book cover abandoned ohio

Featuring 2 towns with 6 pictures from Preble County, along with historical research about the locations, “Abandoned Ohio” was released by Fonthill Media & Arcadia Publishing on October 1st, 2018. It’s packed with history, ideas for road trips, & also makes an awesome birthday or holiday gift!

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Beechy Mire – Dickson Township
Post Office: 1833 – 1846
Location: unknown
Description: It was listed as a postal town in the Ohio Gazetteer And Traveler’s Guide from 1837 – 1841.

Belfast – Jefferson
Location: 39.836160 -84.778569   
on US 40 (National Rd) between SR 320 & Elkhorn Rd
Remnants: none known 
Description: Belfast was platted in 1832 but couldn’t keep up with Gettysburg which was platted the same year. Gettysburg’s proprietor John Curry (1805 – 1875) was determined to have the best town in the area. Some residents of Belfast were buried in Gettysburg Cemetery on Oxford Gettysburg Rd.

Claysburg – Israel Township
Location: 39.626440 -84.759677   
on Cramer Rd at the intersection of SR 725
Remnants: none known
Description: Claysburg was platted in 1833 & listed in the Ohio Gazetteer And Traveler’s Guide from 1837 – 1841.

Corvin – Dixon Township
Post Office: 1885 – 1892
Location: 39.699495 -84.741622   
on California School Rd at the intersection of Wyatt Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: Many residents were buried in Concord Cemetery on Concord Fairhaven Rd.

Crawfordsville – Jackson Township
Location: 39.787607 -84.706515   
on Crawfordsville Campbellstown Rd at the intersection of US 35
Remnants: Bonebrake (New Hope) Cemetery on Cemetery Rd off of US 35 south of the GPS coordinates
Description: Crawfordsville was platted in 1842 by Conrad Frey & still had around a dozen houses in the early 1880s, but it couldn’t compete with New Hope which was growing faster. Some of Crawfordsville’s residents, including Daniel Strader (1811 – 1895) who lived there the longest, were buried in Bonebrake (New Hope) Cemetery.

Currystown – Jefferson Township
Location: 39.834971 -84.723267 
on Oxford Gettysburg Rd along Seven Mile Ditch
Remnants: Curry Cemetery at the GPS Coordinates
Description: The town was founded by members of the Curry family in the area prior to the platting of Gettysburg by John Curry in 1832. Currystown never grew much outside of the original family farm  & construction of the National Road (US 40) to the north, made its location obsolete. The family dream of establishing a successful town lived on through Gettysburg though, which is still in existence today. Revolutionary War veteran Robert Curry was the first burial in the cemetery in 1816.

Ernest (Concord) – Dixon Township
Post Office: 1890 – 1902
Location: 39.713233 -84.769597   
on Concord Fairhaven Rd between Concord Rd & California School Rd
Remnants: Concord Church & Cemetery at the GPS coordinates, Harshman Covered Bridge south of the gps coordinates
Description: The post office was in the church. Harshman Covered Bridge was built in 1894 by Everett Sherman (1831 – 1897) & made it onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Hagerstown – Monroe Township
Post Office: 1832 – 1855
Location: 39.909576 -84.607114
on Holtzmuller Rd along Twin Creek at the intersection of Euphemia Castine Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: It had the first post office in the township & sat around the crossing of the Cincinnati Northern Railroad & the Dayton & Western Railroad. Their train stations were at West Manchester & Browns Station though. Hagerstown was last seen in the 1871 Preble County Atlas & disappeared in the 1880s.

Mercersburg – Gratis Township
Location: unknown, was east of Greenbush near the Montgomery County line
Description: none found

Morningstar – Lanier Township
Location: 39.698238 -84.537844     
on SR 503 along Twin Creek between Halderman Rd & Carlton Rd
Remnants: none known
Description: It was founded by George Morningstar (1779 – 1862) & Elizabeth (Sweitzer) Morningstar (1783 – 1851) who had 7 children & a successful farm. They were buried with relatives in Eikenberry (Wheatville) Cemetery on Quaker Trace Rd.

Oklahoma – Washington Township
Location: 39.786440 -84.633842   
on US 127 at intersection with SR 726 along Bantas Fork
Remnants: former school on SR 726 at the interesection of Alexander Rd, old houses in the area
Description: The Bantas family was the biggest in town. Most of them moved to Kansas. Oklahoma also had a steam powered saw mill on the north side of Alexander Rd at the corner of SR 726.

Orangeburg (Orangeburgh) – Jefferson Township
Location: 39.838660 -84.746901   
on Orangeburg Rd at the intersection of US 40 (National Rd)
Remnants: none known
Description: Orangeburg had the same story as Belfast. In the 1881 History Of Preble County, Ohio a line reads “Of Oragngeburg it may be said that the town cannot be seen for the houses, and of Belfast, the houses cannot be seen for the town.” Neither lasted much longer. Some residents of Orangeburg were buried in Gettyburg Cemetery on Oxford Gettysburg Rd.

