Welcome to 1812Blockhouse.
Over two hundred and eight years ago, three families made their way across miles of forested land and streams, occupied by groups of Native Americans and an intense collection of flora and fauna. The Hedges, Larwell, and Newman families chose a bucolic site in north central Ohio for their settlement. In 1808, they and others then platted a community which they named after the surveyor who had authorized their expedition and planning – Jared Mansfield.
A short five years later, in the midst of tension generated by events leading to the War of 1812, the citizens of Mansfield built two blockhouses — one of round, and the other of hewn, logs. This latter structure served not only to protect settlers against attack but also served as the first courthouse. That blockhouse, renovated and repaired over the years, now sits in South Park where it continues to receive deserved attention as a powerful icon of community.
All across America, another type of pioneer is emerging. As traditional print media declines in the face of technology which has placed tools for news gathering and reporting in the hands of almost everyone, a first wave of online sites have emerged which have moved into uncharted territory. These sites, however, including those aligned with newspapers and many independent of them, have largely only digitized the traditional newspaper model and are now competing against each other for attention, revenue, and position.
It’s basically the same old approach in new packaging.
Consumers of news and information in the second decade of the 21st century have access to a tremendous variety of sources, literally at their fingertips. Quite frankly, it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Social media like Facebook attempt to bring these sources together, however if a news feed is not accessed during the time a particular posts makes its way down the page, it can easily be missed. Independently checking each and every news site — such as the News-Journal, Richland Source, WMAN, WMFD, and others — can be a time-consuming task. Add to the number of Mansfielders on Twitter, and Instagram, and Pinterest, and Snapchat, and other sites…. well, you get the picture.
It seems to us that there’s got to be a better way. There’s got to be a way to emphasize local in the middle of all of this. A ubiquitous Facebook cannot be the future communications hub of Mansfield or any other city. As a matter of fact, one has recently emerged in two urban areas which combines curation of news, independent reporting, collection of publicly posted items, and more. For the first time we know of, this model is now being attempted in a small to mid-sized community through the very site you are looking at. We are mobile-focused, social media-driven, rabidly pro local, and ready to roll.
Like the the Hedges, Larwells, and Newmans, we are pioneers building something to support community and help move it forward. We are Blockhouse builders.
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