Knockemstiff, OH (Shady Glen or Glen Shady) - (early 1900's - present farming town slowly abandoned over time)
Classification: semi - ghost town
Location: Huntington Township, Ross County - On Shady Glen Rd. (Township Highway 159T) near the intersection of Black Run Rd.
There's not much to see in Knockemstiff aside from a few old buildings but it had a reputation for being a tough place to work & live. The town had several taverns over the years & bar fights were pretty much a local past-time. We couldn't find any info about the area prior to it being called Knockemstiff. When it was Shady Glen or Glen Shady there probably just wasn't enough around for historians to write about. It was likely originally named after the abundance of local shade trees. The various stories of how the town was renamed Knockemstiff have been disputed but always involve a brawl of some type.
The center of town has always been near the Shady Glen Church of Christ at the corner of Shady Glen Rd. & Black Run Rd. (County Highway 156). Knockemstiff wasn't on a 1919 county map but appeared on maps in the 1940's. Many residents that didn't farm worked in mills or factories in Chillicothe & making moonshine was also a generational passed down tradition. The population in 1940 was reported around 200 & it's peak was possibly as much as 400 in the 1950's. A baseball field was built by volunteers in the 1960's & a couple of bars were still in operation for a few decades after that.
There's a few ghost stories surrounding the town & a couple of books were written by Donald Ray Pollock who grew up there, "Knockemstiff" (2008) & "The Devil All The Time" (2011). His parents were the last to run a convenience store in town.
The old Knockemstiff town sign was shot up with bullet holes & on top of the strange town name always made passersby wonder about the place. We've been told there's a new marker that has been put up in recent years.
*Thanks to Judy Nichols for helping us improve our research on Knockemstiff! Her grandfather, World War I veteran Fred Darling, reportedly grew up there & is buried in Three Locks Cemetery in Franklin Township, Ross Co. about 15 miles east of town.*
Tucson, OH (Charleston) - (mid 1800's - present farming & mill town with little growth)
Classification: semi - ghost town
Location: Harrison Township, Ross County - On Charleston Pike (County Highway 222) at the intersection of Piney Creek Rd.
Tuscon was originally called Charleston. It's unclear where either of the town's names came from & a lot of it's early history is still a mystery to us. The first big thing that happened there though was when Samuel Wheeland (1811 - 1896) built a steam powered saw mill & corn cracker on Walnut Creek in 1842. It was sold in 1852 to Greenberry Hanson who added millstones to convert it into a regular grist mill. The mill was later sold again to the McGee brothers. Tucson also had a general store, mechanic, about a dozen houses, & a post office from 1890 - 1907.
Most of the original settlers were buried in Mt. Carmel Methodist Cemetery, about 4 miles south of town on Charleston Pike near the intersection of Walnut Creek Rd. Some of the other residents were buried in Charleston Cemetery next to the Charleston Church of the Bretheren north of town on Dunkard Hill Rd. There's also several old & abandoned buildings near where the center of town was.