History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Tragic Tale Of Beautiful Miss Mansfield

31 Jan , 2019  

Throughout its history, Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to the world. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series we started last year called “Richland Roots.” For other Richland Roots stories, click here.

Occasionally, those tales take a tragic turn. During a film shoot in 1923, an aspiring actress suffered a gruesome fate that cut short what may well have been a brilliant career. This actress not only shared her name with the city of Mansfield, but it was the city that was the source of her professional name – Martha Mansfield. More…

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All Things Business, History & Tourism

Winter Storefront Design Contest Winner Announced

30 Jan , 2019  

Downtown Mansfield, Inc. has announced that the winner of the Winter Storefront Design Contest is Tara’s Floral Expressions and The Chill Downtown Ice Cream Parlor.

The window display at Tara’s is full of bright, festive, Valentine’s day themed decorations and embodies the efforts of the Beautifield initiative. More…

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History & Tourism

Fantastic February In Richland County A Cure For Cabin Fever

29 Jan , 2019  

Beat that cabin fever with these fun February happenings and events around Richland County. With winter fun at Snow Trails, hands-on events geared towards families with kids, and toe-tapping performances, you’ll have plenty of incentive to bundle up and head out into the cold.

And when you get ready to do so, be sure to check out the website of Destination Mansfield – Richland County to see what’s on offer and where. More…


History & Tourism, Landmarks of Richland

Landmarks of Richland: All Souls Church

27 Jan , 2019  

For over 120 years, the members of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Bellville have provided a high degree of care for the building their foreparents built – literally.

The building on Church Street serves a congregation whose roots in southern Richland County date back almost 200 years – to 1822. Originally occupying another structure in the village, the present structure was constructed between 1894 and 1897. More…

History & Tourism

So What’s Cool And Unusual To Visit Around Here?

25 Jan , 2019  

These days, folks on the lookout for something out of the ordinary sometimes turn to a unique type of atlas. Unlike the usual road maps found at gas stations and the magazine section of your local store, this type of guide shares information about different and off-the-beaten-track places and how to find them.

It’s called the Atlas Obscura, and it includes both an online presence as well as a new line of travel guides available at your favorite bookstore. More…

History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Greatest Show On Earth

20 Jan , 2019  

In 1872, entertainment history was made when the first large circus to travel by rail appeared in small and mid-sized communities across the Midwest. America’s Greatest Showman was behind the entire endeavor.

On June 22, that tour included a stop in Mansfield. The Greatest Show on Earth – a slogan used for the very first time in publicity for that very trip – came to town for three shows. Actually, it was more fully known as “P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, and World’s Fair – consisting of museum, menagerie, aquarium, polytechnic institute, international zoological garden, and Dan Castello’s chaste and refined circus.” More…

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History & Tourism

What’s New In Richland County This Year?

18 Jan , 2019  

From our friends at Destination Mansfield – Richland County:

New year, new Richland County! See what’s coming to your favorite attractions and whet your appetite for brand new eateries and places to stay. There are many new and exciting things coming to the Mansfield area this year like a new theatre, an upscale restaurant, and a guesthouse! More…


History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Introducing Mansfielder General James S. Robinson

13 Jan , 2019  

Throughout its history, Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to the world. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series we started last year called “Richland Roots.” For other Richland Roots stories, click here.

Richland County has produced leaders in business, the arts, the military, education, politics, and civic life over its 200-plus years. Occasionally, that includes someone whose life story includes noteworthy activity in several of those areas. Such is the case with native Richland Countian James Sidney Robinson. More…

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History & Tourism

Mansfield On The Map: The Railroads Arrive

8 Jan , 2019  

NOTE: For previous stories in our “Mansfield on the Map” series, click on any of the following:

Mansfield on the Map: The Beginning

Mansfield on the Map: Richland County Changes Shape

Mansfield on the Map: Earlier Map, Hedges Letters Found Online

We continue our look at “Mansfield on the Map” by moving to the year 1854 and the publication of one of the first maps of Ohio to include rail lines, “Colton’s railroad & township map of the state of Ohio, drawn by George W. Colton, and engraved by J M. Atwood.”

The first completed rail line in Ohio was the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. Construction began in 1835 in Sandusky and was completed through Tiffin, Kenton, and Springfield by the late 1840s. More…


All About Richland, History & Tourism

OSR Seeking Unique People For A Bit Of Mystery

4 Jan , 2019  

Auditions for the 10th murder mystery dinner theater at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield will be held this Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7, both starting at 6 PM.

Auditions will include cold readings from the script. This is a partially scripted show with heavy interaction and improv with the audience. Special skills such as juggling and other “circus” or “side show” skills and talents are encouraged. More…

History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Mansfield Dry Goods Building

3 Jan , 2019  

NOTE: This is our 40th post in the Landmarks of Mansfield series. These posts routinely rank among the most-read on 1812Blockhouse, which signifies to us that the city has a proud heritage that its citizens value. The other posts in the series can be found here.

Sometimes an element of good can come from a tragic event, particularly one that does not involve loss of life or limb. More…

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

100 Years Ago, Mansfield’s New Year’s Eve Featured “Small Cannon And Bombs”

2 Jan , 2019  

Local New Year’s Eve revelers may have had a dry evening — once they made it inside, that is. Strong rain and high winds made travel somewhat difficult.

One hundred years ago, on December 31, 1918, the scene was somewhat similar in Mansfield. According to the News Journal published 100 years ago today, January 2, 1919, “Mansfield kicked off a year and a half of war restraint in giving 1919 a noisy welcome. New year’s eve was celebrated with more than ordinary noise and joyousness. More…


All About Richland, History & Tourism

Great Ideas For A Mid Ohio January

29 Dec , 2018  

The end of the holiday season looms near, so here’s everything you’ll need to beat those coming winter blues.

Get out of the house with bracing, snow-filled fun at Snow Trails, live music all around town, and fantastic shows at The Renaissance Theater, Theater 166, and The Mansfield Playhouse. Check out the Destination Mansfield – Richland County calendar for a full list of January happenings and events. More…

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Rigby House

24 Dec , 2018  

NOTE: This post in our Landmarks of Mansfield series was first published a year ago today, on Christmas Eve 2017. It has been updated with additional information.

One of the many outstanding houses built along Park Avenue West was constructed for a family associated with, of all things, cigars.

Cigar manufacturing and wholesaling was big business in turn of the last century Mansfield. Large companies such as the American Cigar Company occupied large business blocks downtown. Over 1,000 Mansfielders were employed in these concerns which produced over 200,000 cigars a day!

The arrival of mass produced cigarettes after World War brought a downturn, however, and by the 1930s few such businesses were in operation. One of the giants during of the heyday of cigar manufacture was the Rigby Cigar Company, headed by James Arthur Rigby (known primarily as J.A. Rigby). Rigby brands included the well-known “Dolly Dollar” five cent cigar. More…