This arti­cle is part 4 of 4 in the series Abandoned Clark County

Here are a dozen pho­tographs that con­clude my attempt to doc­u­ment some of Clark County’s aban­doned places.

Couchman House

This ear­ly one-sto­ry stone house stands beside the Reservoir.  Since rur­al land deeds sel­dom men­tion hous­es on the prop­er­ty, we can­not say when the house was built.  It could have been any­time between 1793, when William Ledgerwood sold a small tract to Charles Gentry, and 1818, when John Couchman pur­chased the prop­er­ty.  Although the house has been vacant for many years, Dykes Oliver restored the exte­ri­or in 1992.  John and his wife Sally are buried in a grave­yard beside the house.

Couchman House

Skyview Drive-in

The Skyview Drive-In Theatre on Lexington Road opened in 1949 with Bud Abbott & Lou Costello in “Buck Privates.”  A sec­ond screen was added in 2002.  The Skyview closed in 2015. 

Skyview Drive-in

Southern States

Southern States Coöperative’s fer­til­iz­er man­u­fac­tur­ing plant stands vacant at the north­ern end of Magnolia Street.

Southern States

Old equipment

Just past Southern States to the north, the Freeman Corporation owns a large tract that appears to be a home for aban­doned lum­ber mill equipment.

Old equipment
Old equipment
Old equipment

Drying kiln

There are sev­er­al aban­doned struc­tures on the Freeman prop­er­ty, includ­ing what appears to be an old dry­ing kiln.

Drying kiln

Van Meter Road house

This two-sto­ry brick house is locat­ed on Van Meter Road.  This area has Clark County’s best qual­i­ty farm­land, once the domain of the Van Meter, Harrison, Goff, Cunningham, and Patton families. 

Van Meter Road house

Stone house with portholes

This house on Combs Ferry Road was once sup­posed to have been part of McGee’s Station, a pio­neer set­tle­ment estab­lished in 1779.  The house stands on land once owned by David McGee but was not at his sta­tion.  John Davis acquired 103 acres of McGee’s land in 1795 and built the stone house soon after, mak­ing this one of Clark County’s ear­li­est.  The low­er lev­el of the house has slits between the stones—narrow on the out­side and wider on the inside—that func­tioned as gun ports in times when American Indians were still thought to be a threat.

Stone house with portholes

Stone fence

Dry-laid stone fences are a promi­nent fea­ture in Clark County’s rur­al land­scape.  They marked prop­er­ty bound­aries and formed bar­ri­ers for live­stock.  “Turnpike fences” lined macadamized toll roads.  Many rem­nants of these fences, how­ev­er, are found in places that defy explanation.

Stone fence

Chimney

It is not uncom­mon to find a stone chim­ney stand­ing alone where the house it served is long gone.  This one, a stop on the John Holder Trail on Lower Howard’s Creek, went with a log cab­in that sur­vived into the 1960s.  Archaeologists think it could date to the late 1700s.  The first ver­i­fied occu­pant was Benjamin Hieronymus in about 1845.  The cab­in was the site of a gris­ly triple mur­der in 1939.

Chimney

Old Rite Aid

The sign on the door says, “Store Closed.”  This phar­ma­cy on the Bypass was one of 1,900 Rite Aid stores pur­chased by Walgreen’s, which already had a store less than a half mile down the road.  We’ll call it “aban­doned for now” and hope anoth­er occu­pant moves in soon.

Old Rite Aid store

  • Harry is a Mt. Sterling native who has lived in Clark County since1999. He has a pas­sion for the past and has researched and writ­ten exten­sive­ly about the his­to­ry of this area.

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