Mansfield’s unique and strong connection with pioneer nurseryman Johnny Appleseed is an important element of local history.
While Johnny moved away in later life, and is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana, his connections to this area remained strong. His name has appeared on a local shopping center; on an Boy Scout Council; and on a historic marker in Mansfield’s Central Park and monument in South Park near the Blockhouse.
Richland County is also a key part of the Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway.
1812Blockhouse has followed stories related to Johnny’s fame as well as artifacts related to his life and legend. That has included the fate of the former Johnny Appleseed Education Center and Museum on the campus of Urbana University in Urbana. That institution and campus was closed after acquisition by Franklin University.
In June, we shared news that with that closure, the fate of the artifacts in the Center and Museum — the largest such collection anywhere — was uncertain (our story is here).
Some clarity is now available. According to a recent post on the website of the Johnny Appleseed Society, Franklin University has agreed that all of the items are in the ownership of the Johnny Appleseed Foundation. Negotiations are now taking place between the two as to the potential sale of Browne Hall, the location where the Center and Museum was housed on the Urbana University campus, so that the collection can remain there. The initial offered sales price was for $200,000.
The alternative would be to locate other space in Urbana, the article states.
In either case, it appears that this important collection with a strong connection to Mansfield and Richland County will remain intact.