Archive for Peters Cartridge

The Powder Factory

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by archinbolt

I still remember the fist time I ever drove past the Peters Cartridge Powder Factory on Grandin Road in Kings Mill, Ohio. I had been living in Warren County for a few months and working at the then Paramount owned Kings Island. After work some friends and I met up at Wendy’s to grab some food and dick around. A couple of guys told us about the factory down the road so me and another girl went to check it out.

I’ve never asked so much out of my ’95 Buick Century before. I drove her away from that place in true NASCAR style.

But, as with most things, the sun shines a brand new light on the abandoned factory. In the day, there is a bike trail filled with people and heavy traffic passing by the roadway.

In fact, calling it abandoned, as most people do, isn’t accurate at all. The building is home to multiple businesses including an art studio (click here for the artist’s website). Not to mention there are dozens of stray cats that call the place home.

The factory opened in the 1880’s. Actually, that’s debatable. I’ve  read it was built even earlier,in the 1860’s, and even supplied cannonballs and ammunition to the Union Army in the Civil War.

While it is commonly known as “The Powder Factory,” it didn’t make any gun powder. The gun powder was actually made across the Little Miami River at the Kings Powder facility. Instead, the Peters Cartridge Factory made shotgun shells as well as rifle an pistol cartridges.

While the facility was destroyed in an explosion in 1890, it was rebuilt and not surprisingly did extremely well business during World War I an II.

In the 1950’s Seagrams bought the factory and used it as a warehouse for storage and whatnot. However, during the 1970’s is when the building began to face its’ fate.

While it was frequently vandalized, Landmark Renaissance Corporation purchased the site in 1979. They did some refurbishing and nominated the site on the National Register of Historic Places. Landmark named the site the Kings Mill Technical Center.

Then LensCrafters occupied parts of the site from 1987 to 1993. However, during LensCrafters management era, chemicals were discharged to the septic system resulting in soil and ground water contamination. It was finally cleaned up in 1993.

Ever since the vandalism began in the 70’s, it hasn’t stopped. With 24/7 police patrol, and rumors of gang and cult meetings on the inside, teenagers still brave the the area.

In fact, YouTube has a six part video of kids playing a game of paintball inside the factory. Just type in “factory paintball” to view find them.I found this photo on my former teacher's facebook page.

In addition, there have been rap videos and movies filmed here. My high school biology teacher starred in the television thriller, “The Factory,” later renamed “I found this photo on my former teacher's facebook page.Ghost Factory.” Apparently they ran out of money while filming it under the title “The Factory” and once they finished it they decided to rename it. I’m pretty sure he died early on in the movie, so saying he starred in it is a stretch.

To put it bluntly,this place is an old factory with windows shattered in on every side. It use to produce gun cartridges and had multiple explosion accidents resulting in injuries or death to many people. Rumors about this place being haunted are inevitable.

In fact, there is even a website that has a photo that supposedly shows a face in one of the busted out windows. I say supposedly because I cannot for the life of me make out a face through the pix-elated, enlarged photo. Then again, I struggle to find the man in the moon on a regular basis.

You be your own judge. But even if you do see a face, remember this… This building is not abandoned. There are businesses who have space rented out in it for whatever reason, not to mention at any given time you have high school kids roaming through it. So maybe it’s the face of one of those people, if it is one, that was captured.

Check it out for yourself by clicking here. It’s the last picture on the page, but don’t cheat yourself. Look at them all, they’re great.

For a story from the Cincinnati Enquirer on the factory, click here.

Where did I find this information? http://swdoweb.epa.state.oh.us/SWDO/DERRsites/Peters%20Cartridge.pdf

Some more amazing photos as well as first hand accounts of the Factory are available here. http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=15059.0

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