Situated along an isolated dirt road by Conneaut Creek, Tinker's Hollow is a ghost town--in the literal sense.  It is here that Silas Tinker met his doom, thrown from his carriage by a startled horse.

Visitors are warned to stay away from this bridge at night, lest they meet the ghost of Silas Tinker, a moody old curmudgeon who doesn't take kindly to folks snooping around his land. 

 

 

Yet, if his glowing green eyes should gaze upon a brave soul with favor, he may reward that person with his hidden cache of gold.  And so people continue to venture here at night, waiting breathlessly under the bridge, listening for the sounds of Old Man Tinker's horse and carriage overhead.

 

Tinker's Hollow was originally named Benton, a small community located near Monroe Township.  The hollow was later renamed to honor Tinker's father, Silas Tinker, Sr., who built an iron foundry near the creek.  An early pioneer who accompanied Connecticut surveyors of the Western Reserve in the early 1800's, Tinker later became recognized as the inventor the  lawn mower, which was first tested in a field in this hollow.

Tinker's Hollow flourished for many years.  Along the banks of this creek once stood a cider mill and grist mill, the first ones built in the Ashtabula area.

 

 

Now, these overgrown fields are all that is  left of Tinker's Hollow.

As for Old Man Tinker, he was brought up in a family of 7 children and lived a long life.  Not much is known about his later years, although it is said that he withdrew from the community and lived his last days within the decaying frame of his father's foundry.

 

Interestingly, around Conneaut Creek, beginning in 1813, settlers discovered and excavated strange burial mounds, which contained thousands of skeletons of what appeared to them to be a race of Native American giants.  The "Conneaut Giants", as they later came to be called, had skulls so large that they fit comfortably over the heads of the amateur archaeologists.

Rumors soon spread that large amounts of gold relics were discovered in these mounds.  Prominent Mormon Solomon Spalding wrote of finding large, gold tablets containing ancient hieroglyphics.

 

 

Perhaps Old Man Tinker also discovered gold here....

 

To the left is a picture of what appears to be an overgrown mound in the woods near the bridge.

The cause of Old Man Tinker's death is not known, so we cannot say for sure that he died as a result of a carriage accident.  We believe that it is more likely that he simply died from old age.

Strangely, there was another, similar fatal horse accident in Tinker's Hollow a few years after the time of Mr. Tinker's demise.  In that case, Bert Brydle was found dead on a road, under "suspicious" circumstances.  This created a great fervor among residents, who believed that Brydle was murdered by bandits.  Authorities later determined that Brydle died as a result of a fall from his horse-drawn carriage.

!WARNING!  Most of Tinker's Hollow is on private property, and "No Trespassing" signs are clearly posted.  Also, the road to the bridge is pretty rough.  Drive carefully, take your junker, and leave the Lexus at home.

For more information about Tinker's Hollow, check out these links:

The Spalding Research Project on the Conneaut Giants
Forgotten Ohio's webpage on Tinker's Hollow
The Ashtabula Hauntings section of the Ohio Exploration Society
A ghost story on Tinker's Hollow featured by the Ohio Ghost Researchers

Historical webpage on Monroe Township
Ashtabula County OhGenWeb page featuring an Ashtabula Star Beacon news article on Bert Brydle
An excellent website on the History of Conneaut put out by high school student (!) Andy Pochatko