Thursday’s news brought coverage of the discovery of spaces described by local media as a cave, tunnel, and/or cavern. Beginning in the area north of the former National Electrical Supply building on the northeast corner of East Fourth and North Diamond, apparently one or more head west toward Temple Court.
Speculation abounds that the spaces were associated with breweries located in that area. There were two such operations in pre-1900 Mansfield, In 1892, one was the Union Brewery operated by Martin Frank, and the other the Eagle Brewery operated by George Renner and Henry Weber.
The photo below shows the corner as detailed in the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of September, 1892. Uses for individual areas of the buildings are detailed; for the Union Brewery, for instance, storage of barley took place on the first floor and hops on the second. Click for a larger version.
The Union Brewery was demolished shortly thereafter. The Weber and Renner Brewery building was unfortunately one of very few Mansfield buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places to have been demolished; this took place after a fire destroyed much of the building in 1978.
And here is the Union Brewery area from August 1921: