We research and explore the coolest ghost towns and historic locations in Ohio!
Bond – Londonderry Township Post Office: 1884 – 1902 Location: 40.118734, -81.256724 on Skull Fork Rd (County Hwy 58) at the intersection of Bond Ln Remnants: Bond Cemetery on the northwest side of Bond Ln just northeast of the intersection, McCoy Cemetery on McCoy Rd about 2 1/4 miles southwest of the GPS coordinates Description: The town was founded by a branch of the massive Bond family in the area who were mostly farmers and livestock dealers. It had a school in the northeast corner of the intersection of Skull Fork Rd and Tobacco Rd in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Joshua Bond (1788 – 1872) and Abigail (Murray) Bond (1790 – 1867) moved to Ohio from Maryland and had several children. They were buried with many relatives in McCoy Cemetery. Joshua’s brothers Charles Bond (1794 – 1875) and Larkin Bond (1791 – 1870) also settled in the area and had big families. They were buried with relatives in Bond Cemetery. Isaac E. Hall (1858 – 1912) was the first known postmaster and was also laid to rest in McCoy Cemetery. He was succeeded as postmaster by T. Cunningham.
Bridgewater – Oxford Township Location: 40.053311, -81.325483 on Bridgewater Rd at the intersection of SR 513 Remnants: none known Description: Bridgewater is a former town on the eastern edge of present-day Middlebourne. Benjamin Masters, an early settler in the area, built a horse-powered mill around 1805 followed by a water-powered mill in 1810. He platted Middletown (Middleton) along the recently laid and economically promising National Road (later US 40) in 1827. It was named so for being halfway between Wheeling and Zanesville. There was already a post office in Ohio with the name of Middletown in Butler County, so the one in Guernsey went with Middlebourne and opened in 1829. Less than a mile to the east on the National Road, William Orr (1806 – 1860) and Elizabeth (Byers) Orr (1810 – 1889) who had several children and a nice farm, platted Bridgewater in 1834. The Orrs moved to Illinois in the mid-1800s, but Bridgewater maintained its existence. It had a toll house on the National Road that was pinpointed in the 1870 county atlas. A school was pinpointed in the northeast corner of the intersection of Bridgewater Rd and SR 513 in the 1902 county atlas. Middletown had been competing with Bridgewater for businesses and residents throughout the 1800s and into the 1900s. Its plat was also pinpointed along with Bridgewater’s on the county maps and atlases from 1855, 1870, and 1902. Page 53 of the 1870 atlas shows the Middletown’s plat in great detail. It had a school on a 26-acre lot owned by the Scott family, a post office, Methodist church, and over 50 pinpointed buildings. Some of those were merchant shops and businesses mentioned in the old county history books. Lot No. 10 on the east side of Hoover Rd in the northwest corner of town was 3 acres dedicated for a cemetery, but it doesn’t look like anything ever came of that. The Middlebourne post office closed in 1907. Either by misprint or actually an alternative spelling, the town was listed as Middleton in the 1911 History of Guernsey County Ohio. By then, it had 2 general stores, a hotel, and won the town contest with Bridgewater whose only memory lives on in the name of the road. Middletown’s name stuck until it was first listed as Middlebourne on the Oxford Township map in the 1914 county atlas. Some of Bridgewater’s and Middlebourne’s early residents were buried in Pisgah Church of Christ Cemetery 2 miles east of the GPS coordinates on the east side of Pisgah Rd. Find A Grave also lists another 3 small old cemeteries around the Middlebourne area. It’s unknown, as of yet, whether any of the cemeteries or local buildings can be tied directly to Bridgewater as remnants.
Cable – Center Township Post Office: 1850 – 1853 Location: unknown Description: It was founded by a branch of the Cable family in the county and was listed in the 1853 W. W. Reilly & Co.’s Ohio State Business Directory. Charles Swan (born c. 1821) from Virginia was the only known postmaster.
Clio – Jefferson Township Post Office: 1882 – 1905 Location: 40.081182, -81.504563 on R-25 in Salt Fork State Park Remnants: Pleasant Hill Cemetery on Candy Rd Description: The town had a school, grocery store, doctor, and a grist and saw mill built by the Armstrong family. John Armstrong and Susannah (Henderson) Armstrong (1788 – 1870) moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania in 1813 and became pioneers of the county. Their children and grandchildren continued with farming and milling in the area. Much of Clio’s land was submerged by Salt Fork Lake. What remained dry on the east side is now woods and a campsite. The Armstrongs were buried with relatives in Pleasant Hill Cemetery on the west side of the lake. Alexander Pattison (1843 – 1915) was the first postmaster and was also laid to rest in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. J. M. Armstrong was the last postmaster.
