The Ironton Tunnel carried OH Route 75 under Cronacher’s Hill between Ironton and Coryville, Ohio.
The Ironton Tunnel was the idea of Dr. Benjamin F. Cory who arrived in Ironton before the Civil War. 4 Living atop a hill overlooking the city, he realized a route was needed through Cronacher’s Hill so that horses and carts could ship iron from the iron furnaces north of the city to the Ohio River. 1 2 3 4 5 6 He commissioned a project to excavate the tunnel in 1866-67. In 1915, the tunnel was enlarged to a width of 30 feet and lined with concrete by the Mahlbe Brothers. 1 2 3 6
The Ironton Tunnel became a part of OH Route 75 in 1924. On June 9, 1960, the tunnel was closed to automobile traffic when a four-lane bypass was constructed as part of a realignment of OH Route 75 (OH Route 75 was renumbered as OH Route 93 in 1962) in conjunction with the development of the US Route 52 freeway. 2 4 5 6
Ray Howard, who lived near the tunnel, came up with the idea to reopen the tunnel as a tourist attraction. 4 Working with the local Lions Club, the tunnel was reopened in the summer of 1989. 3 4 It was then converted into a “haunted tunnel” tourist attraction in 1998. 2
- State: Ohio
- Route: OH Route 75
- Type: Tunnel
- Status: Abandoned / Closed
- Total Length: 200 feet
- Roadway Width: 30 feet
- Navigational Clearance:
- “Photos of Ironton, Ohio Tunnel.” Lawrence Register.
- Interpretive sign.
- “Haunted Tunnel legend remains scary tale.” Ironton Tribune, 10 Oct. 2009.
- “The Ironton Tunnel.” Ironton Tribune, n.d.
- “Closed — But Not Forgotten.” Ironton Tribune, 10 Jun. 1960.
- “For Your Information.” Briggs Lawrence County Public Library, 11 Apr. 1989.