We research and explore the coolest ghost towns and historic locations in Ohio!
Billings – Beaver Township Post Office: 1890 – 1899 Location:39.874529, -81.338337 on Grant Moore Rd at the intersection of Palestine Ridge Rd (Township Hwy 188) Remnants: none known Description: The proprietor and postmaster was Isaiah M. Moore (1826 – 1912). He married Nancy (Stephens) Moore (1837 – 1915), had 5 children, and the family owned a 56-acre farm on the west side of the intersection. Isaiah and Nancy were buried with relatives in Bates Hill Church (Bateville Hill) Cemetery 3 1/2 miles southwest of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of Bates Hill Rd and Red Brick Rd (Township Hwy 192).
Brookton – Brookfield Township Post Office: 1896 – 1904 Location:39.793186, -81.627841 on Chapel Dr at the intersection of Brookton Heights Remnants: none known Description: It was a small farming town with Augustus H. McFerren (1849 – 1917) serving as the first postmaster. Augustus was laid to rest with his wife, Lydia (McGee) Mcferren (1851 – 1919), and many other relatives in Hoskinsville (New Hoskinsville / Ragan Chapel) Cemetery about 3 miles southeast of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of Chapel Dr (Co Rd 20) and Town Hwy 40. He was succeeded as postmaster by James Bartlett (1850 – 1929) who also served as township trustee and justice of the peace. James married Celinda (Burlingame) Bartlett (1855 – 1926) in 1872 and had 9 children. They moved to Caldwell in retirement after living a very successful farming life. James was tragically killed by being struck by a car in Columbus at the age of 79. He was buried with relatives in Cumberland Cemetery 6 miles north of the GPS coordinates on SR 83 in Spencer Township, Guernsey County.
Center – Center Township
Location: 39.785219, -81.458378
on SR 147 at the intersection of Town Hill Rd (Town Hwy 139) along Buffalo Creek
Remnants: none known
Description: The town had a passenger shelter built in 1916 on the Ohio River & Western Railroad.
Claytona (Claytonia) – Jackson Township (formerly in Morgan County) Post Office: 1849 – 1905 Location: 39.607100, -81.528830 on Lowell Rd (Co Rd 75) between SR 339 (Crooked Tree Rd) and Lower Big Run Rd (Township Hwy 9) Remnants: none known
Description: Claytona was founded by Edward Clayton (b. 1824) from England who was the first postmaster, starting back when the office in Morgan County. Edward moved to the U.S. with his parents and siblings sometime in the early to mid-1800s. Noble was the last county formed in the state, created in 1851 from parts of Guernsey, Monroe, Morgan, and Washington County. Edward’s father Samuel Clayton (1795 – 1860) was laid to rest with other local residents, mostly English immigrants, in Taylor Cemetery about 2 3/4 miles north of the GPS coordinates just south of an unmarked road in the woods between Alfred Brown Rd (Town Hwy 10) and SR 339. The Clayton and Taylor families were related by marriage. According to census records, it appears Edward served in the Civil War and moved to Illinois. He married Elizabeth (Martin) Clayton (b. 1839) and had at least 3 children. Edward was buried with his wife and many other relatives, including his mother Mary (d. 1870), in Clayton Cemetery at the intersection of E 3800N Rd and N 1500East Rd in Rogers Township, Ford County, Illinois. The other know postmasters of Claytona were Thomas Wanstanley, George Bell, and Jacob T. Shuman. It had 2 local school, one on the north side of Lower Big Run Rd 1 1/2 miles southeast of the GPS coordinates the other 1 1/2 miles north of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of SR 339 and Town Hwy 25. The town was listed as Claytonia in the 1876 and 1879 county atlases, but the post office was always called Claytona.
Cliffyville – Stock Township Post Office: 1887 – 1914 Location: 39.706147, -81.332261 on Crum Ridge Rd (Co Hwy 45) along Mallet Creek between Spence Hill Rd (Township Rd 236) and Bettinger Ridge Rd (Town Hwy 242A) Remnants: Crum Ridge Church Of Christ 1 1/3 miles south of the GPS coordinates at the instersection of Crum Ridge Rd and Bettinger Ridge Rd, old houses and farm buildings in the area Description: Cliffyville was a small farming and postal town. Its known postmasters were John W. Morrison, B. T. Crum, J. H. Morrison, and William C. Crum. The Crum, Mallet, and Morrison families were the largest in the area, combining for over 100 interments in Crum Ridge Cemetery. The Crum family members were descendants of William and David Crum from Virginia, sons of Revolutionary War veteran Adam Crum who was an early settler in Monroe County. William platted Fredricktown (Crum Town) with 19 lots in 1854 just south of Cliffyville on SR 260 in Elk Township. It turned into present-day Elk, which had a post office from 1873 – 1910.
