Ghosts of Washington County on display in genealogy library
Most towns once located in Washington County no longer exist.
“There were 58 towns at one time,” said Margie Lasek, member of the Washington County Genealogical Society. “Isn’t that something to think there were that many?”
Only 12 of the towns made it to 2014.
A display of the towns can be found in the Genealogy Library at the Washington Public Library.
Lasek volunteered to create the display of the ghost towns about a year ago when the Genealogical Society celebrated its 30th anniversary.
“It turned out quite interesting,” she continued. “Our program chairman, Mrs. Twinam, asked if we could do something as an exhibit, and I offered to do this.”
There is a county map about the individual stories about the towns. The townships of the county are marked. Dots mark the sites of the former towns.
Lasek once lived in Highland Township near the town of Harrisburg. The founder, Nathan W. Burris, founded the town, and he founded a second town, Burris City, in Louisa County.
Harrisburg was laid out on June 29 and 30, 1855. One hundred homes were started, and the town boasted of a steam grist mill and brickyard. A church, school, stores, and a saloon were built. However, there was no post office.
Burris sold the town in 1855, before the town plat was made. People began leaving the town three years later. A general store operated until 1884. A new blacksmith shop was in the town in 1880 before the town disappeared.
Lasek found information about the ghost towns in old newspapers, from work done by Chuck Hotle, and from Kathy Fisher’s book, “In the Beginning There was Land.”
The names of other ghost towns include Crooked Creek, Juan, Lake, Marcellus, Eureka, Sandy Hook, Winchester, Verdi, Sharpsburg, Sicklerville, Astoria, Pottsville, Amboy, Xenia, Titus, Paris, Valley, Shupe Town, Glendora, Walhaven, Mount Jackson, Sheffield, Yatton, Middleburg, Yankee Diggins, Nira, Daytonville, Havre, Haskins, Clay, Grace Hill, Wellston, New Haven, Dublin, West Liberty, Davis Creek, Genoa, Dairy, White Ash, Bethel, Cedarville, Lexington, Seventy-Six Centre, Pilotburg, and Middleburg.