Divide – Washington Township Post Office: 1890 – 1904 Location: 40.182918, -81.358242 on Titus Rd (County Rd 878) at the intersection of Lodge Rd
Remnants: Chestnut Hill United Brethren Church and Cemetery on the north side of the GPS coordinates
Description: It was a small farming and postal town. The church was constructed during the Civil War. John Dugan was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by John T. Daugherty (1852 – 1932) who was buried with relatives in Pleasant Hill Cemetery on Candy Rd. Elijah L. Bair (1853 – 1934) was the last postmaster and was also laid to rest in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The most prominent gravestone in Chestnut Hill Cemetery is that of Reverend Timothy Taylor Titus (1829 – 1910) from Harrison County and Nancy Jane (Cope) Titus (1828 – 1912). It’s a neat drive to the location along the county’s sparsely populated back roads.
Eldon (Spencer Station) – Millwood Township Post Office: 1857 – 1920 Location: 39.963539, -81.272000 on Eldon Rd at the former railroad track crossing south of SR 265 (Leatherwood Rd) Remnants: Eldon Cemetery on the southeast side of Barker Rd about 1/2 of a mile northeast of the intersection, Richland Cemetery and historical marker on Shannon Run Rd about 1/2 of a mile north of the intersection Description: Eldon was a variant name of Spencer Station which is still considered a populated area for census purposes. It had a train station on the B&O Railroad, a school, general store, row of houses, the Eldon Coal Company, a coal tipple, and a Quaker church. Residents were buried in Eldon and Richland Cemeteries.
Fish Basket – Cambridge Township Location unknown Description: This fishing town 4 miles north of Cambridge along Wills Creek was run by a Native American chief named Doughty who lived in the area with his family in the late 1700s to early 1800s. Wills Creek was great for basket fishing and produced enough to support a decent sized village.
Frankfort (Frankford)(Smithtown) – Wills Township (formerly in Muskingum County) Location:40.022171, -81.366865 on Frankfort Rd at the intersection of Putney Ridge Rd Remnants: none known Description: The first town in the county, it was platted in 1805 by Joseph Smith 23 days before Old Washington and was a stopping point for tired travelers. Frankfort had a tavern, public square, a proposed courthouse and jail lot, and around a dozen cabins in its heyday. Joseph sold his lot and moved with his family in 1814. The town was considered vacated and was stricken from future recordings by court order in 1846. A man named Cummings, who ventured through the area on foot in 1870, noted Frankfort’s continued existence in a diary and stated 8 – 10 cabins remained.
Miller – Liberty Township Location: 40.100473, -81.562403 on Leeper Rd at the intersection of Salt Rd Remnants: none known Description: The proprietor Robert Miller (1822 – 1877) was born in Canada and moved to Ohio with his parents who were of Irish descent. Robert was a farmer and built a saw mill along the Salt Fork of Wills Creek. The town also had a wagon shop, school, and salt works. Robert was buried with relatives in Old Kimbolton Cemetery in Kimbolton at the intersection of SR 541 and Cemetery St.
New Liberty – Liberty Township Location:39.946185 -81.554254 on SR 821 (Marietta Rd) Remnants: none known Description: It was platted in 1815 by Richard Dickinson and appeared in The Ohio Gazetteer and Traveler’s Guide from 1837 – 1841.
Prohibition – Monroe Township Post Office: 1884 – 1902 Location: unknown Description: The town can be found in the 1888 Bridgman’s Atlas of the State of Ohio and on the Ohio map in the 1901 George Cram atlas. John Snyder was the first postmaster. Myra M. Snyder (born c. 1863) was the last postmaster.
Scotts – Center Township Location: 40.014711, -81.533241 on the former railroad path between US 40 and Reservoir Rd Remnants: none known Description: It was founded by Elza Scott (1819 – 1880) and Mary (Moore) Scott (1825 – 1895) who owned a coal company and a salt works along the B&O Railroad. They were buried with relatives in Cambridge City Cemetery on S 11th St in Cambridge.
Skullfork – Londonderry Township Post Office: 1887 – 1905 Location: 40.140087, -81.265396 on Skull Fork Rd at the intersection of Glasgow Rd along Skull Fork Remnants: Yankee Point Cemetery on private property about a 1/3 mile southwest of the GPS coordinates south of Beaver Rd Description: Skullfork was just north of Bond and had a school. Issac N. Hunt Sr. (1823 – 1889) was the first postmaster. John W. Morton (1870 – 1946) was the second postmaster. He moved to Harrison County and was buried with relatives in Greenmont Cemetery on SR 800 (Cemetery Hill Rd) in Freeport. John’s sister Etta L. (Morton) Rankin (1878 – 1944) was the last postmaster and was laid to rest with relatives in Scotch Covenanter Cemetery 3 1/2 miles northwest of the GPS coordinates on the west side of East St in Londonderry.
