Ghost Town
(becoming its own namesake by Findlay, Ohio)

Normally when we are returning from visiting relatives in the south, we cut across Tennessee and then up through Kentucky and Indiana.  But in 2007, we had been invited to stop by Donna's cousins new place in Cincinnati, so we were coming up I-75 into Ohio.  After leaving there, while we were on the interstate, I noticed one of those little red boxes on the State Farm Rand McNally road atlas that identifies a "point of interest."  It said simply "Ghost Town."    


I suggested we might want to make a little side trip to see what Ghost Town was all about . . . and so . . . on a clear beautiful afternoon, we did just that. 



"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die . . .                                  
                         . . . a time to break down, and a time to build up"

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 (KJV)    




What we discovered was that Ghost Town was in the process of becoming what its name described it to be.  But it did not start out as such.  At one time, it was apparently a mixture of relics and buildings meant to bring the past alive.  The sister of the current owner (at the time of our stopping there in 2007) lived next door to the property.  She told Donna her dad had started it in 1959, but that he had passed away about seven years prior, and now her brother had it.  According to her, he (the brother) did not open it regularly, like the father had.  We could see it was falling into quite a state of disrepair.  She said someone had offered her brother a substantial price a couple of years earlier, but that he had turned the purchase down.  A photo I took of a copy of the Ghost Town Picayune newspaper, that was dated Monday, May 5, 1969, indicated Ghost Town was indeed entering its tenth season that year (1969).  Shown as Volume One, Number One, Ghost Town, Ohio, it carried a price of ten cents, and sported the slogan, "History brought back to life for Findlay and the surrounding Area."  I suspect it was quite the place to visit in its heyday. 


Donna and the sister chatted for some time.  We explained how we had come to be there, and I gave her one of my cards.  I told her about my website and the scrapbook photos section.  Although the place was officially closed and all the buildings were locked, we were allowed to walk the grounds so I could take some pictures to share with you. 








I did an Internet search to see what the status of Ghost Town was when I began working on this web page.  There was no website for them, and very little about the place or its history.  After clicking on quite a number of non-relevant or dead-end "possibilities" offered in my search results, I found it amusing that the America’s By-ways website ( gave the following description along with its basic (hours, location, etc) information . . . "The Ghost Town is located in Hancock County 7.8 miles south of Findlay, Ohio.  The town has been fully reconstructed and has 28 buildings, including an antique museum.  Come see each historically accurate building, such as the general store, bank, post office, and sheriff station.  Each building contains museum like exhibits that feature everything from Indian artifacts to a collection of old funeral carriages.  Don't miss the large train complete with cars and caboose on display.  The park also boasts an annual craft shows" . . . without any hint that it might not actually still be open. ( along with the basics of "Ghost Town - Closed" — "Hours: Closed - No Trespassing" — "Visitor Tips and News about Ghost Town - Closed" — was a little more telling through the comments others had posted on their site . . .  

August 23, 2008 a traveler wrote, "I am sorry to say that Ghost Town is closed.  We took a chance and stopped on our way up to Michigan. The back roads to get there are fun . . . they go through corn fields and there are some nice old houses to get a look at.  But, unfortunately, Ghost Town is really a ghost town." 

July 15, 2004 a visitor offered, "We were pleased to find Ghost Town still open to the public, and still maintained by Mr. Galitza, who took over after his father passed away.  He went out of his way to get the attractions ready for us  —  we were the first visitors that day, and probably this year (He was a little delayed because of so much rain.).  It was similar to how I remembered it from my last visit in 1973, but with an added sitting area . . . There was music playing as well to help set the tone as we walked around: Bonanza, and the themes from every Clint Eastwood Western . . . My children had a great time exploring the old country store, the jail, and Boot Hill.  There is even a covered bridge that Mr. Galitza and his father built themselves. 

