History & Tourism

Summer Road Trips: Willie Nelson, The Butter Cow, And So Much More

15 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique events and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of Richland County. For the first time in two years, we’re sharing events taking place in-person, although by all means please all ahead and verify what social distancing, masking, etc. We call these Summer Road Trips.

Of course, we regularly feature the many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.

It might just be the ultimate Summer Road Trip each year – and in 2022, it is time to rediscover the Ohio State Fair, a family tradition in Ohio for the last 172 years.

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Mechanics Bank Building

14 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

The Mechanics Bank Building, somewhat recently restored and expanded on the corner of South Main Street and Park Avenue West, is a landmark that has occupied an important corner in Mansfield history since its construction in 1926.

In the early years of the city, that corner was occupied by a two story brick residence owned by Robert Bowland. Bowland’s son was involved in one of the most notorious crimes in early Richland County history, an event chronicled in “Two Sons: The Bowland-Barker Murder” by Alan Wigton (available at Amazon.com; see link below). More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Farmer, State Governor, Alaskan Gold Miner

13 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to local, state, or national history. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series called “Richland Roots.” This is a brand new post; for other Richland Roots stories, click here.

Today on 1812Blockhouse we look at the remarkable life of a local man whose life took many twists and turns.

His name was John Whitnah Leedy, and he was born near Bellville on March 8, 1849. His paternal grandfather John Leedy had come to southern Richland County about 1815; his father Samuel Leedy was known as a singer and tavern keeper. More…

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History & Tourism, Shelby

When Richland Welcomed: The Father Of Hungarian Democracy

12 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

We’re doing a bit of a “spin” today on one of our standard series.

Throughout the lasts five years, we have highlighted stories of visits to Mansfield by important figures of literary, academic, artistic, and political history in a series we call “When Mansfield Welcomed.” Through those posts, we have looked back in time to consider all of the well-known individuals who have stopped in the city.

There are, of course, other communities in Richland County, and in fact one was well-positioned on the main railroad line between Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati — basically the “I71” of its day, a line which would come to be called the Big Four Railroad. More…

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History & Tourism

Summer Road Trips: Visit The Frog Jump Capital Of Ohio

10 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

This year we’re continuing our weekly look at unique events and attractions that are within an easy driving distance of Richland County. For the first time in two years, we’re sharing events taking place in-person, although by all means please all ahead and verify what social distancing, masking, etc.

Of course, we regularly feature the many extraordinary places to visit right here in Richland County and encourage our readers to get out and experience what is on offer in our own backyard.

For more than 50 years, Valley City, a hamlet in northwest Medina County, has gone green and brown each summer

The reason? Frogs take to the ring to test their leaping abilities in a rather peculiar festival, the Valley City Frog Jump. Thousands of onlookers gather to watch local “frog-natics” and their amphibious competitors to enjoy the very old-fashioned fun.

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Three Types Of Tours At Kingwood This Month

10 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

The next time you consider a visit to Mansfield’s gem of a public garden, Kingwood Center Gardens, why not do some touring as well?

Kingwood offers three tours designed to interest history and garden lovers alike.

Tours of the main house, Kingwood Hall, have been going on since the fall of 1953. The house was the home of industrialist Charles Kelly King, who left a $3 million trust fund to transform Kingwood into a “…public garden and park to promote interests in horticulture, literature, music, and fine arts for residents of Mansfield and surrounding areas.”

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: America’s First Matinee Idol

9 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

It’s a name you may not have seen before until reading this post.

The man was, however, a remarkable artist with a penchant for showmanship that transformed him into an international superstar — a superstar whose travels and concert venues included a very young Mansfield, Ohio.

An obscure reference in the Cleveland Daily Leader references the appearance of famed composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk to Mansfield in December of 1863, in the middle of the US Civil War.

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History & Tourism

Looking Back At Literary Mansfield

6 Jul , 2022  

We have shared eight installments of our Literary Mansfield series. And while we ready some new installments, we thought we’d take a moment to share those we have posted to date.

With a bit of variation, we have been looking at authors, poets, and other literary figures with a north central Ohio connection through birth and/or residence. We have spent time with a poet, a stateman, a sociologist – even a Pulitzer Prize winner. More…

History & Tourism

Ohio Experiencing Record Travel In 2022

6 Jul , 2022  

Special to 1812Blockhouse from Ohio. Find It Here.

Demand for travel is high and Ohio is well-positioned to attract tourists from outside and inside the state. Take this past weekend for example – AAA expected Ohio travel would build on the record travel numbers set in 2021 to reach a new high this Independence Day. National numbers are expected to fall just shy of 2019.

