Over the last four years, 1812Blockhouse shared over 50 posts in our Landmarks of Mansfield and Landmarks of Richland County series. We have enjoyed focusing on pieces of local history which continue to provide context, a sense of place, and useful space in the early 21st century.
Of course, many pieces of history which could have been preserved have been lost.
One true survivor is a former residence which represents one of the oldest buildings in downtown Mansfield. It sits proudly but somewhat forlornly on the south side of West Fourth Street west of Mulberry Street. When it was built, it would have been one of the largest buildings in town. Today, it presents a remarkable opportunity to preserve a bit of pre-Civil War Mansfield.
We are continuing to doresearch so that we can present a more thorough Landmark of Mansfield post in the future about the house at 103 West Fourth Street. More…
Today, we broaden the scope of our Landmarks of Mansfield series by focusing on a landmark that never was.
At least not how it was originally planned.
We take our readers back 113 years, and to the southwest corner of West Fourth and Walnut Street. There, in 1908, owner William Shakespeare Cappeller, founder and owner of The Mansfield News, made plans for something special to take place. More…
A building with a rich past and an unknown future, the Mansfield Savings Bank Building sits majestically on the northwest corner of North Main and West Fourth Streets, anchoring the Carousel District and serving as a backdrop for civic festivals and events.
For those who visit, the inside of the building matches the extraordinary presence of the exterior. More…
It sits now as it originally did, anchoring Central Park and providing a pleasant oasis of sight and sound.
The Vasbinder Fountain is a Mansfield landmark of the first order. Dedicated on July 4, 1881, it was removed in the late 1950s during the creation of the then-controversial Park Avenue cut-through, and after storage and a temporary placement at Malabar Farm, it was returned to Central Park in 1979. The move took place after community outcry following announced plans to move the fountain to a neighborhood revitalization program in Springfield, Ohio.
As a commemorative plate shares, the fountain was donated by David and Jane Vasbinder. More…
The Mechanics Bank Building, somewhat recently restored and expanded on the corner of South Main Street and Park Avenue West, is a landmark that has occupied an important corner in Mansfield history since its construction in 1926.
In the early years of the city, that corner was occupied by a two story brick residence owned by Robert Bowland. Bowland’s son was involved in one of the most notorious crimes in early Richland County history, an event chronicled in “Two Sons: The Bowland-Barker Murder” by Alan Wigton (available at Amazon.com; see link below). More…
There are a handful of structures standing in Mansfield today that very much “connect the dots.” These buildings tie important eras in the city’s history together, serving therefore as important landmarks that continue to inform and inspire.
One such building sits at 145 Park Avenue West, known locally as The Women’s Club. More…
On a fall evening in 2016, the setting sun cast a golden glow on western facing buildings in Mansfield. Included among those was the Alexander Fraser House, sitting as it does on a rise on Park Avenue West overlooking the entrance to South Park (see photo above). More…
NOTE: This is our traditional Easter Sunday post, which we are happy to share for the third consecutive year.
For the last 100 years, the 125 feet high towers of the landmark St. Peter’s Catholic Church have themselves done double duty, standing sentinel over the central part of Mansfield while at the same time encouraging passers-by to look in a heavenly direction.
The building sits near an intersection that has been home to a Catholic church and school for almost seventeen decades. The first local mass was celebrated in 1850, and the first church, purchased from the Presbyterians, was located on Mulberry Street just north of the current elementary school. More…
UPDATED: The Mansfield Memorial Museum, housed in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, kicked off its 2022 last weekend with a new Westinghouse Appliance Exhibit. More information is available here (NOTE – This is behind the Mansfield News Journal paywall).
The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, Park Avenue West’s Grand Old Lady, is both a local and statewide survivor. Since it opened in 1889, it has served veterans and the community well. Today it houses an extraordinary museum , provides character and dignity to Mansfield’s principal thoroughfare, and is a remarkable connection to what is arguably the most important conflict in American history.
In the years following the Civil War, the Ohio General Assembly passed laws which facilitated the financing and construction of buildings and monuments to serve and commemorate veterans of that conflict and earlier wars. Some cities, such as Sidney and Toledo, began local efforts even earlier. In total, 14 such structures were erected across the state.More…
This is a special Landmarks of Mansfield post.
A beloved community asset, visited by generations of area residents, has temporarily closed.
Rest assured that that in this case closure is good news, however.
The Duck Pond at Kingwood Center Gardens, that remarkable place of the vending machines with pellets and the resulting waddling of ducks chasing after food, their voices quacking loudly at the same time, is getting a much needed makeover this year. The project began last month and will continue until this fall.
Kingwood shares that this is a repair project for the pond’s concrete liner as well as an effort to improve water quality – including increasing the pond’s center depth. The basic dimensions of the banks will remain the same.More…
One of the most enjoyable things about publishing 1812Blockhouse are occasions when our readers continue the story with their own contributions.
Such an event happened on Thursday morning, when we shared our Landmarks of Mansfield entry about the Adam J. Endly House on West Fourth Street.
The 19th century residence is one that has captured the imagination of more than one passer-by as the house has been boarded up for many years, fueling the imagination of many about what might be inside.More…
By the time that the May Building was constructed on the southeast corner of South Main and South Park Streets, facing Central Park, the name “May” had been known by Mansfielders for some 90 years.
The first May to come to this area was Attorney John M. May, who arrived in Mansfield in 1815 from his former home in Dedham, Massachusetts. May, as well as his son, Judge and State Senator Manuel May (1826-1903), lived in a house on this site. When the second May died without issue, the May Realty Company set out to construct a business block on the May House location. More…
The Colonial has graced the southeast corner of Park Avenue West and Benton Street since 1905 with its imposing three story front portico.
The building was erected by local businessman Edward William Dann. Dann, who lived from 1869 to 1950, was initially engaged in the fruit business, and moved to Mansfield from Columbus in the latter years of the nineteenth century. He would eventually become a board member and then president of the Richland Mutual Insurance Company. More…
Mansfield has lost much in the way of civic architecture, including its Victorian era courthouse and two former City Halls. The first building specifically built to serve the community as a post office continues to stand to this day, however, over 100 years after it opened to the public.
The city’s first center for mail delivery was said to have been a hollow log located near the intersection of Third and North Main. More…
Sometimes an element of good can come from a tragic event, particularly one that does not involve loss of life or limb.
Such was the case with the Mansfield of one hundred years ago, a place where the economy bustled with activity and investment.
In early 1919, a fire broke out at a downtown establishment housed in the Hartman and Spreng Building at 26 North Main Street. At the time, the building was home to the Mansfield Dry Goods Company.More…