Congo, OH – (1891 – present coal mining & railroad town slowly abandoned over time)
Classification: semi – ghost town
Location: Monroe Township, Perry County – On Scenic Rd SE (County Rd 68)
Congo hit the map when the coal mining started & 40 houses were built for the employees. The ownership & management of the mines changed several times over the decades which seemed to keep the town from moving forward & growing at times. It never had a big population & has been getting smaller since the mines shut down in 1954. Congo had a post office from 1892 – 1959. There are some abandoned buildings, old foundations, & smaller remnants in the area.
Hatfield’s Crossing, OH (Hatfield) – (early 1800s – 1903 grist & saw mill town destroyed by floods)
Classification: ghost town
Location: Monroe Township, Perry County – Along Sunday Creek under the bridge on SR 13 near the intersection of Township Hwy 295
It was a large mill town named after the family of John Hatfield (1818 – 1920) & Alice (Darnell) Hatfield (1821 – 1897). They settled on farmland a few miles south of Corning & had 9 children. The town became a transportation hub with crossroads going in all directions. Township Hwy 295 was an old stagecoach road. There are reports that the foundation to one of the Hatfield’s mills & a few buildings can be found in the area. Some residents stayed after the 1903 flood but everyone eventually left after flooding in later years. John Hatfield was buried in Dew Cemetery on Irish Ridge Rd.
New Straitsville, OH – (1870 – present coal mining & railroad town)
Classification: historic town
Location: Coal Township, Perry County – On SR 93 at the intersection of SR 216
The town was originally called Straitsville & was located about a mile to the north of New Straitsville on County Rd 38 (Old Town Rd). Straitsville post office ran from 1848 – 1870. Residents moved further south as time went on. New Straitsville is nicknamed the “Bootleg Capital Of Ohio” after its former moonshine producing days & holds an annual Moonshine Festival on Memorial Day weekend. A local mine fire has been burning since 1884 & was set by the coal miners during a labor strike. Robinson’s Cave is on Railroad Rd off of Main Street on the south side of town where mining labor meetings were held.
Moonshine Festival Info – http://www.ofea.org/festivals-and-events/festivals/moonshine-festival.html
Rendville, OH – (1870s – present coal mining & railroad town mostly abandoned during the Great Depression)
Classification: small town
Location: Monroe Township, Perry County – On SR 13 at the intersection of Valley St
It’s currently Ohio’s smallest town with 36 residents in the 2010 census. Rendville was established by William P. Rend (1840 – 1915), a Civil war veteran who later moved to Chicago & turned into a railroad, coal, & oil tycoon. William built whatever his employees needed including grocery stores, saloons, & hotels. The town had around 1,000 residents at its peak in the 1880s. Rendville was hit hard by the Great Depression & has been losing residents since then. The town lost its post office in the early 1980s. Many early settlers are buried in Rendville Cemetery at the end of Main St off of SR 13.
Thanks to group member Brett Taylor, manager of Ohio Hiking Trails And Historical Sites, for providing the listing picture! Thanks also to group member Tammy Altman for providing the info on William P. Rend!
San Toy, OH (1900 – present mining town that was nearly abandoned but later repopulated)
Classification: semi – ghost town
Location: Monroe Township, Perry County – At the intersection of Santoy Rd & Town Hwy 452
The Sunday Creek Coal Company built San Toy in 1900 to house & accommodate its workers. This rough and rowdy mining town at the northern edge of Ohio’s Hanging Rock Region had a roller coaster worth of ups and downs. San Toy boomed from the very beginning & made its best attempt to maintain law and order in a densely populated community. The town’s former jail, at the southwest corner of the intersection of Santoy Road and Township Highway 452, hides out in a wooded lot these days and appears to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Across Santoy Road from the jail, a water well pump house has lost its roof but the walls are still intact. The town’s tough reputation was partly due to its large number of saloons & drinking being the biggest after work hobby. San Toy had the only hospital in the county at the time and needed it for both for the mine workers and those injured in bar brawls & street fights. It also had a theater & a baseball team for entertainment. The baseball team competed against other mining company & small town teams in the area.
In 1924 a group of disgruntled workers pushed a cart full of flaming logs down into a mine shaft during a labor dispute. The fire destroyed the mine, hospital, & theater. After the dispute was settled, mining continued until 1927 when the coal company decided it didn’t want to invest in the location anymore. Instantly losing their main industry, San Toy’s citizens didn’t have many other options & most moved away as soon as possible. A set of steps that don’t go anywhere anymore climbs into oblivion where a house used to be near the jail.
The few residents that stayed behind kept the town going with revenue from making moonshine. Between 1927 and 1930 San Toy lost more residents than any other town in the United States. Seventeen of its nineteen remaining citizens voted to abandon the town in 1931. There are now newer residences in the area among the remnants of the ghost town & it still goes by the name San Toy.
Shawnee, OH – (1872 – present coal mining & railroad town slowly abandoned over time)
Classification: semi – ghost town
Location: Salt Lick Township, Perry County – On SR 93 at the intersection of SR 155
It was the largest town in Perry County for decades but keeps getting smaller as more people move away. Shawnee now has just a fraction of its peak population & was at 655 residents in the 2010 census. Main Street looks like a brick town from the late 1800s to early 1900s with only a few buildings still in operation. The majority of them are abandoned along with many other small business & homes in the area due to the mining industry leaving & competition from large chain department stores in nearby towns.
Thanks to group member Brett Taylor, manager of Ohio Hiking Trails And Historical Sites, for providing the listing picture!
Perry County Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources
1859 – Perry County Map
1875 – Perry County Atlas
1941 – Perry County Atlas
1883 – History Of Fairfield And Perry Counties Ohio
1902 – History Of Perry County Ohio