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Architecture Essays

The Peters Cartridge Factory

Peters Cartridge Company Marker (credit to Rev. Ronald Irick for his submission of this to the Historical Marker Database on June 5, 2018)

This particular area near Cincinnati is best known today for its Kings Island Amusement Park, which has entertained guests for nearly fifty years. Prior to this, Kings Mills had been known to its residents for housing a large ammunition factory. Founded by Gershom Moore Peters in 1887, the company would have its heydays in the days of both World Wars, supplying much-needed ammunition for the war cause.

Peters would be bought by the Remington Arms Company in 1934, manufacturing the ammunition needed in World War II, up until 1944 when production ceased. A lesser-known chapter began after Remington would sell the factory to Columbia Records, who in turn used the manufacturing space for the next five years in creating 78rpm phonograph records. This operation ceased in 1945.

A 1935 photograph of the factory (Credit to Thomas D. Schiffer/Peters & King from “Former Peters Cartridge factory a hot spot for ghost hunters and police” by Maxim Alter for WCPO, September 30, 2019)

Later, the factory’s warehousing space would be used by Seagram distillers until 1968. The lot would for the most part live an abandoned life, slowly being reclaimed by nature, and gain interest in ghost hunters and urban explorers alike. In 2015, the area was heavily cleaned up after being declared a superfund site a few years prior, and in 2019, it was ready for development. Today, the site is home to Cartridge Brewing, and the future home of many apartments using the old buildings.

The shot tower and chimney remain as the site’s most iconic features, continuing to be preserved by the lot’s new uses

Many of the buildings have since been demolished, including a warehouse on the other side of the road. What remains is its foundation, which I was able to see a decent amount of by exploring the woods nearby. For more information regarding the factory, I recommend doing further research on the HMDB link listed in the sources, checking out the Wikipedia article, and perhaps best of all, visiting the site itself as it’s opening up to the public.

Cartridge Brewing as it appears today, with freshly-paved asphalt, straw above grass seed, and small trees ready to grow with the next chapter

Sources:
Historical Marker Database: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=118358
WCPO Article: https://www.wcpo.com/longform/former-peters-cartridge-factory-a-hot-spot-for-ghost-hunters-and-police

Special thanks to my close friend, Chris Evans, for taking me on an unplanned visit to this awesome place. Without him I’d have never known about it.

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