Then from October 28, 2000 we read from an individual who was not so impressed, "On a Rand McNally Atlas it is listed in pink and the most north western part of Ohio (attractions in pink are parks, theme parks, etc I believe).  In an effort to find something creepy we headed out from Pittsburgh, PA. It took about 10 hours and after initially missing the sign for the turn we finally arrived at the Ghost Town.  Only we discovered that it was a closed children's attraction, centered around old cowboy/train myths (with entirely kid-sized buildings).  There were no trespassing signs posted all over the place.  There is a small residential house about 50 feet from the fence that surrounds the Ghost Town, and although old polka music could be heard emitting from within no one answered our calls.  It is not very big at all . . . certainly not worthy of being shown on a road atlas.  Just wanted to let you know, so you could warn all people from making the trek out there as they will be greatly disappointed." 

The fact that the oldest entry (last above) was dated three days from Halloween explains the disappointment of not finding something more "ghostly" at an attraction called "Ghost Town"  But, beyond that, I am struck by the fact it must have been somewhere in the vicinity, time wise, of when the original owner died.  Even in these few comments you can find and feel the progression of life.  I checked, and the little red box (or listing in pink as the above entry called it) remains on the map in the new road atlas we got in 2011.  Unlike "disappointed," I wish there were more such local "points of interest" shown on our map.  For the most part, Donna and I find them immensely interesting, even in circumstances like this.  He are some more photos I took (inside shots were made through windows) . . . 




"I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil — this is the gift of God."

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (NIV)


The above two verses from the Bible follow the "a time for everything" verses in Ecclesiastes.  It seems obvious to me that Mr. Galitza (the dad) found joy and satisfaction in what he did.  Such endeavors as his seldom come to fruition unless that is the case.  Perhaps the son did not find that same joy in all the work it most certainly takes to keep a place like this going.  Throughout the construction of this webpage, some other verses of Scripture that I read daily have kept coming to mind. 

  Do not put your trust in princes,
    in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
    on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the LORD his God.
the Maker of heaven and earth,
    the sea, and everything in them —
    the LORD, who remains faithful forever.

Psalm 146:3-6 (NIV)


I think this is an important piece of the puzzle as well.  So many times we listen to other human beings telling us what our lives should be all about.  Or, we feel obligated to carry on in someone else's footsteps.  Or, maybe, greed heavily influences our decision process.  There is nothing wrong in seeking wise counsel, or emulating another, or desiring a little prosperity.  But, the bottom line is, only God knows what He designed you and me for.  Our Creator gives each of us a personality, likes and dislikes, talents, and things we are not so good at, or do not even have an interest in.  We all carry within us a blueprint for happiness and joy.  It is indeed the gift of God to seek and find satisfaction in all our toil.  Still, it is easy to get sidetracked, even listening to those with good intentions. 

There is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  I think "Ghost Towns" and abandoned places have much to share with us.  They carry a unique feel, or sense, all to themselves.  Sometimes I wonder if the work I have become involved with is just for my lifetime, or if it will somehow find an avenue to continue on.  Although I did the work setting up the non-profit corporation (Teaching & Sharing Centers), it was others who offered that they felt this was the direction God was indicating.  I think the corporation was indeed a right choice, but it is not my particular path.  It took me a while to discern that.   It could turn out to be the mechanism by which my work continues beyond my earthly life.  Or, perhaps it will become something else unto itself.  Maybe it will be both, or even more, or simply fade away.  And, this is my point for sharing these thoughts.  We do not need always to know how everything fits into the general scheme of things.  Turning always to the "Maker of heaven and earth," Who resides within each of us, allows us the greatest chance for fulfillment, whether what we come to share is simply within our lifetime, or extends beyond in an ever expanding circle.  Find that which God has gifted you with and leave the results to Him. 

(I usually go online to to obtain the Bible verses I want to use.  A link to it can be found on my Christian Life links page)

OK — with the mood I am writing from, I could keep on going, but it is sharing my photography (and Cherokee history) which brings me my greatest joy.  So, I will wrap things up with some final images from "Ghost Town." 

(How observant are you?  Did you notice the red underwear of the mannequin in the outhouse?  Need help?  It is the sixth row up on the left.)






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