All About Richland, History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Central United Methodist Church

21 Jun , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The former Central United Methodist Church on Park Avenue West, now the Bethesda Fellowship Ministry Center, was dedicated on August 27, 1911.

It was designed by Vernon Redding, Mansfield’s best known and most prolific architect of his era, who was also the architect for the Leland Hotel and Carnegie Library building. Because of its heavy stone massing, it has been described as being of the Richardson Romanesque style, but its sloping roof with exposed truss ends, as well as its date of construction, suggests Arts and Crafts influences as well. The exterior is of Sandusky limestone with Bedford white stone trim. A 14 foot cloister is featured on the east side of the sanctuary. More…

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All About Richland

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Women’s Club Building

5 May , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

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…

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History & Tourism, Shelby

Landmarks Of Richland County: First Presbyterian Church, Shelby

20 Apr , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

This church building is testament to faith and resilience.

The present First Presbyterian Church of Shelby, located on North Gamble Street, has occupied this spot for the last 115 years. It stands on the lot to the south of the Post Office Building, the subject of another recent post in this series.

The fact that it exists, however, is rather miraculous.

Presbyterians first met in the Shelby area in the early 1820s. After a couple of initial locations, the congregation built a church on South Broadway in 1851. More…

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Downtown, History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: St. Peter’s Catholic Church

4 Apr , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

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…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Richland: Greenlawn Cemetery Chapel

25 Mar , 2021  

By: 1812Blockhouse

Last May was to have featyred RichHistory Weekend, an annual celebration of the past throughout Richland County.

Even though those events were cancelled by the current public health situation, we took the opportunity to travel that weekend to Plymouth and to visit a local Landmark of Richland that we have not yet featured on 1812Blockhouse.

In the last half of the 19th century, many American cemeteries were laid out in the style of parks. Ample acreage was obtained, and meandering drives, hills, and landscaping gave visitors a sense of peace and beauty. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Park Avenue Baptist Church

8 Mar , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

When it was finished in 1929, the Park Avenue Baptist Church building was referred to as “one of the most beautiful churches in Ohio.”

Still standing at 296 Park Avenue West and now home to a Christian congregation known as MOSAIC, the structure has long been unique to the community. When it was built, it housed the only local Baptist church and it also reflected an architectural style which was not seen in other Mansfield religious buildings before or since. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building

18 Feb , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

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…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Charles H. Voegele House

1 Feb , 2021  

By 1812Blockhoue

If this house had a nickname, it might well be “The House That Candy Built.”

One of the mansions of Mansfield that, while standing, have been altered substantially for commercial purposes, the Charles H. Voegele House at 514 Park Avenue West was home to a remarkably energetic figure in late 19th century and early 20th century Mansfield — and someone who performed a truly heroic act in his youth.

Charles Voegele was born in Germany in 1854, and came to Mansfield with his parents at the age of one. Attending school here, he went to New York City and became employed in the E. Greenfield & Sons Candy Company.

On December 20, 1877, the factory was rocked by an explosion and the entire complex burned to the ground, killing 13. Five of the female employees were personally saved by the actions of Charles Voegele, who was badly burned in the melee. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Frank A. Gilbert House

10 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

It’s not usually the case that a still-standing 135 year old house can be paired with a still-standing commercial building of similar vintage.

Such is the case for the house at 343 Park Avenue West and the North Main Street structure currently known as the “City Mills Building.”

Frank A. Gilbert was born in 1835 in Oswego, New York, and moved with his parents to New London, Ohio at the age of 15. A year later his father, a miller by trade, died, and as the oldest son Frank took over that business. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Richland: Sacred Heart Of Jesus Church

8 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Approaching this spot in Sharon Township from any direction, its spire can be seen for miles as it rises majestically across the flat plains.

For over 180 years, the church for the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Shelby Settlement, also known as Bethlehem or “The Settlement,” has been a landmark of faith and family. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Grace Gospel Tabernacle

22 Dec , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Mansfielders of today might not recognize the original name of this familiar building, which celebrated its 100th birthday in October of this year.

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. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: The Upson House

6 Dec , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

The imposing brick house at 234 Park Avenue West once belonged to an imposing coal man.

His name was Charles William Upson. Upson, who was born in Tallmadge in 1855, came to Mansfield shortly after his 1879 graduation from Cornell University. A shrewd businessman, he joined with his brother and formed the Upson Brothers Coal Company. Coal remained his life for some 40 years. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks of Mansfield: Walpark Building

17 Nov , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

The Walpark Building at 13 Park Avenue West occupies a unique location in the history of Mansfield.

In 1858, the City of Mansfield – which had become a city from a village just a year earlier – erected a City Hall and market building at the southeast corner of Market (now Park Avenue West) and Walnut Streets. The lot was purchased for $1,500 (an amount which the City actually had to borrow), and the structure cost some $10,000 to construct.

In 1922, the former City Hall was sold to the Walpark Building Company for the sum of $87,000. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Mansfield Dry Goods Building

18 Oct , 2020  

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…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Rigby House

6 Oct , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

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. More…

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