History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Mansfield’s Carnegie Library Building

27 Oct , 2019  

At some date in late 1907, a Mansfield woman boarded a train and headed to New York City. Armed with determination and expressions of commitment from civic leaders, her intent was clear – she wanted to secure a grant from noted industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for a library building in Mansfield. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Farmers Bank Building

17 Oct , 2019  

It rises some 157 feet above the pavement of Park Avenue West, a 53,000 square foot structure that speaks to the optimism and economic health of early 20th century Mansfield. The Farmers Bank Building was constructed in 1929. In that decade and the one following, many Midwestern cities saw the building of Classical and Art Deco skyscrapers, many of which, like the Farmers Bank Building, remain the tallest in their respective communities. Each provided a dramatic refutation that its city was a "backwater," instead proclaiming that it had “arrived” in the modern world. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Kern House

4 Oct , 2019  

Prolific architect Vernon Redding, who was undoubtedly the busiest Mansfield architect in the early decades of the 20th century, designed many of the local landmarks we have profiled in this series. He was also extremely versatile, as evidenced by the wide variety of styles in which he designed residences, commercial buildings, schools, and churches. Late in the first decade of the 1900s, Redding became interested in the new Prairie School style of architecture, a movement born in the Midwest and whose most famous proponent was Frank Lloyd Wright. The Prairie Style emphasized horizontal lines, with residences featuring “…horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves, windows grouped in horizontal bands, integration with the landscape, solid construction, craftsmanship, and discipline in the use of ornament” according to Wikipedia. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Doctor Ecki House

28 Aug , 2019  

It still sits perched on a rise on the south side of Park Avenue West as the street makes its way westward from the five way intersection. It’s truly hard to miss, as it is a massive structure, clearly designed to make a statement to passersby. In 2019, however, the statement the house is making is more about the precarious situation in which much of Mansfield’s remaining history finds itself. The last several years have seen scores of unique survivors of the city’s nineteenth and early twentieth century past lost to demolition. Fortunately, the Dr. Ecki House joins others on Park Avenue West that hold on valiantly, defying the odds. Read More

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History & Tourism, Landmarks of Richland

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Colonial

10 Jul , 2019  

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. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Fraser House

28 Apr , 2019  

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). Read More

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Grace Episcopal Church

4 Mar , 2019  

The stately building on the southwest corner of Third and Bowman Streets near downtown represents a 171 year history of the Episcopal Church in Mansfield. Established in 1846, the same year that brought railroads to town, Grace Episcopal Church’s first parishioners included members of the Bartley and Sherman families. Two years later, its first church building was constructed on Third Street just east of Mulberry. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Mansfield Dry Goods Building

3 Jan , 2019  

Sometimes an element of good can come from a tragic event, particularly one that does not involve loss of life or limb. Read More

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Rigby House

24 Dec , 2018  

NOTE: This post in our Landmarks of Mansfield series was first published a year ago today, on Christmas Eve 2017. It has been updated with additional information. One of the many outstanding houses built along Park Avenue West was constructed for a family associated with, of all things, cigars. Cigar manufacturing and wholesaling was big business in turn of the last century Mansfield. Large companies such as the American Cigar Company occupied large business blocks downtown. Over 1,000 Mansfielders were employed in these concerns which produced over 200,000 cigars a day! The arrival of mass produced cigarettes after World War brought a downturn, however, and by the 1930s few such businesses were in operation. One of the giants during of the heyday of cigar manufacture was the Rigby Cigar Company, headed by James Arthur Rigby (known primarily as J.A. Rigby). Rigby brands included the well-known “Dolly Dollar” five cent cigar. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Kingwood

13 Dec , 2018  

In 1926, a bit of France landed in the middle of north central Ohio in the form of Kingwood, the home of Charles Kelley King. Ninety years-plus later, it forms the centerpiece for one of the region’s foremost attractions and one of the best-known public gardens in the entire Midwest. Read More

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Downtown, History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Vasbinder Fountain

21 Nov , 2018  

It sits now as it originally did, anchoring Central Park and providing a pleasant oasis of sight and sound. The Vasbinder Fountain is certainly 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. As a commemorative plate shares, the fountain was donated by David and Jane Vasbinder. Read More

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Downtown, History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The May Building

11 Nov , 2018  

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. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: John Krause House

23 Oct , 2018  

The fact that the John Krause House sits where it does is something which has puzzled some historians. The house was designed with strong Prairie Style influences, much as its two-block-away neighbor, the Rufus Kern House at number 608 Park Avenue West. These two houses were built in a style which was not often found on Midwest main streets, as the influence of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright was considered a bit “modern” and not exactly mainstream. Read More

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Grace Gospel Tabernacle

10 Sep , 2018  

Mansfielders of today might not recognize the original name of this familiar building, itself nearing its 100th birthday. On Sunday, October 10, 1920, the Grace Gospel Tabernacle was dedicated at 95 East Third Street in downtown Mansfield. The congregation, which had been founded just four years previously, was enthusiastic about their new building -- which was already a bit snug. Read More

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