Hunter – Brookfield Township Location: 39.827934, -81.635299 on SR 340 (Belle Valley Rd) at the intersection of the northern end of Hutners Cut Rd (Town Hwy 90) Remnants: none known Description: It was founded by Samuel Hunter (1806 – 1891) from Pennsylvania and Eliza (Chapman) Hunter (1810 – 1897). They had 8 children and a large farm. Samuel was of Irish descent and his family arrived in the township around 1814. He lived in Muskingum, Morgan, and Noble County without ever moving from the homestead farm. The town had a school on the west side of SR 340 just northwest of the GPS coordinates and 3 coal mines in the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was originally on the Cleveland & Marietta Railroad, later the Bellaire, Zanesville & Cincinnati Railroad, and lastly the Ohio River & Western Railroad with a passenger shelter constructed in 1916. Samuel and Eliza were buried with relatives in Cumberland Cemetery about 2 3/4 miles northwest of the GPS coordinates on SR 83 in Spencer Township, Guernsey County.
Lexington – Marion Township Location: 39.777264, -81.355088 on Lexington Ridge Rd (Co Hwy 1) along Barnes Run between SR 78 (Woodsfield Rd) and SR 260 (Road Fork Rd) Remnants: none known Description: Lexington was the first proposed town in the county and was platted in 1818 by Thomas Emery and Jacob Young who were unable to pay off the land purchase. However, the location still acquired settlers, was an important trading point, and kept the area’s name of Lexington going for a few decades. It had a tavern, blacksmith shop, general store, grist mill, and a family of weavers. James Shankland (1800 – 1879) moved his general store from Summerfield to Lexington and purchased most of land and town plats. He converted it back to farmland around 1850 after Summerfield eventually won the local competition for businesses and residents. James was buried with relatives in Eastern Cemetery 2 1/3 miles northeast of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of N Main St and Cemetery Rd in Summerfield.
Rado – Jefferson Township Post Office: 1884 – 1903 Location: 39.696122, -81.380619 on Rado Ridge Rd at the intersection of Mallett Rd (Town Hwy 236) Remnants: Rado Cemetery on the east side of Rado Ridge Rd about 1/2 of a mile north of the intersection Description: Rado had a school on the south side of Mallett Rd about 1/2 of a mile west of the GPS coordinates and a Knights Of Pythias lodge. J. Burkhart was the first know postmaster. He was succeeded by Columbus M. Harper (1858 – 1944) who held the position until the office was discontinued. He married Mary (Davis) Harper (1854 – 1926) and was laid to rest with many relatives in Olive Cemetery at the intersection of Olive St and Cornstalk Rd in Caldwell. Burials in Rado cemetery date back to at least the early 1840s.
Scott – Brookfield Township Location:39.810670, -81.610348 on SR 340 (Belle Valley Rd) along Cole Run between the northern and southern ends of Hunters Cut Rd (Town Hwy 90) Remnants: former Scott Farm and Scott Cemetery on private property about 1/3 of a mile southeast of the GPS coordinates between SR 340 and Brookton Heights Description: The town founders and proprietors were John Scott (1822 – 1907) and Miriam (Thompson) Scott (1828 – 1891). They got married in 1849 and had 6 children. John was a farmer, township trustee and treasurer, and lived all of his life on the farm where he was born. The cemetery has over 100 burials, including John and Miriam, many of their relatives, and other early families from the area.
Soakum (Matrom) – Olive Township
Post Office: 1872 – 1873 Location: 39.732551, -81.519544 on SR 821 (Marietta Rd) at the intersection of Paul Clark (Town Hwy 64) Remnants: none known Description: It was platted in 1846 by Joseph Schofield (1782 – 1856) and had a grist mill, school, general store, whiskey stores, and a few other merchant shops. The town had some troubles with growth though and the arrival of the Cleveland & Marietta Railroad didn’t make any impact on that despite having a train station there. The official name was always Matrom, but the town was commonly referred to by locals as Soakum (Soak ’em) in its later years, with whiskey drinking and selling being pretty much all there was to do. Unfortunately, the town didn’t make it into the 1900s. The Soakum Festival was held for 25 years at Heritage Park in the Noble County Fairgrounds and showed what life was like around the area in the 1800s. When the festival was no longer viable, the committee ended its yearly tradition and donated over $25,000 in proceeds to the county historical society. The festival was reorganized in 2016 and has been going strong since its return. Joseph Schofield was buried with relatives in Olive Cemetery about 2 miles northeast of the GPS coordinates at the intersection of Olive St and Cornstalk Rd in Caldwell.
Vorhies – Center Township Location:39.795898, -81.465895 on SR 147 (Seneca Lake Rd) at the intersection of Or And W Tunnel Rd along Buffalo Creek Remnants: none known Description: The proprietors Peter Vorhies (1829 – 1910) and Mary (Williams) Vorhies (1833 – 1920) owned a 163-acre farm at the GPS coordinates and had a few children. Peter was also the county infirmary director in 1886. The Vorhies were buried with relatives in Guernsey County at Northwood Cemetery on N 10th St in Cambridge.
Wharton (Whartons) – Brookfield Township (formerly in Morgan County) Post Office: 1827 – 1860 Location:39.812698, -81.672146 on SR 83 (Renrock Rd) at the intersection of Chapel Dr (Co Rd 20) along Rannells Creek Remnants: none known Description: The town was founded by Andrew Wharton who moved to Ohio from Wheeling, West Virginia (formerly in Virginia) in 1816. He was the first justice of the peace in the township from 1819 – 1822, Morgan County Commissioner from 1820 – 1823, and built a combination general store and post office in 1827. Andrew passed away around 1835 and was buried at an unknown location. The other known succeeding postmasters were B. S. Wheeler, Russell Prouty Jr., Henry Bithel Jr., John Wilson, James Dougherty, William H. Gwynn, and D. Elder.
