We research and explore the coolest ghost towns and historic locations in Ohio!
Featuring 3 towns with 7 pictures from Adams County, Restored Ohio was released on April 29, 2019. It’s the sequel of Abandoned Ohio (2018) and shows a different side of what physically remains of Ohio’s past. Many of the locations operate as businesses such as restaurants, hotels (former stagecoach stops), museums, and working mills.
Buck Run (Buck Creek) – Scott Township Post Office: 1872 – 1904 Location: 38.985678, -83.579925
on SR 247 at the intersection of Calvary Rd along Buck Run Remnants: old houses and farm buildings in the area Description: The post office was established as Buck Creek and changed to Buck Run a month later. It was originally at Campbell’s Mills and operated out of private residences in later years. The town had a school (Scott Township No. 6) on the west side of SR 247 just north of the GPS coordinates on land donated by the Roberts family. Robert K. Campbell (1818 – 1905) was the first known postmaster. He moved to Warren County, Iowa where he was buried with relatives in IOOF Cemetery on US 69 (South Jefferson Way) in Indianola. Daniel H. Harsha (1837 – 1914) either purchased Campbell’s Mills when Robert moved or built another one himself about 1/2 of a mile south of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of SR 247 and Buck Run Rd. Daniel was buried with relatives in Unity Cemetery on Unity Rd at the intersection of Wheat Ridge Rd. Robert P. Finley (1831 – 1902) was the next known postmaster and was buried with relatives in Cherry Fork Cemetery on SR 136. The remaining known postmasters were John W. Taylor, S. L. Wikoff, and Irene (Chaney) Roberts (1866 – 1915) who was buried with relatives and other residents in Mount Calvary Cemetery 2 miles northwest of the GPS coordinates on the east side of Calvary Rd.
Burkitts – Brush Creek Township Post Office: 1835 – 1840 Location: 38.786254, -83.424999
on the southern end of Cummings Rd (T-148) Remnants: log church and Burkitt Cemetery at the end of the road on private property with no visiting permitted Description: The town was founded by English immigrant Thomas Burkitt (1763 – 1836). He married Polly (Wheeler) Burkitt (1766 – 1820) from Maryland. They had at least 11 children with several born before the family moved to Ohio. Thomas remarried with Hannah (Evans) Burkitt (1777 – 1835) after Polly passed away but didn’t have any children with her. Hannah was laid to rest with relatives in Soldiers Run (Carson / Osman) Cemetery about 20 miles south of the GPS coordinates on private property on the west side of SR 125. Thomas and Polly were laid to rest in Burkitt cemetery. Burkitts Church (Old Log Meeting House) was restored at some point. It was in beautiful condition when we visited in 2013 and had a picnic area. The land is under new ownership and public visiting has since been discontinued.
Elizabeth (Elizabeth Town) (Elisabethtown) – Wayne Township Location: 38.899051, -83.596537
on the southeast side of SR 137 between Paint Rd and Potts Rd Remnants: none known Description: Elizabeth’s first historically recorded appearance was being listed as a small town in the 1829 The Ohio Gazetteer, Or, Topographical Dictionary. Its plat contained 96 lots on 7 streets, including SR 137 (formerly North Liberty and Tranquility Pike). In 1880, Elizabeth was on the northwest portion of a 138-acre lot owned by James Van Deren McNeil (1833 – 1913) and Sarah (Coryell) McNeil (1836 – 1900) and had reverted back to farmland by then. Elizabeth basically lost the competition of attracting residents and businesses to North Liberty, now called Cherry Fork, which was platted in 1848 and is currently an unincorporated community. James and Sarah had 7 children and were laid to rest with relatives in Cherry Fork Cemetery about 2 miles southwest of the GPS coordinates on SR 136.
Evergreen – Meigs Township Location: 38.919532, -83.402525
on Steam Furnace Rd between Davis Rd (Township Hwy T-129A) and Mineral Springs Rd Remnants: Evergreen Baptist Church and Cemetery at the GPS coordinates Description: Evergreen’s main industries were farming and livestock raising. The church was remodeled in 1990 and its congregation is still active.
