History & Tourism, Landmarks of Richland

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Winfield S. Ward House

11 Oct , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

The exuberant Queen Anne style house at 350 Park Avenue West in Mansfield holds a bit of a surprising anecdote. More about that and the end of this post.

It was built by Winfield S. Ward, a man who made a good living as a manufacturer of “elastic web,” that being the elastic material comprised of woven textile or rubber fibers and primarily used for garters and suspenders.

Winfield Ward was born in Pennsylvania, educated in Trenton, New Jersey, and came to Mansfield about 1889. At the time, he was a real estate agent, and the The Weekly News of April 28, 1892 profield him as one of “Mansfield’s wide aware real estate agents.” More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Old Tippecanoe

28 Sep , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

In recognition of the first debate of the 2020 US Presidential Election this week, we are sharing a second “When Mansfield Welcomed” post in a handful of days concerning the visit of an American President to Richland County.

William Henry Harrison is perhaps best known as an answer to a trivia question as to which President of the United States has had the shortest term. This is unfortunate, as Harrison had a busy and successful career in military service long before his short tenure in office.

And, on at least two instances, he made a visit to Mansfield — the second about 28 years after the first. As such, he undoubtedly was the first future, current, or past US President to stop here.

Born in Virginia, Harrison is often claimed by Ohio to reinforce its “Mother of Presidents” claim. He did settle in Ohio and was elected from here. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: President Rutherford B. Hayes

26 Sep , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

It is almost certain that President Rutherford B. Hayes made several visits to Mansfield and Richland County during his life

The first of those may well have occurred on the evening of August 21, 1868, just three years after the Civil War. At the time, Hayes was serving in his first term as Governor of Ohio.

On that evening, Hayes spoke to a meeting of the “Grant Club,” a gathering of Republican party leaders also known as a “Union Republican Meeting.” Hayes’ speech that night took place in Miller’s Hall, the city’s first large speakers and performance venue. His appearance was something of a surprise; it had been announced just the day before. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Lloyd Garrison Wheeler: Part Two

12 Sep , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Part One of our first Richland Roots profile on Mansfield native Lloyd Garrison Wheeler can be accessed here.

When Lloyd and Ranie Wheeler made their move to from Illinois to Arkansas in 1870, they had good timing. Just one year later, 3.3 square miles of the central part of Chicago were destroyed by fire.

On the other hand, Reconstruction-era Arkansas was a very difficult location for Wheeler as he set out to establish a law practice. Family legend says that a billy club found within his effects after his death was protection in case he might become the target of Ku Klux Klan activity. More…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: Lloyd Garrison Wheeler: Part One

11 Sep , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Shortly before his death in 1909, a husband, a Mansfield native, and wife from Chicago boarded a train and headed south, their destination a relatively new place of higher education in rural Alabama. The couple was no stranger to southern life, having spent years living in Arkansas some three decades before. On this occasion, however, the man was leaving behind a set of business difficulties and accepting a position which had been offered to him by a long-time friend. More…

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History & Tourism

Renaissance To Reveal Virtual Tour During Ohio Open Doors

9 Sep , 2020  

Renaissance Performing Arts will reveal a virtual tour of its theatre on Friday, September 11 as part of the Ohio Open Doors program of The Ohio History Connection.

The Ohio History Connection created Ohio Open Doors in 2016 to promote and inspire pride in Ohio’s heritage and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. “Ohio Open Doors shares stories of important landmarks right in our backyard, highlighting the history and unique nature of some of Ohio’s most treasured historic places,” says Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection. More…

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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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