Wednesday, April 26, 2017

From the Archives Part 9: Brown County, OH

Rambling and wandering down the roadside in Brown County back in 2014.

In November 2013, I published a story entitled “There Has to Be Something Better Than Buffalo Sauce Flavored Sunflower Seeds.” It was the story of an impulsive day trip to nearby Louisville, KY at a time in my life when I felt awful. I came away from that trip (and that article) not feeling any better, and a few months after that, things got even lower. By the summer of 2014, things still weren’t going that great, and I found myself pondering another trip, one that would hopefully be more therapeutic.

I was on I-71 North, debating heading up to Columbus, where the Ohio State Fair was in full swing. A place where I could make some nostalgia invoking photographs while indulging in corn dogs and deep fried ice cream. Ultimately, I knew that would be pretty unfulfilling and I remember an offer my friend Caitlin once made me: we’d go out to her hometown of Georgetown, OH and around Brown County to check it out. I called her up, she told me where to meet her and off we went, not even batting an eye at the thought of blowing of any of the day’s responsibilities to go wandering. Caitlin functioned not only as a local guide, but someone who could distract me from my own thoughts. I was incredibly appreciative to get away both physically and mentally that day.

In past years, I used to commute regularly to the eastern side of the state, naively cruising past the area Caitlin was about to show me. The first thing we found was the abandoned drive-in known as Lake Drive-In and featured in another post.

- Remains of the Lake Drive-In Theatre

Following that, we set out to see the rest of the area from historic bridges to farm field landscapes, abandoned homes, and decaying mailboxes:

- Rumpke's eastern "Mt. Rumpke" landfill.

We stopped to see some historic and beautiful architecture as well. Unfortunately, the bowling alley wasn’t open when we passed by:

On our way back to Cincinnati, we stopped in Ripley, Ohio along the river…

…before finally making a stop to pay our respects at the grave of Rosa Washington Riles, the original “Aunt Jemima.”

Sorry, Caitlin, that I just now got around to posting these, but thanks for helping me three years ago at a time when I needed it most. It means more than you know.

Over time, a lot of urban exploration content has been featured on QC/D. During the past ten or so years, some photographs and stories from my interest in documenting abandoned, forgotten, or little-known locations have fallen by the wayside. They were either never featured or only had a small mention. Over the next few weeks, this “From the Archives” series will dig up some of those older stories and share more history and exploration of abandoned places across the Midwest. 


  1. Xenia Ohio is worth visiting for a day.

    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll add it to the list.

  2. I grew up in Aberdeen, about 10 miles to the east and went to HS in Ripley. It's not much, but it's home. It's also full of history and was an important stop on the Underground Railroad as was Maysville, Ky just down the road and across the river. Maysville would be worth a photo trip, for sure.

    1. Hi Anon,

      Thanks so much for the comment. I've had the opportunity to visit Maysville once before, but definitely need to stop back by there again.