Fristoes – Meigs and Oliver Township Location: 38.896093, -83.452997
on SR 42 along Ohio Brush Creek between Lawshe Rd and Murphin Ridge Rd Remnants: none known Description: It was founded by Richard Fristoe (1805 – 1885) from Virginia and Anna (Sample) Fristoe (1805 – 1897) who were farmers and livestock dealers. Richard’s parents moved from Virginia to Mason County, Kentucky around 1807. He was a tobacco dealer before becoming a farmer and met Anna while making a run from Marysville to Chillicothe. Richard relocated to Adams County in 1832, purchased the farm where Anna’s family previously ran a tavern, and started farming in 1833. Richard and Anna had 5 children and were buried with relatives buried in Locust Grove Cemetery 7 miles northeast of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of SR 42 and Cemetery Rd.
Grimes – Monroe Township Post Office: 1886 – 1907 Location: 38.678602, -83.451972
on US 52 along the Ohio River on the west side of Ohio Brush Creek Remnants: none known Description: The town was founded by Greer B. Grimes (1803 – 1888) and Sophia (Smith) Grimes (1805 – 1893). Their 400-acre farm at the GPS coordinates was purchased from Greer’s uncle Noble Grimes’s (d. 1805) estate. Greer was also a successful banker. Ellen Grimes was the first know postmaster. There were several members of the family by that name living during the time period in question. Anna (Evans) Plummer (1852 – 1923) from Kentucky was the next known postmaster. She was buried with relatives in Manchester IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery 9 miles west of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of E 8th St and Cemetery St in Manchester. Anna Nace was the postmaster in 1894 and Cordelia Davis (1864 – 1941) was the last known postmaster. She was also laid to rest in Manchester IOOF Cemetery. Greer and Sophia Grimes had at least 9 children and were buried in West Union Cemetery 11 1/2 miles northwest of the GPS coordinates on SR 125 (Sunrise Ave) in West Union.
Irvington – Scott Township Post Office: 1887 – 1898 Location: 38.941062, -83.550861
on the south of SR 770 along the railroad tracks between Tranquility Pike and McCreight Rd Remnants: old houses and farm buildings in the area Description: Irvington was a farming and railroad town on the Cincinnati, Portsmouth, & Virginia Railroad. It had a school on the east side of SR 770 just north of the GPS coordinates. Robert M. Foster (1830 – 1895) was the first postmaster and was buried with relatives in Mount Leigh Cemetery 2 1/2 miles northwest of the GPS coordinates on SR 247 at the intersection of Mt Leigh Rd. William N. Shelby 1842 – 1905) was the last postmaster and was buried in Tranquility Cemetery 2 1/4 miles northeast of the GPS coordinates on the south side of Old State Rte 32 (Co Rd 100).
Killinstown – Tiffin Township Location: 38.797355, -83.492266
on SR 125 on the west side of the intersection of Poplar Ridge Rd Remnants: Seaman (Killinstown) Cemetery at the GPS coordinates, historical marker near the cemetery Description: It was a stagecoach stop town platted in 1802 by Revolutionary War veteran John Killin (1758 – 1844) from Maryland who ran a tavern and inn. The area had previously been known as Adamsburg. John and Rachel (Harper) Killin from Virgina were married by Justice Of The Peace Noble Grimes in 1797 and had several children. The town also had a general store and was at least mentioned as potentially becoming the county seat. John was buried in Pumpkin Ridge Cemetery (West Union Village Cemetery) 3 1/2 miles east of the GPS coordinates on S Cherry St (Pumpkin Ridge Rd). Rachel’s burial location is unknown. The Seaman family still owns the land where the cemetery is, continuing its historical tradition of farming in the area.
Kopp – Franklin Township Post Office: 1902 – 1907 Location: unknown
Description: The proprietors were James D. Kopp (1852 – 1928) from Kentucky and Elizabeth (Thompson) Kopp (1854 – 1926). They had a few children and were buried with relatives in Locust Grove Cemetery on SR 42. James was the town’s only known postmaster.
McCarty – Tiffin and Monroe Township Location: 38.754837, -83.500470
on Poplar Ridge Rd at the 4-way intersection of McCarty Rd and Edith Osman Rd Remnants: Ralston Cemetery 1 3/4 miles northeast of the GPS coordinates on the west side of Malone Rd (Co Rd 57) Description: The town was named after the McCarty family in the area. Some of its members were buried in Raltson Cemetery, dating back to Van Rutherford McCarty Jr. (1846 – 1941) and Martha (Morrison) McCarty (1855 – 1899). They got married in 1871 and had at least 7 children. More members of the family were interred in Satterfields Chapel (McCarty) Cemetery 4 1/4 miles north of the GPS coordinates on the south side of SR 125 behind Satterfield Chapel. Van Rutherford McCarty Sr. (1819 – 1896) from West Union and Nancy (Satterfield) McCarty (1821 – 1905) from Pike County donated the land for the church and cemetery and were laid to rest there. The grave markers for them have since disappeared.