Sugartree (Sugar Tree Fork) – Jefferson Township Post Office: 1867 – 1901 Location:40.128094, -81.510053 on R-4 in Salt Fork State Park Remnants: McCleary Cemetery between R-4 and the lake, Kennedy (Salt Fork) Stone House north off of R-4 east of the GPS coordinates Description: The McCleary family built a grist mill and saw mill along Sugar Tree Fork. The town also had a general store and a school. Benjamin Kennedy (1814 – 1882) and Margaret (Orr) Kennedy (1818 – 1876) were the original owners of the Salt Fork Stone House which was completed around 1840.They were buried with relatives in Irish Ridge Cemetery at the intersection of Clary Rd and Broadhead Rd in Monroe Township. Some of the former town land is under Salt Fork Lake. Andrew McCleary (1834 – 1901) appears to have been the postmaster for the office’s entire existence. He was buried with relatives in McCleary Cemetery.
Kennedy Stone House Info – ksh.org
Toledoville – Wheeling Township Location: 40.162293, -81.646512 on the east side of SR 658 (Hopewell Rd) west of SR 541 (Plainfield Rd) Remnants: none known Description: It was a small mining boom town on the Pennsylvania Railroad and was named after the Toledo Coal Company that was along the tracks.
Salesville, OH (1835 – present farming, mill, and railroad town with less residents than in the past)
Classsification: small town
Location: Millwood Township, Guernsey County – On SR 265 (Leatherwood Rd) at the intersection of SR 761
The area around Salesville was settled in 1806 with more families arriving over the next few decades. Most of them were Quakers, Methodists, and Protestants from the colonial states and North Carolina. A log meeting house, called the temple, was built by the Methodists in 1816 near Leatherwood Creek. The Protestants (United Brethren) held camp meetings in the early days with no fixed location gather at.
In 1828 at Miller’s Methodist Chapel, which was near present day Leatherwood Cemetery, a man who went by the name Joseph C. Dylkes showed up and interrupted the service. He announced that he was a messiah sent from the heavens. In the following weeks after the service, Dykles continued to attend the various religious meetings at all of the congregations around Salesville and visited many homes of the most influential local residents. Despite his outlandish claims of having almighty powers and being immortal, Dylkes actually gained the following and trust of lots of people in town.
It created havoc for Salesville, and even led to violence on a few occasions, as friends and families were so quickly and deeply divided in their personal beliefs. Drawing followers from all over the area, Dylkes had control of the Leatherwood temple for a while. A bunch of townspeople that were fed up with Dylkes eventually formed a mob and arrested him. Dylkes was never charged or formerly put on trial though. According to the judge, it wasn’t a crime against their judicial system to be or claim to be a god. An angry mob formed outside the courthouse and chased Dylkes out of town pretty much running for his life.
After hiding out for a few weeks and evading capture by people still on the lookout for him, Dylkes showed back up in Salesville and had a few secretive meetings with his followers. He convinced them that he was going to build a utopia community called “New Jerusalem” near Philadelphia. Dylkes, Reverend Samuel Davis, Michael Brill, and Robert McCormick took off east on foot. When they got to a fork in the road just a few miles from Philadelphia, Dylkes had them split up and said they would “meet back up in the big light”. Dylkes and Davis went one way and Brill and McCormick the other, never finding the big light or seeing Dylkes and Davis again.
Brill and McCormick were moneyless and far from home. They walked to Baltimore, got some of their funds from home sent there, and took a stagecoach back to Salesville. Davis showed back up in town 7 years later claiming he saw Dylkes “ascend into the heavens”. Davis left the next day and didn’t return to Salesville after that. He may have gone to his grave being the only person that ever knew the rest of Dylkes’s story. The man who once caused a relatively unparalleled commotion, the likes of which has never happened in any other Ohio town in history, Joseph C. Dylkes is now almost affectionately known as the Leatherwood God. His ghost reportedly haunts the Salesville area, occasionally appearing as a misty figure in a white robe.
The origin of Salesville’s town name seems to be a mystery. It was platted in 1835 on Clay Pike by George Brill (1776 – 1860), who moved to Ohio from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Researching the genealogy on his family hasn’t been easy to sort out. George had at least one wife, Mary Kagg Brill (1781 – 1859) and somewhere between 10 and 20 children. The town plats were quickly bought up and attracted new businesses. A Methodist church was built in 1840 to replace the aging temple. In 1855 Salesville got a train station on the B&O Railroad and the post office opened that same year. By 1870 the town had a hotel, grist and saw mill, a few grocery, dry goods, and hardware stores, a school, physician, and a blacksmith. In 1873 the Methodists built another new church which still stands at the intersection of SR 265 and SR 761.
Salesville’s population peaked around 1880 with nearly 300 residents. It began to decline over the next few decades and the town didn’t get any major businesses in the 1900s to support new growth. Salesville lost its post office in 2002. The population in 2012 was about 130. School #1 and school #2, both closed now, sit next to each other on SR 265 in town. George Brill was buried with many of his family members in Salesville Hill United Brethren Cemetery on Elegy Lane on the north side of town. Some of the other early settlers and residents were buried in Leatherwood Cemetery on Frankfort Rd north of Salesville off of SR 265.
Guernsey County, Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources