Ghost Towns: Blackburn, Brashears, Brush, Cedar Falls, Consol, Dewey Junction, Fork Junction, Happy Hollow, Hopperville, Joe, Jobs, Kachelmacher, Lost Run, Max, Nancy, Needmore, New Pittsburg, Pattonsville, Pine Grove, Point Pleasant, Pursell, Reeds, Rockhouse, Smock, South Carbon Hill, Summit, Winona

Apple, OH (mid 1800s – present farming town)

Classification: small town

Location: Salt Creek Township, Hocking County – Near the intersection of Lively Rd & Pole Ridge Rd

There isn’t much info online about Apple & we suspect the reason is that quite simply nothing extraordinary good or bad has ever really happened there. It seems to be a relatively peaceful place to live. It was named for the abundance of apple orchards in the area in the mid 1800s. A cemetery was established in the early 1850s on Pleasant Ridge Rd north of the center of town & the Zion Church congregation organized in 1855 across the street.

The church building was constructed in the late 1850s. It’s been closed for several years now. The town also had a grocery store in the 1870s on Andrew Poling’s (1814 – 1887) farm, the former site of the post office, & was operated by one of his sons. Apple’s population probably peaked in the 1880s with about 100 residents & the post office ran from 1891 – 1911. There’s an abandoned house with a few outbuildings behind the church & a couple more in the woods around town.

Haydenville, OH (1852 – present mining & company store town, the last company town in Ohio)

Classification: small town

Location: Green Township, Hocking County – On Haydenville Rd off of US 33

Peter Hayden (1806 – 1888) was a businessman from New York who recently moved to Columbus. He immediately set out to build his fortune in Ohio with the booming industries of the mid 1800s. Peter founded the town of Haydenville in 1852 with big plans for its future. He had an iron furnace moved from Hanging Rock, OH by canal to Haydenville in 1856. The Haydenville Railroad Tunnel was also built that same year & is said to be haunted by some of the workers who died during its construction. It can be found on a trail that goes north out of the cemetery on Howard Rd. Unfortunately a collapse inside the tunnel has rendered it unsafe to explore.

The Hocking Canal provided easy access into town, but when Haydenville got a train station on the Hocking Valley & Toledo Railroad, things began to move much faster. Peter Hayden also ran a foundry, bank, hardware store, & the company store. The train station was built in 1903 & currently sits abandoned on the tracks near Wandling Rd. The townspeople construced a Methodist Church & a post office in 1870, a school, & also built most of their own houses. Hiring an outside contractor rarely happened. The Haydenville Mining & Manufacturing Co. was formed in 1882, engaging in brick & tile making. The town’s other main sources of income were the iron furnace & nearby clay, iron, & coal mines. The people who lived there basically worked for the town, purchased what they could from the company store, & didn’t get much more out of it than that. They also took a certain earned pride in it all though, being part of a community that made the town their own.

Haydenville & its industries were hit hard by the Great Depression. The railroad tunnel was abandoned in 1957 & the company went out of business in 1965, giving Haydenville the distinction of being Ohio’s last company town. Haydenville’s historic district was listed on the National Register Of Historic Places in 1973. Ohio Historical Marker #4 – 37 at 1635 Haydenville Rd tells much of the town’s story. Many of the early residents were buried in Haydenville Cemetery on Howard Rd.

Brett Jobs 2

Jobs, OH (Jobs Hollow) – (late 1800s – mid 1900s coal & railroad town abandoned over time)

Classification: ghost town

Location: Ward Township, Hocking County – On Jobs – New Pisttsburg Rd off of SR 78, about a mile south of Murray City

The town was named after William Job (1843 – 1931) who was one of the most prominent coal company operators in the Hocking Valley. It had several mines, a row of houses, & a post office from 1890 – 1924. The train station was on the Hocking Valley Railway. In May of 1882 the residents of Jobs broke the world record for mining coal in a single day with 4,888 tons of coal in 243 cars. The mines were last operated by the Sunday Creek Coal Co. who recently sold the land to the state & it’s now managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. They’re going to turn it into a state wildlife area. Jobs Church & last standing house on Jobs – New Pittburg Rd were demolished in 2013. Any remaining open mine entrances will be covered up too.

Thanks to group member Brett Taylor, manager of Ohio Hiking Trails & Historical Sites, for the listing lead, pic, & providing most of the info on Jobs! Thanks also to Tom Young from Zanesville for updating us on the status of Jobs in October 2013!

Murray City, OH – (1873 – present coal mining & railroad town slowly abandoned over time)

Classification: small town

Location: Ward Township, Hocking County – On SR 78 at the intersection of SR 216

It was named after John Murray Brown (1839 – 1893), an early settler who bought up the land & laid out the town in 1873. He also built a hotel in 1875 for local workers but sold out his interests in the community a few years later to a larger coal company. Brown moved to Somerset, OH, then Columbus, & later Detroit, MI where he died & was buried in Woodmere Cemetery.  

Murray City was incorporated in 1891 & was once one of the largest coal towns in the country with over 2,000 residents. It had a semi – pro football team in the 1920s, the Murray City Tigers, which is now in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. The town continues to lose more residents since the mines shut down with a current population of around 450. Its former train depot has been converted into a museum. 

Thanks to group member Tammy Altman for providing the info on John Murray Brown!

Brett Orbiston

Orbiston, OH – (1877 – mid 1950s iron furnace & coal town abandoned over time)

Classification: small town

Location: Ward Township, Hocking County & Trimble Township, Athens County – Off of SR 78 near the intersection of York Rd 

Orbiston grew quickly in its early days after Ogden Furnace was built in 1877 by the Ogden Iron Company. Most of the local residents mined coal & iron for furnace production & some had jobs on the Hocking Valley Railway that ran through town. The furnace was sold a few times over the years & was eventually owned by the Hocking Iron Co. who changed the name to Helen Furnace. Orbiston had a population of about 500 is 1883, a post office that ran from 1877 – 1924, & a school that existed until sometime around 1930.

It’s unknown if there’s anything left of the furnace, but we suspect that at least the foundation is probably still visible, along with some foundations from other buildings, & maybe a few mine shaft entrances. Some of the residents were buried in Bethel Ridge Cemetery (Athens County). From Orbiston, just north of where the town was, make a right turn onto Goose Run Rd & take the first right onto a small gravel road. 

Thanks to group member Brett Taylor, manager of Ohio Hiking Trails & Historical Sites, & his sister Debby Taylor for providing the listing lead, pic, & some of the info on Orbiston!

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Hocking County Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources

1876 – Hocking County Atlas

1883 – History Of Hocking Valley Ohio