Tipp City Mayor Pat Hale (left) and resident Ron Re participate in the Tipp City 175th anniversary celebration during the 2015 July 4 weekend. The celebration sparked rebirth of expanded community July 4 activities that continue this year. CONTRIBUTED

11 of the most interesting small towns in Ohio

Ohio is home to many towns that bring a wide variety of culture and flavor to the state. 

Here are 11 of the most interesting: 

1. Boston Mills (aka Helltown)

There is a mostly abandoned area within Summit County and Boston Mills known as Helltown.

Due to massive buyouts of eminent domain from the government, much of the town became abandoned. That led to urban legends of Satanic worshipping, ghost stories, serial killers and creepy-named roads.

2. Marietta

This historic riverboat town on the border of West Virginia that has a long American history.

The first permanent settlement founded in Ohio, this town near the West Virginia border on the Ohio River has plenty of photo opportunities due to its Victorian-style houses, brick streets and sternwheelers.

With several museums and other attractions, Ohio’s first settlement is an option for a weekend getaway. 

3. Oberlin

This quaint little town west of Cleveland is the home to a liberal arts school, Oberlin College.

It is known for being progressive and close-knit, and it was an early town to end gender and racial inequalities.


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4. Defiance

Located in Defiance County, the town of Defiance is the home of Fort Defiance. Adding to the town history, it is the birthplace of Chief Pontiac. 

5. Put-In-Bay

Located on South Bass Island, this tiny town is a popular summer attraction.

The two-by-four-mile island hosts a number of attractions that make for a great weekend getaway.

6. Knockemstiff

This small town southwest of Chillicothe is known as the birthplace of Donald Ray Pollock, author of “Knockemstiff,” a collection of short stories.

Origins of the name lie in folklore that vary from use of the phrase to a slang term for moonshine. 

Center of Knockemstiff, Ohio, many of th public affairs taking place at the Christ Christian Union chapel. (1950-something)
Photo: Dayton Daily News archive

7. Yellow Springs

There is plenty to do here, whether it’s shopping around the colorful downtown or exploring nature at the Glen Helen Nature Reserve, John Bryan State Park or on the Little Miami bike trail. 

Yellow Springs is also home to NPR station WYSO, the Miami Valley’s public radio station. 

8. Tipp City

North of Dayton, this historic town was founded on the Miami Canal.

Known for it’s annual Tipp City Mum Fest and Canal Music Fest, it is full of antique houses and cozy restaurants. 


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9. Twinsburg

Twinsburg is between Akron and Cleveland in Summit County. It hosts the largest yearly gathering of twins each year, the Twins Day Festival. It also hosts a weekly summer concert series called Rock the Park.

10. Avon Lake

Avon Lake is about 15 miles west of Cleveland and sits on Lake Erie. Home to public beaches and a strong community, Avon Lake is close enough to a big city give people plenty to do while still giving residents a more small town feel.

Underlining its proximity to Lake Erie, the city also hosts a YouTube live stream of the lake. 

11. Loveland

Northeast of Cincinnati by the I-275 and I-71 interchange, this city is appropriately called the “Sweetheart of Ohio.”

This historic small town is home to the Loveland Castle, a museum and actual castle. 

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