History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Edward Wilkinson

28 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

With our Richland Roots series, we share stories of those from the area who led interesting lives that contributed to a wider community.

Edward Wilkinson was an American naturalist and museum curator born in 1846 in Mansfield.

Wilkinson’s early career was as a sheetmetal worker, but he had a strong interest in natural history from a young age. He fought in the American Civil War, and after returning to his occupation he had the opportunity to visit Mexico and join his brother who was a mining engineer there.

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History & Tourism

The Great Richland Quiz Number Two: The Answers

21 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

Here are the answers to our quiz posted yesterday about an icon of early local history, John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed. Give yourself one point for each correct answer and see how you fared. 

  1. A Perrysville woman remembered Johnny visiting her family home as a child. When sleeping, she remembered, he would lay on the floor and put his head on what? — Answer: A bag of appleseeds, of course
  1. When did he move out of the Mansfield area, saying a final good-bye to his friends here?
    1. 1821
    2. 1828
    3. 1837
    4. 1838

Answer: 1838. Some have the date as 1840, but the majority of sources specifically state 1838.

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History & Tourism

The Great Richland Quiz Number Two: Johnny Appleseed

20 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

This is the second in a quiz series on all things local. Our first quiz looked at Richland County geography.

That quiz can be accessed here.

Today we are looking at an icon of early local history, John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, through a set of ten questions. We will be sharing the answers tomorrow here on 1812Blockhouse.

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History & Tourism

Happy Birthday To Mansfield’s Grand Ohio Theatre

19 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

It was 95 years ago today that guests flocked to the brand-new Ohio Theatre on Park Avenue West, today known as the Renaissance Theatre.

January 19, 1928 was an important date in local history as a showing of “Get Your Man” with Clara Bow opened the new movie palace.

Today, the Renaissance Performing Arts Association celebrated the birthday with a social media post on Facebook. It shared, “Today marks 95 years that the Renaissance Theatre has called Mansfield home. We want to say thank you to each member of our community for their ongoing support of the arts. It is our promise to continue to bring the very best productions, education, and experiences. Let’s continue to make memories together over the next 95 years.”

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History & Tourism, Landmarks of Richland

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Winfield S. Ward House

16 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

The exuberant Queen Anne style house at 350 Park Avenue West in Mansfield holds a bit of a surprising anecdote. More about that and the end of this post.

It was built by Winfield S. Ward, a man who made a good living as a manufacturer of “elastic web,” that being the elastic material comprised of woven textile or rubber fibers and primarily used for garters and suspenders.

Winfield Ward was born in Pennsylvania, educated in Trenton, New Jersey, and came to Mansfield about 1889. At the time, he was a real estate agent, and the The Weekly News of April 28, 1892 profield him as one of “Mansfield’s wide aware real estate agents.” More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Paul Robeson

13 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

There are many Mansfielders who today would not recognize the name of Paul Robeson.

That is unfortunate. Robeson was an extraordinary talent who, as Wikipedia shares, “…became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism.” A man large in stature, he had an oversized influence in American musicals and in the Civil Rights Movement.

He was also someone who made a visit to Mansfield to perform in concert. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Man Who Followed Lewis And Clark

10 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

Over the last two centuries, Richland County has produced a remarkable set of individuals who have led lives of discovery. In the nineteenth century, that included men and women who traveled west where they were engaged in the exploration of areas of the country that were not then well known to Americans.

Once such individual was Olin Dunbar Wheeler.

Wheeler was born on May 1, 1852 in Mansfield to a Methodist minister and his wife; he had a twin sister, Ellen, who died when she was six weeks old. Orin excelled in schooling, and in 1874 graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Cornell University. More…

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History & Tourism

The Legacy Of What May Be The Last Johnny Appleseed Planted Tree

8 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse

We live in Johnny Appleseed country. The relationship between the pioneer American nurseryman and the Mansfield area is well documented and commemorated today in many ways – from shopping centers to scenic byways.

Johnny Appleseed’s legacy lives on in other parts of Ohio and the country. Some months ago, we shared a story about one person’s efforts to identify the actual resting place for John Chapman, his legal name. That post can be accessed here.

That’s not the only Appleseed-related quest which has been undertaken. For the last two generations, the location of any surviving trees which he planted has captivated several. His productivity in planting trees was staggering; over the 45 years he was active, he spread almost 20 bushels of apple seeds – and are over 300,000 seeds per bushel.

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Monument Maker

7 Jan , 2023  

By: 1812Blockhouse

1812Blockhouse shares posts in our “Richland Roots” series to reveal stories of the less-commonly known people born here, or who lived here, and then went on to make significant contributions to state, regional, or national history. Other posts in the series are available here.

There are recognized experts in many artistic endeavors that have produced one significant, known work, be it a piece of music or work of art.

Such is the case with a Mansfield man who was an obviously talented architect of granite monuments, but who has only one major commission known to have been built. That particular work, the Steuben County Veterans Monument in Angola, Indiana (pictured above), is a towering column that recently saw a major restoration effort take place. More…

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History & Tourism

ODNR Highlights The Accomplishments Of 2022

5 Jan , 2023  

By 1812Blockhouse; Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is celebrating a year of accomplishments, milestones, and investments in outdoor recreation. ODNR, keeping true to its mission, spent 2022 making sure Ohio’s public lands and resources were protected and improved for the use of all who step foot on them.

“We really kicked it into high gear this year, celebrating conservation and improving everything from state parks to wildlife areas to wetlands,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz.  “I am proud of our team that works year-round to make each visitor experience better, upgrade equipment and trails, and pave the way for future generations to enjoy these lands.”

Area expansions and improvements included Mount Gilead State Park in north central Ohio, just a ten minute drive from southwestern Richland County, and at Mohican State Park.

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