Crooked Tree – (1854 – present farming town with little growth)
Classification: small town
Location: Jackson Township, Noble County – On Crooked Tree Rd (SR 339) at the intersection of Township Hwy 10
Crooked Tree was laid out by James H. Steadman in 1854. He wanted to name the town Jacksonville but there was already a town in Ohio with the same name. The residents decided to name it after an unusual shaped tree in the area that was a widely known landmark. James H. Steadman is a man of mystery so to speak. We couldn’t find any info on him, so he probably just platted the town and moved on to somewhere else.
Crooked tree had a blacksmith shop, saddler, a family of shoemakers, several general stores, a school, and a new United Methodist Church that was built in 1872. It sits on SR 339 just south of the center of town next to Crooked Tree Cemetery. There was also a steam powered planing mill operated by H. C. Ogle and a post office that ran from 1858 – 1904. The last school the town had now sits in Heritage Park at the Noble County Fairgrounds along with a covered bridge, log cabin, and a small church that were moved there. They are open to the public at the Noble County Fair on County Rd 56 in Caldwell during the week before Labor Day.
Fulda, OH – (1861 – present farming town abandoned over time)
Classification: small town
Location: Enoch Township, Noble County – On Fulda Rd near the intersection of Archers Ridge Rd
In the 1830s German immigrants arrived and settled in what’s now part of Noble County, which wasn’t formed until 1851. Back then it was in Monroe County. The town was platted in 1861 on land owned by John Adam Brahler (1810 – 1873) and Maria Agnes (Spengenberg) Brahler (1801 – 1871), John S. Hohman (1810 – 1871), and Issac Morris (1777 – 1851). The Brahler and Hohman land was divided up for farm plats and the growing commercial section was mostly built on Issac Morris’s land. His daughter Rebecca (Morris) Archer (1800 – 1850) married Nathan Archer (1797 – 1845) who was the son of Revolutionary war veteran Captain James Archer (1747 – 1830). The Archers owned a sizable chunk of land north of town.
Fulda was named after a town in Germany where many of the residents were born. Farming tobacco and livestock raising were their main sources of income. The original St. Mary’s Church was built in 1853 but couldn’t accommodate the growing population. In 1875 the Immaculate Conception Church was constructed and still stands today as an impressive structure in the center of town. Fulda had a school in 1863 and updated to a newer one 1884. They taught both German and English. John Hohman ran a store from 1855 – 1876 and ended up moving to Kansas. Fulda also had a blacksmith and a shoemaker in its early days. In the 1880s there was a hotel, wagon shop, doctor, and a new general store. Fulda post office ran from 1875 – 1904.
The Brahlers and some of John Hohman’s descendants were buried in Fulda Cemetery around the corner on Otterslide Rd (County Hwy 2). Most of the Archer family was buried in Archers Ridge Cemetery about 3 miles north of town on Archers Ridge Rd. The old church there is an interesting sight to see. Fulda still has a few scattered residents but the population is far less than in its heyday.
Renrock, OH (Dyes Settlement) – (1806 – present farming and mill town with a decreasing population)
Classification: small town
Location: Brookfield Township, Noble County – On Renrock Rd (SR 83) near the intersection of Township Road 1 (Township Hwy 1153)
This little town started out as one of Noble County’s earliest settlements and was formerly in Monroe County. Ezekiel Dye (1750 – 1830) was a Revolutionary War veteran from New Jersey who had been granted 2,500 acres of land for his service. He was living in Pennsylvania at the time with his first wife Elizabeth (Cox) Dye (1752 – 1805). They were married in 1780 and had 11 children. Two of their sons left to develop the land in Ohio in 1804.
In 1806 it was named Dyes Settlement and Ezekiel moved there with his family and second wife Sarah Egbert (Paul) Dye (1763 – 1844). They had 9 more children. It’s been said that Ezekiel once boasted that you could do a lot if you have some land in that area and 20 kids, putting some humor into the fact that most people at the time turned their children into farmhands. His son Thomas Dye (1781 – 1865) built a horse mill and donated land for a church. Dyes Settlement started attracting more residents, so the Dye family sold off land to make more farm plats. A wool mill was constructed in 1841, a store in 1845, and a post office was built in 1850 which changed the town’s name to Renrock. There was also a blacksmith shop and another general store. Renrock lost its post office in 1916 when the mail started going to Cumberland a few miles to the north.
Ezekiel Dye and his second wife are buried at the Old Dye Cemetery on Dye Cemetery Rd (Township Hwy 1152). Thomas Dye and many of his family members are buried at Dye / Tilden Cemetery on SR 83 near the intersection of Township Hwy 13. More Dye graves can also be found at Renrock Methodist Protestant Cemetery on Township Road 1 (Township Hwy 1153).