By 1812Blockhouse

It wasn’t that long ago that Richland Countians obtained local news and information almost solely via newspaper, radio, and television.

Everyone who has lived through some or all of the last twenty years knows the impact that the Internet has had on communication. In fits and starts, Mansfield businesses and organizations have joined local media in staking out an online presence. Today, it’s a standard part of doing business.

We invite you to join us on a return trip back to those beginnings through the magic of the Internet Archive.

The Internet Archive is a non profit organization based in San Francisco that envisions itself as a digital library with the remarkable goal of providing “universal access to all knowledge.” One component of the Archive is called the “Wayback Machine,” which provides a digital archive of the World Wide Web. Through that portal, visitors can access snapshots of websites at various points in their history.

Recently, we took a trip on the Wayback Machine at how well-known local governments and businesses made their first forays online. Below are links to several of these pages.

Please note that many sites have removed linked graphics, photos, and other content since they were first posted, so a given site may have many holes. Links and additional pages may or may not work. Still, you can get a very good idea of how original websites looked. Of course, website design and functionality have come a long way since February 1999, the first date we found.

We have included dates for each snapshot. Each link is to one of the earliest dates we could find that shows a more or less complete page.


City of Mansfield – June 19, 2000

Mansfield News Journal – May 5, 2002

WMFD – October 7, 1999

Kingwood Center – July 23, 2001

Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society – June 20, 2000

Mansfield/Richland County Public Library – April 3, 2002

Malabar Farm State Park – February 3, 1999

Mansfield City Schools – November 8, 2005

Madison Local Schools – July 27, 2003

Shelby City Schools – December 3, 2001

Downtown Mansfield, Inc. – November 28, 1999

Destination Mansfield – Richland County – May 23, 2002

Richland Carrousel Park – March 11, 2003

Gorman Rupp – April 28, 2001

Renaissance Theatre — November 12, 2007

Note: This was originally posted in early 2018 and has been updated with additional information.

Photo by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash

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