In 2021, Ohio’s tourism industry reported its second-best year ever with nearly $47 billion in visitor spending, which was only slightly behind its record year in 2019 of $48 billion. A recent travel forecast from the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) confirms this is far better than the United States average in 2021, which was only 76% of 2019 total travel spending. The USTA predicts that the rest of the U.S. won’t be back to record levels until 2024, yet Ohio is already leading the way when it comes to travel and tourism.

“This year Ohio is on track to set another tourism record,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “The diversity of our state, from our beautiful state parks that are always free for visitors, to our charming small towns and our vibrant cities – Ohio offers something for everyone.” 

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History & Tourism, Sports

A Mansfield Fourth, 155 Years Ago

4 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

This story is a favorite of ours, and one which have previously published on Independence Day weekend.

A century and a half ago, local media writers were bemoaning the lack of activities scheduled in Mansfield to celebrate Independence Day, with one exception: a “Base Ball” game between the “fats” and the “lanks.”

This is from the weekly Mansfield Herald’s edition on July 3, 1867:

“The Fourth of July tomorrow will not be celebrated in any formal manner in Mansfield. We are sorry to say it, for many other places of less pretensions than our city, have made arrangement for a good old fashioned time. Ashland, Bucyrus, Bellfontaine and other towns have announcements out of what they intend to do, and many of our citizens will not doubt visit one of the other of these places… More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Gettysburg Surgeon From Plymouth

3 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Note from 1812Blockhouse Publisher Thomas Palmer: I am pleased to re-share this story which concerns a relative of mine, the brother of one of my great great grandfathers. I am proud of his remarkable service during the American Civil War, and I was totally surprised years ago when I found that he lived in, and was buried in, Richland County. Two years ago I visited the Spangler Farm Field Hospital at Gettysburg where he treated Confederate General Lewis Armistead (see photo below).

Today marks the 156th anniversary of the final day of one of our country’s most important battles. During three hot summer days in 1863, tens of thousands of men — including many from Richland County — met to do battle on the verdant farm fields of Adams County, Pennsylvania.

One of those soliders, a major in the Army of the Potomac, has a permanent Richland County resting place in Plymouth’s Greenlawn Cemetery. Although only one of the players in what unfolded, his role was nevertheless a singular one, and the story of his place in the history of the Battle of Gettysburg continues to unfold.

His name was Jay Kling.

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History & Tourism

Ohio Bird Sanctuary Trails Closed Due To Storm Damage

26 Jun , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

In a Facebook post, the Ohio Bird Sanctuary has informed visitors know of closures due to damage from last week’s massive storm.

All trails are now closed at the facility and remain so until further notice, the post shared. “We encourage you and your family to still come visit with the birds, attend a special bird encounters, and enjoy the nature playscape,” the post emphasized.

The weather created unsafe conditions on trails in the Sanctuary.

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Richland Roots: A Mansfielder Attends A Historic Presidential Inauguration

25 Jun , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Throughout the last 231 years, there have undoubtedly been scores of Richland County men and women who have attended US presidential inaugurations. Not many of them, however, have written about the experience and provided an account of what they saw and heard.

One such person was Robert Wesley McBride, who had a close-up seat at the second inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln. McBride, who had been born in 1842 southeast of Mansfield, enlisted in the Ohio 7th Cavalry, otherwise known as the “Union Light Guard.” That unit soon served as a bodyguard for the President and mounted escort. More…

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History & Tourism

Richand Roots: The Gelatin Queen, Rose Knox

24 Jun , 2022  

By: 1812Blockhouse

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 call “Richland Roots.” For other Richland Roots stories, click here.

A woman referred to as one of the leading American businesspersons of the early 20th century received her own start in pre-Civil War Mansfield. More…

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History & Tourism, Literary Mansfield

Literary Mansfield: The Poetry of Salathiel Coffinberry

22 Jun , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

In our “Literary Mansfield” series, we look at the lives and works of Mansfielders who have contributed to the world of words. Authors, poets, playwrights, lyricists, and other wordsmiths are featured.

Today’s subject was a resident of Mansfield for some, but not all, of his long life.

The saga of Salathiel Coffinberry began in Lancaster, Ohio in 1809; he was the son of that city’s first newspaper editor. After a stint in Chilicothe, the family moved to Mansfield, where Salathiel began the practice of law and married for a second time to the equally wonderfully-named Artemisia Cook. He left Mansfield in 1843, and spent the rest of his life in Michigan. Salathiel and Artemisia had six children with names such as Hermia Salathiella, Herman Napoleon, and Estophanta. More…

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