History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Buffalo Bill

14 Aug , 2020  

NOTE: This post in our “When Mansfield Welcomed” series has been updated with recently-discovered information.

By 1812Blockhouse

It was a brilliant Saturday in July, 1896 when Buffalo Bill came to town. Not just Buffalo Bill, mind you – his famous “Wild West Show” was in tow and put on two performances in a lot on East Fourth Street. This was not his first visit to Mansfield, nor would it be his last.

Buffalo Bill, born William Frederick Cody in 1846, grew up on the frontier and loved every aspect of that way of life. As he grew older, some of the titles he earned, or at least ascribed to himself, including buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout and guide, and showman, as well as Pony Express Rider, Indian fighter, and even author. Whatever Cody’s titles, he was destined for fame. More…

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History & Tourism

Vintage Mansfield Photo Collection Accessible Online

5 Aug , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Through a partnership with the Cleveland Memory Project, an online location for thousands of Cleveland area photographs sponsored by the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University, the Mansfield Richland County Public Library has set out to connect Mansfielders with their past.

To that end, the MRCPL is in the process of uploading over 1,000 images housed in the Library’s Sherman Room. The project is an ongoing one, although many have already been added to the site. The main page of the MRCPL Collection can be accessed by clicking here. From that page, the entire local collection can be searched or browsed. More…

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History & Tourism

Mansfield Statue Could Serve As A Model For Toppled Twin

27 Jul , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Correction and Update: A huge “thank you” to a reader who pointed out that the Mansfield statue that is a twin to that in New York is the one which stands in Mansfield’s Central Park, and is not the one in South Park. While both local statues have single Civil War soldiers standing with a rifle, the placement of the hands is different. A Google Maps view of the downtown statue can be viewed here.

That said, we have to say how wonderful is it that Mansfield boasts two quality figures on statues honoring local Civil War units!

We hope to do a story on the Central Park statue this week.


Two Civil War statues sitting 540 miles apart from one another have something in common.

As followers of national news know, the country and its communities have been having a very public dialogue about how best to commemorate all aspects of the past. In some cities and villages, monuments have been removed or destroyed in recent weeks. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Greatest Show On Earth

25 Jul , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

In 1872, entertainment history was made when the first large circus to travel by rail appeared in small and mid-sized communities across the Midwest. America’s Greatest Showman was behind the entire endeavor.

On June 22, that tour included a stop in Mansfield. The Greatest Show on Earth – a slogan used for the very first time in publicity for that very trip – came to town for three shows. Actually, it was more fully known as “P.T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, and World’s Fair – consisting of museum, menagerie, aquarium, polytechnic institute, international zoological garden, and Dan Castello’s chaste and refined circus.” More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Tragic Tale Of Beautiful Miss Mansfield

15 Jul , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

Throughout its history, Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to the world. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series we started last year called “Richland Roots.” For other Richland Roots stories, click here.

Occasionally, those tales take a tragic turn. During a film shoot in 1923, an aspiring actress suffered a gruesome fate that cut short what may well have been a brilliant career. This actress not only shared her name with the city of Mansfield, but it was the city that was the source of her professional name – Martha Mansfield. More…

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History & Tourism

Mansfield On The Map: The Railroads Arrive

11 Jul , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

NOTE: For previous stories in our “Mansfield on the Map” series, click on any of the following:

Mansfield on the Map: The Beginning

Mansfield on the Map: Richland County Changes Shape

Mansfield on the Map: Earlier Map, Hedges Letters Found Online

We continue our look at “Mansfield on the Map” by moving to the year 1854 and the publication of one of the first maps of Ohio to include rail lines, “Colton’s railroad & township map of the state of Ohio, drawn by George W. Colton, and engraved by J M. Atwood.”

The first completed rail line in Ohio was the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. Construction began in 1835 in Sandusky and was completed through Tiffin, Kenton, and Springfield by the late 1840s. More…

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History & Tourism

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About: Mansfield Cemetery

6 Jul , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

t’s the latest in our “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About” series — today we look at Mansfield Cemetery, which sits in the city of Mansfield a bit south and east of downtown.

For other entries in this series, click here. More…

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History & Tourism, Sports

A Mansfield Fourth, 150 Years Ago

4 Jul , 2020  

Note: We first shared this story on our first Fourth of July holiday. It’s so fun, we’re keeping up the tradition this year.

By: 1812Blockhouse

A century and a half ago, local media writers were bemoaning the lack of activities scheduled in Mansfield to celebrate Independence Day, with one exception: a “Base Ball” game between the “fats” and the “lanks.” More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Colonel Thomas H. Ford – Dismissed But Respected

28 Jun , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

Throughout its history, Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to the world. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series called “Richland Roots.”

During the American Civil War, Ohio and Richland County contributed greatly to the Union cause. We have previously posted stories about soldiers such as General Robert Byington Mitchell, a native Mansfielder. Today we turn our attention to another Mansfield resident who saw service in the Union Army, albeit with a unique twist – Thomas H. Ford. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Monument Maker

23 Jun , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse

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

There are recognized experts in many artistic endeavors that have produced one significant, known work, be it a piece of music or work of art.

Such is the case with a Mansfield man who was an obviously talented architect of granite monuments, but who has only one major commission known to have been built. That particular work, the Steuben County Veterans Monument in Angola, Indiana (pictured above), is a towering column that is currently seeing a major restoration effort take place. More…

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History & Tourism

The Bartley Boys: Mansfield’s Father & Son Governors

21 Jun , 2020  

NOTE: In honor of Father’s Day, we bring you this father-son themed post from February of 2018.

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

As another race for Ohio Governor begins in earnest, local folks are looking on with keen interest.


After all, Richland County is an old pro when it comes to things gubernatorial — it was once the home of Ohio’s only father and son Governors.

It’s only happened a few times in American history – the governor of a state is succeeded by another family member. In the case of the Bartley boys, however, the uniqueness goes deeper than that. More…

History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: England’s Greatest Actor

19 Jun , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

He was considered by many to be the greatest English actor of the nineteenth century. Yet underneath the veneer of accomplishment was someone who, it is said, never actually liked performing on the stage.

And on Thursday, March 30, 1916, he visited the city of Mansfield for the only time in his career. His performance that night was one in a series of highly significant moments in the worldwide history of theatre. More…

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History & Tourism

Richand Roots: The Gelatin Queen, Rose Knox

10 Jun , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

Throughout its history, Richland County has produced or been the home to a wide variety of individuals that have made important contributions to the world. 1812Blockhouse has been sharing their stories in a series we started last year called “Richland Roots.” For other Richland Roots stories, click here.

A woman referred to as one of the leading American businesspersons of the early 20th century received her own start in pre-Civil War Mansfield. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Fisk Jubilee Singers

7 Jun , 2020  

NOTE: The story, first published in 2018, has been updated with newly-discovered information about this groundbreaking concert. See below.

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

Did you know that Mansfield is one of the places where American musical history was made?

In fact, it was made over 148 years ago, on November 29, 1871. More…

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