Brinley Station, OH – (1855 – 1902 railroad & farming town that was abandoned)

Classification: ghost town

Location: Jefferson Township, Preble County – On New Paris – El Dorado Rd about a mile east of Morrison – Mikesell Rd

The only remnant left is the old railroad path that can be seen from the road. The area was settled by John Brinley (1782 – 1827) & Achsah (Harvey) Brinley (1782 – 1865) in 1816. Their son Sylvester Brinley (1816 – 1905) donated land for a train station in 1855 on the Dayton & Western Railroad. He built a general store in 1858 & established a post office that ran from 1860 – 1902. The Brinley family was buried in Old North New Paris Cemetery at the southern end of New Paris – El Dorado Rd.

College Corner – Hueston Woods Covered Bridge

College Corner, OH – (1837 – present farming & stagecoach stop town)

Classification: small town

Location: Israel Township Preble County & Oxford Township, Bulter County – On US Route 27 at the intersection of Jones Rd

Gideon Sears Howe (1799-1875) and Sarah (McClay) Howe (1808-1883) purchased a section of land on US Route 27 from Miami University in Oxford in 1832 and built a stagecoach stop with a tavern and inn. They platted College Corner in 1837 and sold the tavern in 1840. Successive owners continued similar operations into the 1970s. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It’s currently listed on for overnight stays. College Corner was never a large town, but the strategic location on the border with Indiana has always kept it intact. The current population is around 400 residents.

Hueston Woods Covered bridge on Camden College Corner Road was constructed in 2012. It’s 108 feet long and spans Four Mile Creek. This late 1800s wooden replica replaced an aging iron bridge that was built in 1929. The wide road lanes and tall roof clearance accommodate most automobile traffic while pedestrian sidewalks on each side grant access to cross the creek or hang out for a moment to enjoy the view. There’s also a nice picnic area on the east side of the bridge and Hueston Woods State Park offers many activities such as camping, hiking, golfing, and mountain biking.

Fairhaven – Bunker Hill House Mast General Store

Fairhaven, OH – (early 1800s – present farming & stagecoach stop town with no growth)

Classification: small town

Location: Israel Township, Preble County – On SR 177 at the intersection of Israel – Somers Rd

Fairhaven became a town sometime around 1833 when its post office was established. Construction of the Bunker Hill House on SR 177 took place from 1834 – 1838. It was a stagecoach stop on the Hamilton, Fairhaven, & Richmond Turnpike. The massive building served as a hotel & had a tavern until 1858 when a railroad was built through Camden which took travelers past Fairhaven. In 1862 the Bunker Hill House expanded again with a general store.

Local resident Gabriel Smith was a member of the Friends Of Freedom Society & helped runaway slaves escape from the south during the Civil War. He lived at the Bunker Hill House for a while & hid slaves in his room under a stairway next to the servants quarters. Smith was buried in Fairhaven Cemetery on Israel – Somers Rd. The Bunker Hill House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 & is described by Ohio Historical Marker #3 – 68 in its side yard.

The general store closed in the early 1900s & the town lost its post office in 1932. There are also several other old buildings & residences in the area. Harshman Covered Bridge was built in 1894 on Concord – Fairhaven Rd about 4 miles north of town. Its 109 feet long and spans Four Mile Creek. Fairhaven’s population was 273 in 1895. It’s probably smaller than that today & wasn’t included in the 2010 census.

Wheatville – Eikenberry Cemetery

Wheatville, OH – (mid 1800’s – present farming & mill town with less residents than in the past)

Classification: small town

Location: Lanier Township, Preble County – On SR 122 at the intersection of Quaker Trace Rd (County Rd 65)

Wheatville was settled in 1807 by Henry Eikenberry (1771 – 1828) & Mary (Landis) Eikenberry (1772 – 1858). They had 6 kids in Virginia and a seventh child was born in Preble County shortly after they moved there. Wheatville – Eikenberry Cemetery, where most of the Eikenberry family was buried, is on Quaker Trace Rd. There are also several abandoned schools in the area. School #7 is a couple miles north on Halderman Rd, another one is to the east on SR 503, & Andrews Schoolhouse is southwest of town on Aukerman Creek Rd. Wheatville was named after the flour mills that were its major source of income in the 1800s. The town had a post office from 1853-1857.


Preble County Ohio Ghost Towns Research Resources

1871 – Preble County Atlas

1887 – Preble County Map

1897 – Preble County Map

1912 – Preble County Atlas

1881 – History Of Preble County Ohio

1900 – A Biographical History Of Preble County Ohio

1915 – History Of Preble County Ohio