Centerburg, OH (1834 - present farming, mill, & railroad town at the geographical center of Ohio)
Classification: historic town
Location: Hilliar Township, Knox County - On U.S. Rt. 36 at the intersection of County Rd. 21.
Centerburg was founded in 1834 & quickly grew to be the largest town in Hilliar Township. With it's claim as being the geographical center of Ohio, Centerburg was one of the lucky towns that boomed with the railroad in the mid - late 1800's. There's several historical markers & geographical center of Ohio markers around town as well as several historic buildings & locations. There's town's website - centerburgoh.org has more info. We just happened to pass through there one of our big ghost town trips in 2013 & got pics of the abandoned train station off of U.S. 36 on the southeast side of town & one of the geographical centers of Ohio signs.
Lock, OH - (1837 - present farming town with less residents than in the past)
Classification: semi - ghost town
Location: Milford Township, Knox County & Bennington Township, Licking County - On Lock Rd. at the intersection of Rt. 657 (Marion Rd. NW)
Lock was settled by Isham Abbott (1799 - 1859) & his wife Lois (Everett) Abbott (1807 - ?) in 1836. Isham had a potash business & laid out lots for the town in 1837 naming it Lock for unknown reasons. A post office was established in 1838 at his store & Lock got it's first church in 1845. The Abbott's later moved out of town & Lock didn't grow much over the next few decades without a canal or railroad although it was still the biggest town in the area.
Washington Hildreth (1829 - 1903) was the most prominent business man in Lock during the late 1800's. He was the last postmaster in town & a member of the Ohio National Guard. An atlas from 1871 shows that Hildreth owned 2 stores, a warehouse, & several lots in town including Hildreth's Hall where members of the Order of Good Templars met. Around that time Lock also had another store, a cooper shop, 3 churches, a school, wagon shop, blacksmith, harness shop, & a shoe shop. The 1870's appear to be the peak of Lock's heyday & the community has been dwindling since then.
The last general store in town which was built on one of Washington Hildreth's lots still stands at the intersection of Lock Rd. & Rt. 657 (Marion Rd. NW) across from the ancient looking Congregational Church which is no longer in use. There's also an old Methodist Church on Lock Rd. east of the center of town. Washington Hildreth & many other early residents were buried in Lock Cemetery south of town on Rt. 657.