McCullough – Scott Township Post Office: 1883 – 1905 Location: 38.930120, -83.515398
on the railroad tracks south of Nichols Ridge Rd (Co Rd 10) along Ohio Brush Creek Remnants: none known Description: The original proprietors were War of 1812 veteran Alexander McCullough (1780 – 1858) and Nancy (McCroskey) McCullough (1780 – 1856) from Rockbridge County, Virginia. They had 5 children and the next couple of generations continued with farming and livestock raising in the area. The town land stretched north from the Cincinnati, Portsmouth, & Virginia Railroad between Ohio Brush Creek and Georges Creek. Margaret A. McCullough (1851 – 1936) was the postmaster. The McCullough family was laid to rest in Tranquility Cemetery on the south side of Old State Rte 32 (Co Rd 100).
Moore – Tiffin Township (formerly Jefferson Township) Post Office: 1881 – 1894 Location: 38.798484, -83.428248 on SR 348 at the intersection of Compton Hill Rd along Ohio Brush Creek Remnants: none known Description: The town was named after Revolutionary War veteran and Methodist minister Reverend Joseph Moore (1754 – 1824) and Rebecca (Foster) Moore (1755 – 1838). They were both born in New Jersey, got married in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1773, and moved to Adams County in 1797. The known postmasters were A. B. Holmes, Frank G. Bayless (1863 – 1920) buried in West Union Cemetery, and H. E. Walden. A school (Tiffin Township No. 7) was on the south side of Comton Hill Rd 1 1/2 miles west of the GPS coordinates. Joseph and Rebecca had 11 children and were laid to rest with relatives in Manchester IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery at the intersection of E 8th St and Cemetery St in Manchester.
Mount Leigh – Scott Township Post Office: 1854 – 1860 Location: 38.955523, -83.573587
on SR 247 at the intersection of Mt Leigh Rd Remnants: Mount Leigh Cemetery at the GPS coordinates Description: It was a farming and religious town founded by Presbyterians at a busy crossroads in the mid-1800s. Mount Leigh had a general store and there was a school (Scott Township No. 8) a mile southwest of the GPS coordinates on the west side of Greenlee Rd (Township Hwy T-189). William L. Blair (1803 – 1870) from Tennessee was the only known postmaster. He married Catherine (Steen) Blair (1810 – 1880) from Kentucky and had at least one child. William and Catherine were buried with many relatives in the cemetery.
Mount Zion – Scott Township Location: 38.946416, -83.590992
on Tri – County Rd at the intersection of Mt Zion Rd (Township Hwy T-49B) Remnants: Mount Zion Cemetery on the southeast side of Mt Zion Rd just southwest of the GPS coordinates Description: It was another farming and religious town and had a Methodist Church at the cemetery. The congregation formed in 1866 and built its wood frame structure in 1868. A school (Scott Township No. 8) was a mile north of the GPS coordinates on the west side of Greenlee Rd and was shared with nearby Mount Leigh. Seaman was platted in 1888 just a mile southeast of Mount Zion and rapidly grew on the Ohio & Northwestern Railroad (later the Cincinnati, Portsmouth, & Virginia Railroad). Mount Zion’s church building was subsequently moved to Seaman and has since been lost to time.
Osman – Tiffin Township Post Office: 1854 – 1902 Location: 38.786097, -83.434263
on SR 348 between SR 125 and Compton Hill Rd Remnants: Soldiers Run (Carson / Osman) Cemetery on private property on the west side of SR 125 about 1 1/2 miles west of the GPS coordinates Description: The town was founded by Simon Osman (1808 – 1876) and Mary Ann (Parks) Osman. They got married in 1832 and had a few children. Simon was tragically stabbed to death by members of the Easter family on the former wooden “Bloody Bridge” (Forge Dam Bridge) crossing Ohio Brush Creek on SR 125. As the story goes, the Osman and Easter families were already feuding for many years. Local residents were having a picnic and celebration for the completion and opening of the newly constructed bridge in 1876. Simon had likely indulged in a bit too much alcohol and began crossing the bridge before the dedication ceremony began. James Easter and his sons took offense to that and started brawling with Simon. James stabbed Simon several times and one of Simon’s sons stabbed James Easter in return. Simon died from his wounds and the Easter family reportedly crossed the Ohio River to hide out in Kentucky. The town had a school on the northeast side of SR 125 about 1/4 of a mile northwest of the GPS coordinates and a church on Satterfield Rd southeast of the cemetery. The post office moved around to the residences of the postmaster. The known holders of the office were David S. Black, William W. Ellison, W. W. Smith, C. W. Foster, Daniel Sutterfield, John W. Jones, and Cary A. McGovney.
Stephens – Sprigg Township Post Office: 1884 – 1907 Location: 38.671925, -83.688915 on Old State Rd (Township Hwy T-2A) at the intersection of Ridgeland Ln
Description: It was a small farming and postal town. Francis M. Grimes (1844 – 1929) was the first postmaster. He was buried with relatives in Charter Oak Cemetery about 6 3/4 miles southwest of the GPS coordinates on US 52 in Aberdeen, Brown County. The other known postmasters were James S. King and House B. Mitchell (1864 – 1950). House was buried with relatives in Manchester IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery at the intersection of E 8th St and Cemetery St in Manchester.
Waggoners Ripple – Green Township Post Office: 1845 – 1906 Location: 38.712580, -83.442722
on Aberdeen Hollow Rd at the intersection of Waggoner Riffle Rd along Ohio Brush Creek Remnants: none known Description: The town had a Methodist church and a grist mill near the GPS coordinates. Its known postmasters were Jesse Wikoff, John Beach, Luther Collier, David Pennywitt, William W. Ellison, William Turtwangler, and Franklin Ellison. Many residents, including Jesse Wikoff (1811 – 1855), were buried in Foster (Young) Cemetery 2 miles northwest of the GPS coordinates on the west side of Waggoner Riffle Rd near Ohio Brush Creek.
Washington – Monroe Township Location: 38.678602, -83.451972 on US 52 along the Ohio River on the west side of Ohio Brush Creek Remnants: none known Description: Washington was platted with 84 lots in 1798 by Noble Grimes (d. 1805) who was a justice of the peace and owned 1,000 acres of land. The town had a large log courthouse with a jail and was intended to be the future county seat. However, West Union won that contest in 1803. Washington didn’t last much longer. Noble was buried on the farm’s “river hill”.
Brush Creek Furnace, OH (Cedar Mills) – (1811 – present iron furnace and forge town partially abandoned when furnace production stopped)
Classification: small town
Location: Brush Creek Township, Adams County – On Cedar Mills Rd (County Rd 6) at the intersection of SR 348
Brush Creek Furnace was the first blast furnace in Ohio. It was built next to Cedar Creek in 1811 by Archibald Paull (1793 – 1854) and a Mr. McNichol from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and employed over 200 local residents. There was also an iron forge that was located where SR 125 crosses Brush Creek near SR 348. The town of Brush Creek had a post office from 1818 – 1824, the forge had one from 1834 – 1835, and the furnace on Cedar Creek had one from 1833 – 1840. Iron production stopped in the late 1830s due to competition from cheaper fueled furnaces and the iron supply in the area nearing exhaustion.
The remaining residents changed its name to Cedar Mills shortly after that because the local mills were still in operation. The Cedar Mills post office ran from 1868 – 1909. Brush Creek Cemetery is about 3 miles north of where the furnace was, close to the intersection of Cedar Mills Rd and Steam Furnace Rd. An abandoned bridge crossing the creek was constructed in 1924 by the Champion Bridge Company of Wilmington, OH.
Palestine, OH (1837 – mid-1900s farming and stagecoach stop town slowly abandoned over time)
Classification: ghost town
Location: Franklin Township, Adams County – On SR 41 between Peebles and Locust Grove)
Revolutionary War veteran Peter Wickerham (1756 – 1841) and Maria (Platter) Wickerham (1767 – 1839) moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio in the late 1790s. They purchased a farm at the intersection of State Route 41 and Adkins Road. Back then, that portion of SR 41 was part of Zane’s Trace, an early pioneer road that stretched from Wheeling, West Virginia to Maysville, Kentucky. Realizing the importance of the location they chose to settle, Peter and Maria constructed the first brick house in the county in 1800 – 1801 with the idea of turning it into a tavern and inn for weary travelers along the road.
