As told by William Hughes.
One of the most popular topics on the Ghost Of Ohio discussion board is Ashtabula County’s Tinkers Hollow. Every time Sylvester Tinker hears how he killed his wife and hid her in the corn field, I’m sure he wishes he were a ghost. But guess what? Not true! It’s all nothing but an urban legend. Although the Tinker family were ingenious inventors in the iron field, they were by no means killers!
Silas Tinker came to Conneaut, Ohio in 1806 along with his sons, William, Julias, and Sylvester. They invented a process for making some of the strongest iron in Ohio history. They also manufactured tools, saws, stoves, and the first horse drawn mowing machine. Sylvester built the first foundry in Conneaut in 1833, then updated it in 1835 to work with cast iron. It is years after the brothers left town that the true haunting begins.
It seems that an old hermit took to living in the old ruins of the abandoned foundry. As the story goes, he was struck by lightning and lived through the experience, although one of his legs was badly injured. This forced him to drag his one leg behind him as he walked about. After many year the old hermit just seemed to have vanished and was seen no more, but people all claimed that if you sat under the Tinker Hollow Bridge long enough you would hear him returning home, with his donkey dragging his leg behind him. At one point the legend became so popular that Conneaut News Herald reporter Pat Williams camped under the bridge. For two nights he and the two other men he had brought along as witnesses saw nothing. The following weekend Pat and his companions returned to the bridge on a foggy, rainy night. Shortly after midnight the men heard the sound of someone making their way across the bridge. It sounded like the steps of man leading a horse with the man dragging his leg as he walked. The three men rushed to the top of the bridge with their cameras in hand to record the event, but all they saw was the rain soaked delapadated old bridge. What ever had made the sounds had vanished into thin air.
Research for this story done by Linda Siders, Fred Siders, and William Hughes.
Resource information provided by, The Ashtabula Historical Society, the Conneaut News Herald. The North Eastern Ohio Ghost Research Team (NEOGRT) would like to give a special thank you to the the wonderful staff of the Conneaut Public Library, who opened their doors for us to access the histories on Tinker Hollow.
Anyone wishing to reach NEOGRT may do so at the following e-mail addresses:
This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets’ site.