By 1812Blockhouse

In an invitation shared on social media, Richland Early American Center for History (REACH) has invited the public to a series of summer “Open Weekends,” each providing an opportunity to view the organization’s unique collection of buildings in South Park and to learn about the area’s past.

According to REACH’s new website, accessible at, the buildings represent a small settlement designed to immerse visitors in the past.

Attractions in South Park include the Petersburg Cabin, a pre-Civil War cabin made of hand-hewn logs and dating back to the early 1800s (around 1808). The cabin originally stood on a knoll opposite Petersburg Lake and was later relocated to Mifflin and then to South Park.​ It has been open since 2021 and provides cooking and other demonstrations.

The Mansfield Blockhouse, built in 1812, is a well known structure that plays a significant role in the local history and has served as a community icon for decades. Between 1813 to 1816, one of the two original blockhouses served as Richland County’s first courthouse. 

The early 1800s period Hawks Nest Forge & Cooperage is a recent addition to the village, completed in September 2021. When stepping inside this blacksmith and woodworking shop, visitors are immediately transported back to the 1800s. The forge built for the shop is a replica of a forge that was once operational in the area, showcasing the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the period​​.

Open Weekends are taking place this coming Saturday and Sunday from 1 PM to 3 PM, and again on July 8 & 9; July 22 & 23; August 12 & 13; and August 26 & 27 during the same hours.

Photos: 1812Blockhouse

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