They platted the town in 1837. It had a school, blacksmith shop, and a church. The inn was the only continually successful business in Palestine. It remained in operation until about 1850 and was used to help escaped slaves hide out on the Underground Railroad. Morgan’s Raiders, a Confederate Army cavalry unit, rode through Palestine on July 15, 1863 during the American Civil War. Some of its soldiers stayed at the Wickerham Inn before continuing on their journey. Peter and Maria had 9 children and were buried with relatives in Locust Grove Cemetery at the intersection of State Route 41 and Cemetery Rd north of the inn.
The cemetery was established in 1800 and the town of Locust Grove was platted in 1835.Palestine couldn’t keep up with the growth of Locust Grove in the late 1800s. The same was the case with Peebles, which was platted to the south of Palestine in 1881 and quickly boomed with a newly laid railroad rolling through that area. Palestine didn’t have any accommodations at the time to attract travelers or more residents and faded out of existence in the mid-1900s. Shortly before the town disappeared from maps, a local legend resurfaced and still captures the attention of readers and listeners to this day.
An old tale of the inn being haunted suddenly regained relevance nearly a hundred years after its origin. As the story goes, a stagecoach driver who was thought to be carrying a large sum of cash was murdered in the upstairs room he rented for a night, but his body was never found. Reports by locals and travelers of seeing a headless man in the window of the room were usually dismissed as a ploy to draw more visitors to the inn and town. In 1922 while the inn was getting renovated, workers moved limestone slabs of the basement floor and discovered a headless skeleton underneath them. It’s considered by many to be the most likely haunted building in the county.
Steam Furnace, OH – (1816 – present iron furnace and forge town partially abandoned when the furnace production stopped in 1826)
Classification: semi-ghost town
Location: Meigs Township, Adams County – On Steam furnace Rd (County Rd 27) at the intersection of SR 781
An iron forge was built in 1815 and the furnace was built in 1816 by James Rodgers (1787 – 1860), Andrew Ellison (1755 – 1830), and his son Andrew Ellison Jr. The exact location of the furnace and original town is unknown. It’s is sometimes referred to as “Old” Steam Furnace, as there is a newer community in the area. All the old town really had was the furnace, forge, and a general store.
James Rodgers and Andrew Ellison Jr. went on to build many other iron furnaces in Ohio. Rodgers also managed the Brush Creek Furnace for a few years. Some of the Ellison’s relatives are buried in Brush Creek Cemetery. Steam Furnace had a school across the road from its cemetery in the late 1800s to early 1900s in the northeast corner of the intersection of Steam Furance Rd and John Fristoe Ln. There are some abandoned buildings and old store fronts around the area, including Turkey Creek Church at the intersection of SR 781 and Lucas Rd.
West Union, OH (1804 – present farming and stagecoach stop town)
Classification: small town
Location: Tiffin and Liberty Township, Adams County – On SR 125 at the intersection of SR 41
The Olde Wayside Inn at 222 W Main Street was initially called the Bradford Tavern. It was built in 1804 by General David Bradford, the same year West Union was founded. He achieved the rank of general in the Ohio Militia and was a smart entrepreneur. On top of running the hotel and tavern, David also operated a stagecoach service along Zane’s Trace from Maysville, Kentucky to Chillicothe, Ohio. It always stopped at the Wayside Inn and gave him a leg up on the local competition with places such as the Wickerham Inn and Revolutionary War veteran John Killin’s tavern at Killinstown, just a few miles east of West Union on State Route 125.
The Bradford Tavern was sold a few times over the passing decades of the 1800s. It was called the Marlatt House in the 1840s-1850s. From 1860 to the mid-1880s the inn was owned by John Crawford and went by the name Crawford House. John paid J.A. Caldwell, a well-known map publisher, to put an engraving of the building in the 1880 Illustrated Historical Atlas Of Adams County, Ohio. William and Grace Lafferty purchased the tavern in 1936 and renamed it the Olde Wayside Inn. The current proprietor, Teresa Witten, is maintaining the tradition of keeping the building in operation.