Ghost Towns: Azekla, Bell, Bellefont, Boyds, Collinwood, Dale Furnace, East Salineville, Gilmore, Grissels, Hartford, Hastingsville, Haysville, Ingraham, Jamestown, Linton, Little Beaver, Lockbridge, Lucerne, Martinsburg, McGarry, McKaigs Mills, Middle Beaver, Mussers Mills, New Liberty, Newhouse, Peace Valley, Pottersville, Robbins, Saratoga, Seville, Sprucevale, State Line, Temple Hill, Teutonia, Thorndon, Wards, Waterford, Weslyville, West Beaver, West Pittsburg
Sprucevale, OH – (1835 – 1870 mill, farming, & canal town abandoned due to lack of economic opportunities)
Classification: ghost town
Location: Saint Clair Township, Columbiana County – On Sprucevale Rd about 3 miles north of Calcutta, OH
In 1835 the Hambleton brothers platted the town of Sprucevale around a small grist mill that they recently purchased. James Hambleton (1788 – 1869) operated the mill & served on the canal board. Charles Hambleton (1790 – 1864) ran the general store & post office. Benjamin Hambleton (1786 – 1869) had a saw mill, oil mill, & another general store. Issac Hambleton (1802 – 1895) managed a wool factory. The Sandy & Beaver Canal was built through town but was badly damaged when the local reservoir broke in 1852. It lost funding & maintenance as railroads in nearby towns had taken over the shipping industry. With no railroad & a dilapidated canal, Sprucevale’s days were numbered. The town had over a dozen homes & twenty families at one time, but everyone left by the end of 1870.
Canal lock #42, also known as Gretchen’s Lock, sits along the banks of Beaver Creek & is supposedly haunted by a girl named Gretchen Gill who died of malaria in Sprucevale. The bridge over Beaver Creek on Echo Dell Rd is said to be haunted by Esther Hale, a bride to be whose groom took off the day before the wedding. As the story goes, Esther was found dead in her home a few months later still wearing her wedding dress.
Echo Dell Rd in Beaver Creek State Park is also the site of Gaston’s Mill which has been restored & opened to the public along with a few other old buildings. The Hambleton’s Mill was restored in the 1970s & is an impressive sight to see on Sprucevale Rd just north of Beaver Creek. Ohio Historical Marker #10 – 15 is about 1/2 mile north of the mill. It marks the spot where gangster Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd met his demise in 1934 when he encountered a large group of federal agents & local police just 3 months after being declared “public enemy #1” by J. Edgar Hoover.
Columbiana County Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources
1841 – Columbiana County Map
1860 – Columbiana County Map
1870 – Columiana County Atlas
1902 – Columbiana County Atlas
1879 – History Of Columbia County Ohio
1890 – History Of The Upper Ohio Valley – Vol. 1
1905 – History Of Columbiana County Ohio