Cheshire, OH – (1820s – present farming & mining town partialy abandoned in 2002 during a buyout by the Kyger Creek Power Plant)
Classification: semi – ghost town
Location: Cheshire Township, Gallia County – On SR 554 at the intersection of SR 7 near the Ohio River
Cheshire was settled in the early 1800s & became a town in the 1820s with a post office that started up in 1826. 27 lots were plotted for the town’s growth & the first school was built in 1835. Farming was its biggest source of income for several decades as crops were floated on the Ohio River from Cheshire to as far as New Orleans. Coal was later discovered in the area & Cheshire got a train station on the Hocking Valley Railway. It also had a hotel, several stores, a church, flour mill, & a barrel factory.
In 1863, 2500 Confederates on horseback swept through the town during Morgan’s Raid. The hotel & school dorm were used to house captured soldiers. In 1913 & 1937 Cheshire was devastated by Ohio River floods but the town survived both times. The James M. Gavin (Kyger Creek) Power Plant was built on the west side of Cheshire in 1975. Several old homes & businesses were demolished for its construction. The residents of Cheshire were exposed to soot raining down from the power plant smokestacks & some suffered unhealthy side effects.
Rather than face numerous lawsuits, the power plant owners proposed a buyout of the town in 2002 & offered the residents money to move out of Cheshire. Some left & some stayed, vowing that they would never leave no matter how much they were offered. More homes & businesses were demolished, but In 2004 Cheshire annexed some property to the north & west in the hopes that the town will have a brighter future. The town’s population was 132 as of the 2010 census. Cheshire still has several old buildings in the area.
Glenn, OH – (early 1800s – 1930s farming & mill town with less residents than in the past)
Classification: ghost town
Location: Huntington Township, Gallia County – On SR 325 south of Vinton
It was settled by a couple from Virginia in 1805 on the banks of Raccoon Creek. William Glenn (1763 – 1838) & Ann (Curry) Glenn (1768 – 1850) had 13 children & built the first church in 1829. William owned an ox ranch with Samuel R. Holcomb, who went on to lay out the town of Vinton. The Glenn’s children continued to farm, cattle ranch, build mills, & employ other residents in the area. In the mid to late 1800s, the family donated land for a train station on the Hocking Valley Railway. The town had a post office from 1890 – 1933. Many residents moved away when the railroad went out business. Glenn Cemetery is a half mile south of Vinton off of SR 325. It’s on the same gravel road as Holcomb Cemetery.
Vinton, OH – (1832 – present farming, mill, & iron town partially abandoned over time)
Classification: small town
Location: Huntington Township, Gallia County – On SR 325 at the intersection of SR 160
Vinton was laid out in 1832 by General Samuel R. Holcomb, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. It was named after an early settler in the area, Samuel Finley Vinton, the same man Vinton County is named after. The town quickly flourished & a post office was established in 1835. Vinton became a target for Confederate soldiers who heavily ransacked it in 1863. The event came to be known as Morgan’s Raid & is currently detailed by Ohio Historical Marker # 16-27 in front of the post office at the corner of SR 160 (Jackson St) & N Main St.
The Columbus, Hocking Valley, & Toledo Railroad rolled through in 1880 & Vinton had a population & industry boom like most other railroad towns. Iron ore was their main source of income for a long time, but the mines eventually stopped producing & the railroads left. Vinton has struggled to maintain its citizens since then due to the lack of economic opportunities. It also had bad floods in 1937, 1968, & 1997 which was another reason why some residents left. The population was at 324 in the 2000 census. Holcomb Cemetery is a half mile south of Vinton off of SR 325. It’s on the same gravel road as Glenn Cemetery.