Huston Hollow, Ohio

From Ohio History Central

Established in Scioto County, Ohio in 1830, Huston Hollow was a predominantly African-American community.

Huston Hollow was located six miles north of Portsmouth, Ohio in what is now Clay Township. In 1830, whites in Portsmouth drove approximately eighty African-American residents from the city. Many white Ohioans were racist at this time and had no desire to live near or face economic competition from African Americans. Several of the displaced African Americans formed the community of Huston Hollow. Among the community's more prominent residents were the Love and Lucas families. Members of both of these families actively assisted runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad.

Huston Hollow remained small in size during its existence, averaging less than one hundred residents. By the mid 1900s, Huston Hollow had lost its identity as a separate community. With whites increasingly showing African Americans tolerance, many African Americans began to find acceptance in traditionally white communities.

Despite the growing opposition to slavery by some whites during the early 1800s, communities, such as Huston Hollow, illustrate the prejudice that existed in Ohio during the years before the American Civil War. Ohio was a state that did not allow slavery. Nevertheless, that did not mean that whites were open to granting African Americans equal rights. Free blacks found that it was difficult to get fair treatment, and they often formed their own communities away from whites for protection.

See Also


  1. Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.