Barretts Mills Ohio Highland County ghost town history travelBarretts Mills, OH - (1806 - 1980 mill town, mill destroyed by an arson fire in 1980)

Classification: small town

Location: Paint Township, Highland County - On Barretts Mill Rd. near the intersection of Cave Rd.

In 1805 Jesse Baldwin (1759 - 1820) & Hannah (Thornbrough) Baldwin (1760 - 1820) were the first settlers of what would eventually become Barretts Mills, OH. Jesse built a saw & grist mill that also had carding & fulling capabilities that were finished in 1806. Dr. John Boyd, one of the first physicians in Highland County, purchased the land & improved the saw & grist mill in 1823. He also built a new wool mill next to the bank of Factory Branch Creek.

Barretts Mills also had a blacksmith, George M. Belleson who died in 1856 & was buried in the Boyd Cemetery in the woods near Cave Rd. George's son James C. Belleson was given the blacksmith work shortly before his fathers death. Dr. John Boyd later gave the mills to his son John Milton Boyd (1817 - 1913) who sold them to David Barrett ( b. 1829 - ? ) in 1858. David married Sally A. (Weyer) Barrett ( d. 1901) in 1855 & ended up being a captain in the Cival War.

A covered bridge was built in 1862 that spanned Factory Branch Creek from what is currently Barretts Mill Rd. to Cave Rd. Barretts Mill had a post office from 1885 - 1907. One of the buildings that Dr. Boyd built turned into a hospital for victims of the 1918 flu epidemic. Many people likely perished in that building & we believe there's a lot more people buried in the Boyd Cemetery than the 5 internments cited on The house on Cave Rd. across from Barretts Mill is reportedly haunted too.

In the 1960's Jack Hope, a local property owner, purchased Barretts Mill & turned it into a tourist attraction. He also bought the nearby McCoppin Mill on the southeast side of Rocky Fork Lake in 1980. Unfortunately Barretts Mill & the covered bridge burnt down in an arson fire in 1980, but it's still an interesting place to visit with the mill foundation & bridge trestle intact.

Thanks to Rhonda L. Henson for the lead on Barretts & McCoppin Mills! 

Ohio ghost town Fallsville Highland County history travel

Fallsville, OH - (1848 - 1893 farming & mill town slowly abandoned over time)

Classification: ghost town

Location: Penn Township, Highland County - On hiking trails off of Careytown Rd.

Fallsville was founded by John Timberlake (b. 1810 in Campbell County, Virginia - d. in Miami County, Indiana) who built a stone house & a grist mill next to the impressive waterfall on Clear Creek. In 1825 Simon Clouser (1796 - 1881) & his wife Elizabeth (Duckwall) Clouser (1797 - 1875) purchased the land from Timberlake & moved into the house in 1826. Simon was a farmer & operated the grist mill for people that came from miles around because it was the only large corn grinder in the area. The Auburn Methodist Church congregation was formed with a log church in 1830.  

On April, 20 1848 John Timberlake officially platted the town of Fallsville & named it after the waterfall next to the mill which is now part of The Fallsville Wildlife Area. More residents moved into town & Fallsville grew to have 3 streets with 8 houses in town & a few more on the outskirts. The residents thought Fallsville would get a railroad built through it & become a large town but that never happened. A new Auburn Methodist Church was built in 1891 & still stands today. It was the last structure built in town. Fallsville's last resident was Andrew Payton who died in 1893.

There's also still several foundations in the area along with some other small structures & remnants. Simon & Elizabeth Clouser are buried with their 3 children at Auburn Church Cemetery on Careytown Rd. The waterfall & remnants of the town are off of Fallsville Lane, the gravel road south of Auburn Church. It's blocked off from traffic but there's a small parking lot at the front of the road.

To get to the waterfall, keep going straight onto the trail past where the gravel ends on Fallsivlle Lane. The waterfall is on the left side & there's a former rock quarry pond on the right. Building foundations & an old horse tank, the only one we've ever seen in a total ghost town, are on a trail to the left & heading south at the end of Fallsville Lane. Hunting goes on back there so wear bright colors, be extra safe, & as always, respectful of any other outdoor enthusiasts. The hunters we've met were all very nice & even gave us some info on where to look. It's a cool place to snap some nature photos too.

Fallsville also has a ghost story about a native girl who knocks on doors around town on Christmas Eve. She's said to be trying to tell local residents the location of a nearby buried gold treasure. The Clouser girls were always described as being very strange too, almost witch-like & some of the locals steered clear of them so to speak. 

McCoppin Mill Ohio ghost town Highland County history travelMcCoppin Mill, OH - (1830 - 1979 mill town abandoned over time)

Classification: semi - ghost town

Location: Marshall Township, Highland County - On McCoppin Mill Rd. near the southeast side of Rocky Fork Lake.

David Reece first settled there in 1829 & built a saw & grist mill on Rocky Fork Creek. The mill production started in 1831 & changed ownership several times over the next 150 years. In 1848 it was bought by Henry Stacy Foraker who had married David Reece's daughter. Thier son Joseph Benson Foraker (1846 - 1917) ended up being a U.S. Senator & a two time governor of Ohio. In 1895 the mill owners were C.M. Overman & Thomas Costello. Costello bought out Overman's share & changed the mills name to Lodores due to the fact that the poem "Cataract of Lodores" was posted at the mill.

Lodores had a post office from 1898 - 1903. Thomas Costello died in 1906 in a machine accident at the mill. His body was later found in Rocky Fork Creek. John Allen McCoppin (1847 - 1931) bought the mill later that same year & remodeled it. The mill opened back up in 1909 & changed ownership a few more times. Lynn A. Sydenstricker & his son John were the last operators. They stopped production in 1979.

The mill was bought by Jack Hope in 1980, the same year he bought the nearby Barretts Mill. McCoppin Mill currently sits of private property but can be seen from the bridge on McCoppin Mill Rd. The abandoned McCoppin Mill one room schoolhouse is down the road south of the mill.

Adams County Ohio Ghost Towns - 1888 Bridgman's Atlas Of The State Of Ohio
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