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

Historical Marker Database:
WCPO Article:

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.


Lost to Time: The Muskingum University Quad Parking Lot

Stormont Street prior to Steele Center
What is now the campus’s major parking lot was for nearly a hundred years home to numerous residents, having the convenience of living across from the Quad.

For this feature, we are taking a look at a neighborhood that minus one house is entirely a parking lot now. At the top, we see the houses on Montgomery Blvd. Except for a few, a majority of these were demolished in the 1980s when the Recreation Center (now the Anne C. Steele Center) was about to be constructed.

105 Montgomery Blvd

If the newspaper article above is in the time period I’m thinking of, 105 Montgomery Boulevard was one of those houses to be razed, despite the recent remodeling/repurposing. Someone should put a plaque inside the Steele Center commemorating the efforts of the people who worked on it, only to see it destroyed a few years later. Or at least a Facebook post to tell the remodelers “good job!” From Pat’s Blog Site, thank you for your hard work.

101 Montgomery Blvd being demolished
101 Montgomery Blvd is razed by an excavator to make room for the Recreation Center. Circa 1985/86.

Across from Cambridge Hall is the Lowery House, which I believe was named after a professor (I’ll update this when I read Dr. William Fisk’s College history book again). After Lowery’s passing, the house was used by the university until 2002 when construction began on Caldwell Hall, and along with a few other houses along Stormont and Thompson, was torn down. Lowery House’s location and front is pictured below, with the lower image being used on the old Muskingum College website prior to the house’s demolition.

On Stormont, the ASAs took home to 154 for a short period of time, from the late 90s until 2001. Next to it was 152, which had been gone for a number of years prior to the construction of Caldwell Hall. Pictured below, the featured image is the former ASA House, with the brick house being 150 Stormont Street, then the college Wellness Center and Campus Police building. Also pictured is 148 Stormont, which is now located at 135 Lakeside Drive, and currently home to the Phi Mu Alpha (Sinfonia) fraternity.

Thompson Avenue had a couple of apartment buildings addressed at 104 and 106, both of which came down in 2002. 148 Stormont, along with 104 Montgomery, were the only two houses saved, with the former being moved to the former site of 135 Lakeside Dr. Photos of that event exist, though I have yet to see them uploaded anywhere and hope that changes.

Comin Street Annex, former Church of Christ Building in New Concord, Ohio.
Pictured are 106 Thompson Ave, and the Comin Street Annex
1990s aerial of Muskingum College
The final promotional aerial taken before the construction of Caldwell Hall, which began in 2002 and completed in 2004. The Comin Street Annex can be seen as the small white building at the top right of the image

One building I was unable to locate detailed pictures for, but able to write about its history, is the Comin Street Annex. It was constructed by a church community who would later become known as the Church of Christ. They held services in this building until the construction of a new building on Friendship Drive, closer to John Glenn High School. The church would sell the small building to the college, who in turn used it as an annex until its demolition in 2002 for the Caldwell Hall parking lot. As of this writing, I do not know what use the school made of it.

102 and 104 Montgomery Blvd in the 1970s
102 and 104 Montgomery Boulevard, from left-to-right. 102 was likely demolished before the construction started on the Recreation Center.

While the neighborhood, consisting of a total of 16 buildings, is entirely gone, its history is held up by one single house in its original place. 104 Montgomery, formerly the International House, currently houses Campus Police. The Wellness Center was moved to its own brand new building on the former site of the MACE House, behind the Lakeside Duplexes. Given that 104 Montgomery is nearly a century old, it’s likely that as much as life, it too, someday, shall pass, and its lot will find a new use.

I will be writing more posts on Muskingum College’s campus based on the numerous photos I’ve saved and collected over the past six years, although I do not intend to do it too frequently as I want my site to be diverse on its architectural studies.

– Muskingum County Auditor for the addresses
– Google Earth Satellite imagery from April 1994
– Muskingum College Muscoljuan Yearbooks from 1940-1986