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Website / Forgotten Ohio

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Created in 1999 by Andrew Henderson, Forgotten Ohio is a website dedicated to chronicling explorations into the abandoned manmade structures of the state of Ohio's past.

Though Henderson's picture-rich accounts of his explorations through buildings are sometimes considered to be his site's main attraction, it is also host to extensive lists of ghost stories and ghost towns from Ohio's many boom-and-bust industries and early settler days, some of which may have only existed on paper.

Henderson is also author of Forgotten Columbus and co-author of Weird Ohio, due in part to the notoriety he gained from his site.

Unfortunately, the domain appears to have expired either in late 2018 or early 2019. The website is old enough, however, to have been extensively backed up by the Wayback Machine, pictures included, and can be read in its entirety from there.

This site provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: Henderson has visited a few, and even provides the page image from his visit to the Lima Tuberculosis Hospital. Others include the Franciscan Medical Center and the Broadview Heights Developmental Center.
  • Abandoned Mine: The Millfield Mine Explosion Site, the site of the worst mining disaster in Ohio history. All that remains are a smokestack, a clearing, a pair of hollowed-out, roofless buildings, and bricks and stones scattered everywhere from the blast.
  • Abandoned Playground: Americana Amusement Park, Fantasy Farm, and Chippewa Lake Amusement Park, in particular. As mentioned on the trope page, Chippewa even had trees growing up straight through the roller coasters and the Ferris wheel.
  • Company Town: Congo and San Toy, built by the Sunday Creek Coal Company.
  • Cult Colony: Utopia was home to a bizarre cult that believed that the world was about to enter a 35,000-year-long peace, that people were going to be organized into 'phalanxes' (like communes), and that the oceans were going to turn to lemonade.
  • Dying Town: There is one notable example on the site, since most of the towns he profiles have already died- Cheshire, a town built around a power plant that was bought out in its entirety (not just the plant, but the entire town) by American Electric Power. When Henderson visited a year after the buyout's announcement, the town and its 86 homes were 75% empty.
  • Ghost Town: Has an entire section dedicated to them.
  • Never Recycle a Building: Played straight for most of the places Henderson visits and justified for some that are so old they're better off standing as relics, but occasionally subverted when a building is renovated or even demolished after his visit.
  • Old, Dark House: Franklin Castle, Prospect Place, the Sidwell House, and many, many more. The Mudhouse Mansion, the Logan Round House, and the Octagon House deserve some special mentions- the former for its vigilant owner willing to vandalize cars that park near it and the latter two for being... weird.
  • Old School Building: The New Straitsville Public School was the school that DeRolph v. Ohio came out of. (More info on that case is on the page itself.) Others include the Somerset Township Public School, the Higginsport School, and several other little one-room schoolhouses.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Subverted in many of the places he's visited, but is occasionally played straight in some buildings that are still owned by somebody, such as the aforementioned Franciscan Medical Center, which even had running water and electricity.