All About Mansfield, History & Tourism

Save A Hostel, Save A History

15 Jul , 2017  

The call has gone out to save a piece of what makes Richland County a wonderful place to know and visit.

While the history of the Malabar Farm Hostel may not be a long one, it does fit uniquely well into the narrative of Malabar Farm. Louis Bromfield was, after all and as we shared yesterday in our “Bromfield in Paris” post, a man who welcomed visitors to stay and experience his unique corner of Ohio.

This connection to the past is not lost on Malabar Farm State Park, with whom the Hostel has a positive relationship. According to recent statements in social media, however, that relationship may not be enough to keep the Hostel from having to close its doors.

In the words of Manager Mark Jordan, “[T]his hostel is small, and it does not bring in a large number of visitors. Therefore, when the lease renewal is presented to Hostelling International’s USA board of directors, there is a strong possibility that it will be voted down. If that happens, the Malabar Farm Hostel will close, our good work here will finish, and I will be out of a job and home.”

The Hostel is seeking to build community support through a letter writing initiative. Here are the details:

“I am hoping that we can demonstrate support for the continuance of the hostel through a letter writing campaign. The letters will go to my regional VP (Jon Ridge), then to the division VP (Helmut Rueckert), then to the company CEO (Russ Hedge), and finally to the national board of directors.

We need letters of support, and even though the board meeting is not until Sep. 16, we want the letters soon, so that we can enlist more support as our report moves up the chain of command within Hostelling International. Letters can be emailed to or mailed to HI-Malabar Farm, 3954 Bromfield Rd, Lucas OH 44843. If we can get letters by ***noon, Thursday, July 20,**** we can batch them together for presentation to the division VP. We can still use letters that arrive after that date, but the sooner, the better. Things to mention: community support, our special events at the hostel, and fulfillment of HI’s mission to create a more tolerant world through travel/experiencing other cultures, including in this case rural America.”

1812Blockhouse joins other media in promoting this message and encouraging the writing of letters. We’re doing just that.

Photo: 1812Blockhouse, Creative Commons License

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