There’s no doubt that Ohio is full of great stuff both abandoned and historical to explore, but what about southern Ohio? In this article we’re going to look at the top 13 abandoned places in southern Ohio.
Here’s a quick list of 10 abandoned places in southern Ohio.
- Roseville Prison
- Logan Roundhouse
- Haydenville Tunnel
- San Toy Jail
- Moonville Tunnel
- Marquette Cement Company
- Cincinnati Ghost Ship
- Cincinnati Subway
- Bellows Avenue School
- Peter’s Cartridge Company
1. Roseville Prison
One of southern Ohio’s most unique abandoned places is Roseville Penitentiary. The prison was constructed in the late 1920s to help relieve the overflowing prisons in the surrounding area. The entire prison itself was actually built with bricks the prisoners made themselves.
The prison was decommissioned in 1966 and has been sitting in a state of disrepair ever since.
In 2007 the property was sold to the Taggert family which has made it clear they do not want visitors. “This is our home. We do not want individuals coming onto our property, taking pictures without permission.”
2. Logan Roundhouse
Another southern Ohio oddity is the Logan Roundhouse AKA Stewart’s Folly. These unique homes were actually prototypes designed in the 1970s to withstand fire, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
The builder envisioned these homes to be built on coastlines and in earthquake zones. Unfortunately the home designer died along with the plans to continue building the Roundhouse.
Sadly the Logan Roundhouse fell victim to arson in 2016. Although designed to be fireproof, the concrete structure could not handle the heat from all the accelerants used. Unfortunately not much remains of the home today.
3. Haydenville Tunnel
If you haven’t heard of Haydenville Tunnel you’ve probably been living in a….tunnel?
Jokes aside, Haydenville Tunnel is a unique abandoned place in southern Ohio as well as a big part of the areas history.
The Haydenville tunnel was built in the late 1800s to help transport and gain access to the iron rich hills in southern Ohio.
Iron ore was transported through the tunnels to coal furnaces where it was smelted down and used in various industries. After many decades of use, the tunnel was eventually abandoned in 1957.
According to local lore, the tunnel is allegedly haunted with those who died working on site. I personally do not have any evidence to support those claims.
The tunnel extended nearly 1000 feet, but has since suffered multiple collapses making much of the tunnel impassible and extremely dangerous. At this time the tunnel is closed to the public.
4. San Toy Ghost Town Jail
San Toy was a booming mining town in southern Ohio that was founded in the late 1800s by the Sunday Creek Coal Company.
The town was known to be a rough place. Shootouts and robberies were common in the streets and saloons. The town was so wild in fact, a group of disgruntled miners lit a minecart full of railroad ties fire and pushed it into the coal mine.
That fire destroyed multiple buildings including a hospital and theater. Rather than rebuild, the Sunday Creek Coal Company shutdown the other mine and decided to close up shop.
Today less than 50 people live in the San Toy area and it is considered one of southern Ohio’s most prominent and wild ghost towns.
5. Moonville Tunnel
Another one of my favorite abandoned places in southern Ohio is the old Moonville Tunnel.
Just like the Haydenville tunnel, the Moonville Tunnel was built to support the coal mining boom in the 1800s.
The only way to traverse the dense forested area was to walk the tracks to and from town. By 1920 six people had died either on the tracks on in tunnel itself.
It’s also said that in 1986 a 10 year old girl was hit by a train and killed, however there is no record of this online or with the NTSB.
As the mines dried up the mining town slowly dissolved. The hundred or so people who used to work and live in the area left, and few remnants of the town outside of the tunnel remain. The rail line was finally retired from use in 1988.
The Moonville Tunnel area is still considered to be one of the least populated counties in all of Ohio.
6. Marquette Cement Company
Another abandoned southern Ohio gem is Marquette Cement Company. This cement mill was erected in 1907 and was able to handle up to 2000 barrels per day.
Due to labor disputes, Marquette closed it’s doors in 1986. The land was repurchased in 1988 but nothing was ever done with the property, or the plant itself.
7. Cincinnati Ghost Ship
This is one of my all time favorite abandoned places in southern Ohio because it is just so unique.
This abandoned ship, formally known as the Circle Line V was launched in 1902, and has seen it’s fair share of adventure over it’s lifetime.
The Circle Line V has fought in two world wars, been a luxury yacht, and even featured in a music video. This ship now rests in the murky waters between Kentucky and Cincinnati.
So the question remains, how did this ship become abandoned in right off of the Ohio River?
In 1986 the Circle Line left the New York harbor to set sail to a piece of land the captain owned just south of Cincinnati. This would be it’s last voyage.
The captain navigated the ship through the Great Lakes, down the Ohio River, and eventually into the small creek where it sits abandoned today.
It now rests on private property where visitors are not welcome.
8. Cincinnati Subway
Constructed in 1920, this incomplete subway system stretches two miles beneath the streets of Cincinnati. When the war ended in 1918 construction costs were on the rise. By 1919 the project cost had doubled.
By 1929 the mayor had decommissioned the Rapid Transit Commission, which was in charge of completing the subway system. Throughout the years there were plans to continue work on the subway, but every attempt fell through.
Access to the tunnels and it’s stations are sealed, but if you did find your way down there be ready for a lot of walking!
9. Bellows Avenue School
Closed in 1982 the Bellows Avenue School in Columbus Ohio has an old charm about it that is found with most abandoned places in southern Ohio.
Although the school has been sitting empty for nearly 40 years it remains mostly undamaged on the outside due to it’s hardy foundation and overall excellent construction.
Initially the city planned to demo the building, but those plans have been put on hold. Recent news suggests the property may be protected and preserved in the near future.
10. Peter’s Cartridge Company
This abandoned place in southern Ohio is definitely on the larger side, with lots to explore.
Peter’s Cartridge Company was built in 1916 and specialized in the production of ammunition. It was known to be ground zero for many explosions during it’s life time.
By 1889 the factory was producing four thousands cartridges per hour, but that amount of production often came at the cost of safety.
In 1890 a massive explosion between two railway cars killed twelve people and destroyed much of the railyard factories, offices, and employee homes.
In 1940 an explosion from the plant was so massive, it shattered windows over 30 miles away.
After supplying ammunition for both World Wars the plant changed hands a few times. Once to be used to manufacturer photographic records, and then again in the 1960s to eventually be used as warehouse space.
The grounds are listed as a superfund site by the EPA due to lead and mercury ground contamination.
Hopefully this helps my fellow Ohioians get started finding more abandoned places in southern Ohio!
Be sure to comment below if you have anything you’d like to share.
And as always check out our guide on how to get permission to go to abandoned places.