More Travels into the Haunted Landscapes, Ghost Towns, and Forgotten Lives
The Kent State University Press
A fascinating look at Ohio’s forgotten history
Take a leisurely tour across the Buckeye State with author Randy McNutt to a massive swamp that swallowed pioneers’ wagons, a haunted prison, a faded German utopia, a town where they still chase horse thieves, a marriage mecca, a village where Buster the dog voted Republican, and a myriad of abandoned “ghost towns” and small cities.
In Lost Ohio McNutt, who has devoted his career to uncovering forgotten Ohio and its spirited inhabitants, continues his travels around the state in an attempt to discover vanishing traces of our lives—celebrations, motels, road art, drive-in theaters, traditions, inventions, folk tales, battlefields, and forts. His journeys rediscover missing pieces of our past that reflect a state of mind as well as a collection of landscapes. McNutt’s vanishing Ohio is a place where rural America converges with small cities and fading history and disappearing culture, lost to burgeoning technology, global economy, technological immediacy, and time. He visits Fizzleville, Sodaville, and Footville; the hollow, metal globe that is the final resting place of Captain John C. Symmes, who theorized that the earth was hollow and access to the core was through the polar caps; the Mansfield Reformatory, Ohio’s largest and toughest haunted house; Waynesville, home of the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival; and Harry Dearwester, the “carny” who guesses peoples’ weight with 90 percent accuracy.
This serious but offbeat journey around Ohio will appeal to those interested in heritage tourism, Americana, Ohio history and lore, and back roads and smalltown life.