Egypt Valley, OH (Egypt) – (mid 1800s – late 1800s farming & railroad town abandoned when the land was bought for coal mining)
Classification: ghost town
Location: Kirkwood Township, Belmont County – On Salem Ridge Rd & Starkey Rd
It had a few residents as early as the first decade of the 1800s but didn’t become a town until the mid 1800s. Egypt Valley had a school, general store, a train station on the B & O Railroad, & post office from 1852 – 1857. The most popular locations these days are the two cemeteries, Salem & Old Egypt (Circle Cemetery) on Salem Ridge Rd, but there are also several decaying barns & houses in the area, a wood bridge, & remnants along the old railroad path.
Egypt Valley is well known for its ghost stories. Louiza Catharine Fox (1856 – 1869) was engaged to be married with the much older Thomas D. Carr (1846 – 1870), who was a Civil War veteran. They met through Alex Hunter, the owner of a local coal company who they both worked for. Thomas worked in the coal mines & Louiza was a servant in Alex’s house. The engagement between Thomas & Louiza was originally approved by her parents, but they changed their minds when they heard rumors around town about Thomas’s violent side. The marriage was called off & the rumors turned out to be true. He waited in the dark one night next to a road that Louiza used to walk home. She was with her little brother at the time, who Thomas told to go home so he could talk to Louiza. Instead of talking, Thomas kissed Louiza one last time & proceeded to slit her throat with a razor blade. Her little brother saw it happen from a distance & ran home to tell their parents. Thomas got arrested & was the first person hanged in Belmont County in 1870. Louiza is said to still haunt Salem Cemetery & can reportedly be seen or heard crying by her grave.
About a mile down the road from Salem Cemetery is the Old Egypt Cemetery which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a truck driver who died in a crash around there. He lost an arm that was never found & the sounds of fingernails tapping on gravestones can supposedly be heard in the cemetery at night. The Old Egypt Cemetery is also reportedly haunted by “devil” dogs that guard it & can be heard howling in the woods nearby at night.
Jacobsburg, OH (Calvertsburg) – (1804 – present mining & railroad town slowly abandoned after mines closed & railways stopped operations in the 1980s)
Classification: small town
Location: Smith Township, Belmont County – On Ramsey Ridge Rd near the intersection of Wallace – Bovenizer Rd
It was first settled by Jabob Calvert (1780 – 1853) & Mary “Polly” (Shepherd) Calvert (1780 – 1860) in the 1790s & was originally called Calvertsburg. The name changed sometime by 1804 when their second of nine children was born. Jacob platted the town in 1815. It had a hotel, school, church, general store, & a doctor in its early days. Jacobsburg went from being a small farming village to a mining & railroad boom town when coal was discovered in the area. The train station was on the Bellaire, Zanesville, & Cincinnati Railroad.
There are still some residents in Jacobsburg, but it continues to lose population over time. Jacob Calvert was buried in Scatterday Cemetery with a few relatives on Coulter Rd off of SR 147 (Centerville Jacobsburg Rd). Jacobsburg Cemetery is on Ramsey Ridge Rd on the south side of town. Several other early settlers & families are buried there.
Sewellsville, OH (Union) – (early 1800s – mid 1900s farming, business, & coal town abandoned over time)
Classification: semi – ghost town
Location: Kirkwood Township, Belmont County – On SR 800 (Hendrysburg – Freeport Rd) at the intersection of McCoy Rd
Sewellsville sits on a stretch of road that’s mostly old abandoned buildings. It was once a relatively thriving town that started out as a farming village in the first decade of the 1800s. The town was originally called Union & was named after the first log cabin meeting hall. It was changed to Sewellsville in 1831, named after Peter Sewell. He was a carpenter, builder, & also became the first postmaster. Sewellsville had a post office from 1834 – 1907. The town also had a church, school, & several small businesses over the years. The population was around 125 in 1900.
Later in the mid 1900s, the local surface coal mining industry may have led to Sewellsville’s demise. It gave people jobs at the time but bought up a lot of the town’s land. Most of the remaining residents had to leave & find work elsewhere when coal production ended. The last school is at the intersection of SR 800 & McCoy Rd. An impressive looking & old United Methodist Church is on SR 800 next to the town’s cemetery. There are also a lot of abandoned houses around the area.
Temperanceville, OH – (1837 – present saw mill town partially abandoned for unknown reasons)
Classification: small town
Location: Somerset Township, Belmont County – On SR 379 where it meets County Rd 132 (Zanesville St / Temperanceville Rd)
It was founded in 1837 by Robert Gallagher (1806 – 1850) & Elizabeth Brinton (Jefferies) Gallagher (1814 – 1874). Robert was a Catholic missionary & big alcohol prohibitionist, so he named the town Temperanceville after dry town clauses placed on land ownership. Robert built a grist mill in 1837 which burned down in 1840. He replaced it with a steam powered mill. The town had a school, two cigar factories, oil fields, several churches over the decades, & a post office from 1848 – 1961.
Temperanceville was once almost totally abandoned, but now has newer residences in the area. There are still some very old buildings in town including St. Mary’s Church, whose records date back to 1833. Some of the Robert & Elizabeth’s ancestors were buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery.