State Rt. 232 was built in 1868 & towers over the other buildings in town. The Grant Memorial Bridge on U.S. 52 was built in 1927 & is highlighted by Ohio Historical Marker # 4 - 13. Besides all of the Grant locations, Point Pleasant also has an old one room schoolhouse that sits on State Rt. 756 East off of State Rt. 232. Point Pleasant Cemetery is on Point Pleasant Cemetery Rd. north of the church & is a pretty sight to see on top of a big hill. The post office ran from 1826 - 1983.
Location: Pirece Township, Clermont County - On 10 Mile Rd. near the intersection of Cole Rd.
Spann was a small town near Ten Mile Creek that was a road transportation hub for early Clermont County residents & travelers who were passing through. The area was originally called Ten Mile. In 1802 The Ten Mile Baptist Church was formed with a small stone church that was built next to the Ten Mile Cemetery (Old Pierce Township Cemetery) at the end of Bristol Rd. off of 10 Mile Rd. (Rt. 749).
An additional church congregation was formed in 1819 about 4 miles to the east. It was dedicated as the Second Ten Mile Baptist Church. That church congregation grew so large though that the town of Lindale was formed just to the south of it. They built a large brick church in Lindale in 1853 which still stands on State Rt. 132 near the intersection of 10 Mile Rd. Later in 1876 the church changed it's name to Lindale Baptist Church. The town of Ten Mile kept it's name though & had a post office that ran from 1880 - 1883. It was first established as the Peoples Post office which was named after it's postmaster Samuel H. Peoples (1820 - 1890). The post office's name changed to Ten Mile in 1892. When it was discontinued in 1893 the area started to go by the name Spann.
There was already a general store there that was built in 1860, a public water well, Pierce Township School #4, & the Spann Post Office ran from 1892 - 1905. The general store is at the intersection of 10 Mile Rd & Cole Rd. around the corner from a Clermont County Bicentennial Marker for the town. It was operated for several years by Marion Butler (1847 - 1918), who grew up in Ten Mile. He was buried in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery about a mile south of Lindale on State Rt. 132.
Pierce Township School #4 is a also a very cool sight to see, about a half mile north of the general store, at the intersection of Cole Rd. & Merwin - Ten Mile Rd. Several early settlers of the area are buried in the Ten Mile Cemetery on Bristol Rd. & The Lindale Cemetery next to the church on State Rt. 132.
Stonelick, OH - (early 1800's - present farming & mill town with little growth)
Classification: small town
Location: Stonelick Township, Clermont County - On U.S. Highway 50 at the intersection of Stonelick - Williams Corner Rd.
The area was settled in 1803 by Henry Allison (1739 - 1826) & his wife Hannah (Jackson) Allison (1756 - 1837). Henry was the brother of Dr. Richard Allison, a Revolutionary War veteran that first settled the nearby town of Boston, now called Owensville. Henry built a mill on Stonelick Creek which was Clermont County's most powerful interior waterway. More families & mills followed so Stonelick Creek quickly grew to have the most mills in the county which mostly comprised of saw mills, grist mills, & whiskey distilleries.
In 1839 the first Catholic congregation in Clermont County was organized where St. Philomena church now stands on Balzhiser Rd. just off of Stonelick - Williams Corner Rd. The current church was built in 1905 on the same spot as the previous ones, a log cabin that burnt down & then a stone church. Stonelick also had few schools over the years, blacksmiths, & several cooperage shops for making barrels for whiskey storage & transportation. The post office ran from 1859 - 1900.
Stonelick Covered Bridge was built on Stonelick - Williams Corner Rd. in 1878 & is Clermont County's last remaining historic covered bridge. It crashed into Stonelick Creek on February 11, 2014 during efforts to restore it after being closed from traffic for several years. The bridge was rebuilt with much of the original wood & reopened on April 15, 2015 but it unfortunately isn't the exactly the same as it once was. Before it collapsed the bridge had a small storage room & a window near the North end. Otherwise it's nicely restored & good to see it in working condition again. Local urban legends surrounded the bridge in mystery for decades. A face or hanged person could supposedly be seen through the window at night & if you stopped, turned off your car & flashed or turned off your lights it reportedly wouldn't start back up for a while. There's no records or confirmation of anything unusual ever happening there though or any reasons for the bridge to be haunted.
There's also the St. Philomena Bridge on Stonelick - Williams Corner Rd. where it crosses Stonelick Creek to the corner of Balzhiser Rd. next to the church. It was built in 1904 by the Champion Bridge Co. & moved to that spot in 1950 when it replaced an old covered bridge. It hasn't been used since 2002 when a new modern bridge was built next to it. The last schoolhouse in town, built in 1898, still sits on U.S. Route 50 east of the Rt. 222 intersection.
Utopia, OH - (1844 - present Ohio River town destroyed by flood in 1847)
Classification: semi - ghost town
Location: Franklin Township, Clermont County - On U.S. Highway 52 at the intersection of Bartlow Rd.
Utopia was settled in 1844 by Josiah Warren (1798 - 1874) who ran small businesses in the area & believed in the spiritualist teachings of French philosopher Charles Fourier. The community disbanded in 1846 but sprang back up in 1847. Henry Jernegan (1798 - 1880's) laid out the new town of Utopia for John Otis Wattles (1809 - 1859) & his wife Esther (Winery) Wattles (1819 - 1908), who had bought the land & sold off the plats individually to more spiritualists.
A 30 room main building, sometimes called the town hall, was moved to the bank of the Ohio River by the Wattles & the townspeople. It was washed away in 1847 during a flood just a few days later along with 150 of the 156 people who were attending a party. The foundation can be seen when the river is low & there is access to tunnels on private property near the Brown County border that lead to underground chambers where religious ceremonies were performed.
Utopia had a post office from 1885 - 1908. It also had at least one school, Pierce Township # 13, about a half mile west of town on the north side of U.S. 52 & probably a log cabin schoolhouse before that. Otis Wattles moved to Kansas with his wife & brother Augustus where they became friends with the notorious John Brown during the Cival War. Utopia wasn't inluded in the 2010 census & the current population is less than 100 residents.
Clermont County Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources