Author Topic: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)  (Read 25291 times)

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Offline MoonlightOhio

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Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« on: January 21, 2008, 01:57:37 PM »
Not far from Cincinnati, in Mason, there's an abanonded gun powder factory.  Here are some photos:





















« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 11:24:28 PM by ink »
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Offline Keith M.

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 03:22:02 PM »
Nice shots! I see you positioned that chair for some artsy photos.

Online Rob Jaques

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 03:26:17 PM »
is that the peter cartridge factory on kings mills?
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Offline UncleRando

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 03:36:23 PM »
These things always amaze me...the stuff that is left over after people leave.  It's almost as if people went running out one day and never returned...spooky.

Offline MoonlightOhio

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 03:41:46 PM »
Nice shots! I see you positioned that chair for some artsy photos.

I actually didn't.  These shots were not taken on the same day.  The chair is the same one, but it had been moved from it's original position (against the wall) to the middle of the floor when I came back a second time.

Thanks for the kind words!
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Offline andrew0816

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 03:57:31 PM »
Amazing shots! I really like the one where the chair is against the wall by the window (3rd from last).

Offline atlas

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 04:06:48 PM »
i think ive said it on here before but we used to drive out to this place and search around.  it was a rush for a high school kid b/c it was patrolled by cops etc.  my friend fell off that bridge going over the little miami though and got really hurt, a lot of internal bleeding.  hes fine now though. 

Offline Keith M.

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2008, 04:12:42 PM »
I recant. And welcome to the site!

Online ColDayMan

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2008, 04:28:14 PM »
There goes the neighborhood!  Leave Mason!  GRIT!!!

On to Clearcreek Township!!!
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Offline edale

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2008, 05:55:14 PM »
Nice shots, I rode by on the Loveland Bike Trail once and got off to explore but there were stray cats everywhere and the building really freaked me out.

Offline ForeverGlow

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2008, 07:09:04 PM »
I love it. I've bee there before and walked through some of it. Has anyone ever been up to the top of the tower? I was way to scared to.

Offline Rusty Shackleford

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2008, 10:33:36 PM »
Some anecdotes:

I was fascinated by that place when I was in high school (late 70s, Belmont area in Dayton.) I drove my Dad's blue 75 Nova down there one night with some friends to check it out. We pulled off the road on the shoulder of Grandin Road. Just as we were going to get out of the car, we heard this WHAM on the roof of the car, and in a panic I started the car and pulled out of there. Later the next morning back home I found a large and deep dent on the roof of the car. Apparently some white trash freak inside the Peters factory building had thrown a large rock at the car. To my dad I said "I dunno where it happened!" He saw right through me.  :cry:

A few years ago I looked at an "office/light industrial" space for rent in that building. Well, it WAS sort of office like... an office had been there once. Basically it was a sort of cave carved out of a large section of one floor. Drafty, damp, dirty, with Satanic spray painting writings on the walls, junk laying everywhere, water dripping randomly down from the ceiling, falling in puddles indoors, and just incredibly nasty.  My wife told me to absolutely forget it, because she would worry about me going there even in the daytime. (Just to be clear, at the price it was a bargain, but it was basically factory or assembly area.)

Oh, and on that trip I spoke with an old guy in a front office who (I think) was either the landlord or an employee. He takes care of the seventy dozen or so stray cats roaming around in the main courtyard area  behind the gates. He told me some interesting facts about Peter's. Apparently, the foundation walls  are 12+ feet deep and several feet thick - demolition is not even being considered at this time because of the expense.

Some Halloween haunted houses operated there in the late 90s.

There are tons of Flickr images about Peter's Powder Factory, lots of ghost story lore, and the factory has been a magnet for local freaks, druggies, teenagers, and vandals for decades.

Maybe the Ohio Historical Society should acquire it as a historic park.  :evil:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 12:25:43 AM by TheDonald »

Offline cincyimages

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Re: The Powder Factory - Mason, OH
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2008, 10:27:23 PM »
The Powder Factory is in Kings Mills, not Mason.  You have to pass the Kings Mills post office to get to it.  Mason ends at Kings Island.

"The Peters Cartridge Company was a historical company in Kings Mills, Ohio specializing in gunpowder and ammunition production throughout the Civil War, World War I, and World War II"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peters_Cartridge_Company

Offline chain

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2008, 01:36:02 AM »
kewl place..i think the "pumphouse"  is still near the river outside?. Also a nice photo op. Hard to get out of once u get in though. They may have torn it down by now,dangerous place..

Offline carsyn20

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2008, 01:11:42 AM »
I used to visit the haunted house there when I was in middle school.  Kinda freaky.....especially with the cats.  It was always a strange part of town back there, no lights, the woods......creepy.

Offline Rusty Shackleford

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2008, 10:23:09 PM »
I need to find and scan a bunch of 35mm slides I took down there in the mid 1970s. Back then, painted signs for the war time RCA radio network were clearly readable on the shot tower. In the 70s the background of the signs was brown and I think the lettering was pale white or blue. There were some musical notes and maybe an old style announcer's microphone in the painted logos.

I think these signs were painted on circular metal disks that covered the raised P's near the top. I'm looking at the Wikipedia article's pictures trying to decide where these logos were. At any rate, by the 90s they were so faded as to be unreadable.  And now there is no evidence they ever existed.

See below:



A neighbor of ours here in Lebanon says he worked in that plant in the 1950s when RCA pressed records there.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 10:26:44 PM by TheDonald »

Offline daniel_bingamon

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I live in Kings Mills and would like to set the record straight.

Actually, the buildings did not exist there during the Civil War.  Peters was Baptist preacher who married into the King Family and started in the 1890's.  There were wood building there prior to 1890 when a King Powder was destroyed by a train accident that blew up everything.   King then moved to the Kings Mills side of the river and when Peters invented the automatic cartridge loading machine, King invested money in Peters and they built the Cartridge Factory.  The first two shot towers were made of wood and they were not located in the same place as the one you see today.

I used to rent space there.  The chairs are from various tennants that have rented space in recent years, some leftover stuff is carried off by curious teenagers that constantly get into the building without permission.

Mainville Police have orders to arrest tresspassers and the fine is over $100 per person.

The RCA logos were on metal plates that have been blown down by the wind.  Back in 2002 one of the plates blew down and missed a truck by 10 feet parked overnight.  RCA used it for a recording studio (records with commericals on them) and Seagrams used it as a warehouse for a while.  Lencrafters framing division used it in the late 80's.

So remember, Cartridge Factory not Powder Factory.   Powder was made on the other side of the river - all wood building (they used to blow up all the time).

Building #2 (runs along the road) has three gun shooting ranges, long range, med range and a pistol range.  It used to have a ventillation system.

In WWII at the height of it all just before they closed it (yes - during the war) there were at the three factory Peters, Kings and the Government Munitions plant (at the top of the hill - now an Army Retention Center) had 5000 people working in that area.   There were so many job openings that people camped out along the Little Miami River there for work.  A big housing place for the men called the "Manz" was built in the town.  You can still see the stair steps that go up the hill to Kings Mills for the employess.   That hairpin turn on King Ave the connects to Grandin had a hotel called the "Cliff Hotel". 

And it was $40 month not  $400 - and was never advertised as office space - that is false.

Several small business still operate there today.  I'm glad that they are there and not more yuppie housing  -  I'm sick and tired of the area being destroyed by over agressive growth and horrible traffic.



« Last Edit: May 05, 2009, 06:45:08 PM by daniel_bingamon »

Offline daniel_bingamon

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I forgot to mention.  When they tore down some of the buildings in the 1980's, even a small building took over a week to demolish.   1 inch thick rebar, was built to contain an explosion.

BTW - I hated to see them tear down the old Kings Mills Elementary.  The new additions to the High School are ugly.

Offline Daytonnatian

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I've always been suprised they haven't converted this thing to condos or bulldozed it already.

Cool building, though, but it always strikes me as odd whenever I drive by it, just because it is in such an odd location (in this day and age, at least).
Just give me a minute. I'll get to it someday.

Offline Rusty Shackleford

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I've always been suprised they haven't converted this thing to condos or bulldozed it already.

My guesses as to why there has never been an apparent attempt to convert it to other uses: insurance costs, brownfield issues, and sheer scale. It's the quintessential white elephant. The interior of the building is incredibly dangerous even to walk around in - there are holes through the floors for equipment and also looking down to the creek. A friend and I went in there to snoop around in the mid 70s and it scared the crap out of me.

Re: bulldozed - the structure would probably take a nuke to level cost-effectively. The walls are very thick, deeply anchored, and as Daniel noted, contain 1 inch thick rebar.

Offline Rusty Shackleford

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Ahh, interesting: an EPA fact sheet on the factory. It also contains some history of the site.

Offline jasoncalderone

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the kingsmill dam that is up river from the powder factory what was that in conjunction with.  the dam looks like it was only for erosion factors or what but does anyone have information on the dam.  I am new to the area and looking for information.

Offline MoonlightOhio

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Mainville Police have orders to arrest tresspassers and the fine is over $100 per person.

I've been there many a time and have only been stopped by police once.  I told him what I was doing (taking pictures) and he told me to make sure I was out by dark.

A friend of mine was stopped by a cop when entering the building, and the cop actually walked around the place with her out of curiosity.
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Offline PicsByVick

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2010, 05:51:28 PM »
Does anyone know if you can get inside the building today with permission.

Id love to photograph myself...

if anyone has any info on this could you please let me know.

thanks

Vickie

Offline Scrabble

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2010, 10:04:05 PM »
These remind me of going out to abandaned schools and factories around Indiana and Ohio with a photographer friend of mine when we were in high school/college.

Offline Scrabble

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2010, 10:04:38 PM »
Nice shots by the way.

Offline daniel_bingamon

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2010, 10:22:33 PM »
The site manager is named Bud and he's in his 70's and is available during the week at the office in the bottom of the Shot Tower between 8:30AM and noon.  There is another guy who teaches Karate and has a school in the far back building.
If you ask for permission, they will ask for you to sign a waiver form to protect the site from getting sued if you get hurt - there are holes in the floor and eight empty elevator shafts in the whole complex (and it's a long way down on some of them) and one elevator that works in the back building #6.
If you're really young, they might not give you permission at their own discretion.
In recent years they have made changes in security so this option might not be available any more.

Offline daniel_bingamon

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Re: Warren County: Kings Mills: The Peters Cartridge Company (Powder Factory)
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2010, 10:28:25 PM »
kewl place..i think the "pumphouse"  is still near the river outside?. Also a nice photo op. Hard to get out of once u get in though. They may have torn it down by now,dangerous place..
Actually, there is another pumphouse on top the hill behind the buildings (southward) - there are remains of two steam turbine pumps from the 30's/40's era - one of them has the top missing from it and you can see the turbine buckets/scoops in it.  The pump was designed to pump from a small lake up there in the event of a fire.

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