History & Tourism

Literary Mansfield: The Poetry of Salathiel Coffinberry

31 Jul , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

This was the first post in our series which looks at the ways in which Mansfielders, past and present, have been involved with books, poetry, music, and other written works. We’ve been calling this series, “Literary Mansfield.”

Our first subject back in 2017 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.

We have added information since then to this narrative to more completely describe this remarkable man.



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…


All About Richland

Mansfield Native Named 12th President Of Ohio Northern University

12 Dec , 2021  

Special to 1812Blockhouse (emphasis added)

Dr. Melissa J. Baumann, a dynamic and talented leader who has been serving as provost and chief academic officer at Xavier University, has been selected as the 12th president of Ohio Northern University. She will be the first woman to hold the position. Her appointment was unanimously approved at a recent Board of Trustees meeting. She will begin on July 1, 2022, succeeding President Daniel A. DiBiasio when he retires at the end of June 2022.

Dr. Baumann’s qualifications distinguished her from a highly qualified pool of candidates who expressed interest in this role. The search committee was impressed by her academic background, leadership accomplishments, and compassionate commitment to student, faculty, and staff excellence at private and public colleges during her more than 30-year career.


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All About Richland

Sondheim Remembered In NYC With Piece From Collaboration With Mansfielder

30 Nov , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The superlatives have been flowing in recent days following the death on Friday of Stephen Sondheim.

The New York Times eulogized Sondheim as the “Titan of the American Musical.” And no wonder. His influence was omnipresent on Broadway.

As shared on Wikipedia, Sondheim started his theatre career by writing the lyrics for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959) before becoming a composer and lyricist. Sondheim’s best-known works include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), and Into the Woods (1987).

One of the many tributes taking place in honor of the composer was a performance in Times Square featuring one hundred signers including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josh Groban, and Sara Bareilles. Their selection to honor Sondheim?

“Sunday” from the musical “Sunday In The Park With George.”

That work was the result of a collaboration between Sondheim and Mansfielder James Lapine. Lapine wrote the book and Sondheim provided music and lyrics; the pair would work together again on Into The Woods and other musicals.

In 2016, we wrote about Lapine, who received the Pulitzer Prize for his work on Sunday In The Park With George. That post can be read here.

The performance in Times Square can be viewed below.


All About Richland, History & Tourism

Bromfield In Paris

16 Nov , 2021  

Publisher’s Note: We join The Ohio State University at Mansfield in celebrating Bromfield Anniversary Week by sharing stories from our archives centering on the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Today’s story was posted on July 14, 2018.

Today marks Bastille Day in France, commemorating the 229th anniversary of the storming of the famous prison in Paris. In honor of that event, and of France’s upcoming World Cup soccer final match on Sunday, we thought we would join north central Ohio and north central France for a special story today.


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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Mysterious Shooting Of Jack Sturges

19 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

1812Blockhouse shares posts in our “Richland Roots” series to reveal stories of the well-known and less-commonly known people born here, or who lived here, and then went on to make significant contributions to state, regional, or national history.

By all accounts, native Mansfielder John J. “Jack” Sturges lived an adventurous life. It was his demise, however, that still fuels claims of paranormal activity in a most unlikely place – Anchorage, Alaska. More…


History & Tourism, Literary Mansfield

Literary Mansfield: The Statesman

16 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Today we look at a work of non-fiction by a leading political figure of the 19th century.

Mansfield has been able to boast of several statesmen and stateswomen in its history, two of which rose to the level of United States Senator from Ohio. One of the two holders of that title, Sherrod Brown, is a graduate of Mansfield Senior; 150 years ago, another Mansfielder had that distinction.

Much has been written of John Sherman’s career, though no thorough biography of the man has been written to date. That is unfortunate, as Sherman had a unique career in public service that took place over extraordinary years in American history. He also was an integral part of the civic and cultural life of Mansfield from its days as a quiet county seat town to the booming industrial center of the late 19th century. More…

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All About Richland

Mansfielder Sylvia McNair Donates Career Collection

16 Jul , 2021  

Special to 1812Blockhouse

Mansfield’s two-time Grammy Award-winning soprano, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music alumna and former faculty member Sylvia McNair, has donated a vast array of items documenting her career to her alma mater.

The Sylvia McNair Digital Collection comprises more than 900 entries and over 4,000 scanned items, including concert programs, newspaper and magazine articles and reviews, awards, photos, publicity materials and correspondence from throughout McNair’s 35-plus-year career as an opera, classical and cabaret singer.

The physical collection, held in the William and Gayle Cook Music Library at the Jacobs School of Music, also includes more than 50 of McNair’s professional recordings and dozens of personal music scores with her performance notes. More…

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History & Tourism, Sports

Play Ball! Mansfield’s Baseball Broadcasting Pioneer

28 Mar , 2021  

Publisher’s Note: This story was published back in 2017, and is being reposted today to celebrate the arrival of the Major League Baseball season this week. We’ll be posting two additional local baseball-related stories this week.

The 2021 season of “America’s Favorite Pastime” is almost here. What better time to share the story of a key figure in radio broadcasting history – and particularly baseball broadcasting — who made Mansfield his home?

Harold Wampler Arlin was born in 1895 in the small town of La Harpe, Illinois.

He was a true media pioneer, being in the “right place at the right time.” In November 1920, what is arguably America’s first radio station went on the air, Pittsburgh’s KDKA. Among its first employees was its first and radio’s first full time announcer, Harold Arlin. More…

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History & Tourism

Mansfield’s Civil War General, “Fighting Bob”

20 Aug , 2018  

Today we’re re-posting a story about a Mansfielder who was well-known in his day, but about whom you have have heard little.

Throughout its past, Mansfield has been home to individuals who have played important roles in American history. The list of statesman, artists, authors, and others who are from here, or who have lived here, is a long and interesting one. More…

All About Richland, History & Tourism

The Legacy Of What May Be The Last Johnny Appleseed Planted Tree

4 Feb , 2018  

Today, we are re-posting a popular post from last September for those who may not have seen it.

We live in Johnny Appleseed country. The relationship between the pioneer American nurseryman and the Mansfield area is well documented and commemorated today in many ways – from shopping centers to scenic byways.

Johnny Appleseed’s legacy lives on in other parts of Ohio and the country. Some months ago, we shared a story about one person’s efforts to identify the actual resting place for John Chapman, his legal name. That post can be accessed here. More…



Mansfielder Named To International Drag Racing Hall Of Fame

20 Mar , 2017  

UPDATE on March 20: Shrewsberry was inducted this past week into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. This is our article on the honor which was first published in October.

A one-time Mansfielder who went on to become a key person in the development of “wheelstander” exhibition cars has been named as an inductee to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in Ocala, Florida. More…

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