History & Tourism

Hey, I Saw Your House In A Catalog: Sears Houses In Mansfield

11 May , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

If you live in Mansfield, there’s a chance that you might live near a residence that was bought out of a book.

A Sears catalog, to be exact.

With Sears in the news this last week with the impending closure of the store at Richland Mall, we are joining those reflecting back on the long history of that retail chain in Mansfield. One unique connection between the two was in the large number of houses which were purchased from Sears and erected along city streets.

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Tragic Tale Of Beautiful Miss Mansfield

9 May , 2022  

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

When Mansfield Welcomed: England’s Greatest Actor

26 Apr , 2022  

By: 1812Blockhouse

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

Literary Mansfield: The Grande Dame Of Science Fiction

19 Apr , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Through our “Literary Mansfield” series, we take occasional looks at the lives and careers of those who have called Mansfield home at some point in their lives, and who have become known locally, regionally, or even nationally as authorst, poets, lyricisits, playwrights, or in other literary fields. Other posts in the series can be found here.

Today, we deviate just a bit by looking at the life of someone who may have never lived in Mansfield, but lies buried in Mansfield Cemetery and has strong familial connections to the city.

Her birth name was Mary Alice Norton, but her legions of fans know her by her pseudonym, Andre Norton. Other pseudonyms used by Norton included Andrew North and Allen Weston. More…

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building: Updated

14 Apr , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

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.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Greatest Show On Earth

2 Apr , 2022  

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 As It Was, 72 Years Ago: Census Records Being Released Next Week

22 Mar , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

What were Mansfield and Richland County like in 1950?

You’re about to get the opportunity to find out.

Thanks to what the National Archives refers to as the “72 Year Rule,” each year that ends with a “2” brings the release of another decennial census. In this case, the 1950 census will be released to the public this April 1.

Originally, US census records were not made public. In 1978, an agreement between the Director of the Bureau of the Census and the Archivist of the United States changed that practice and set that 72 year period.

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: The Man Who Followed Lewis And Clark

11 Mar , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Over the last two centuries, Richland County has produced a remarkable set of individuals who have led lives of discovery. In the nineteenth century, that included men and women who traveled west where they were engaged in the exploration of areas of the country that were not then well known to Americans.

Once such individual was Olin Dunbar Wheeler.

Wheeler was born on May 1, 1852 in Mansfield to a Methodist minister and his wife; he had a twin sister, Ellen, who died when she was six weeks old. Orin excelled in schooling, and in 1874 graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Cornell University. More…

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History & Tourism

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About: Mansfield’s Glessner Avenue

10 Mar , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Glessner Avenue was named in honor of a Mansfield newspaper man who was a towering local figure in local business and civic affairs.

His name was John Y. Glessner.

Glessner was originally from Somerset County, Pennsylvania, which is where he started in the media business when he and his brother purchased a local paper. Moving first to St. Clairsville in southeast Ohio and then to Columbus, Glessner came to Mansfield in 1841.

From that time until his death in 1882, he owned and published the Richland County Shield and Banner. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Ohio State Corn Show

3 Mar , 2022  

By: 1812Blockhouse

The competition was fierce early last century as Columbus, Alliance, Marietta, Toledo, Fostoria, Marion, and Mansfield vied for the prize – host city for the 1914 Ohio State Corn Show. At the 1913 show in Lima, the winner was announced, and Mansfield was chosen.

Amazingly, both the 1913 and 1914 Corn Shows took place in the dead of winter – mid to late January. Still, thousands attended such events.

The News Journal was effusive about Mansfield’s selection, suggesting that “[T]he exceptional advantages of Mansfield in the matter of transportation facilities” would draw more people to Richland County than Allen County. More…

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History & Tourism

A Postcard To The Architect

27 Feb , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

This post first ran in March, 2020. We’re still looking for details!

Timing sometimes comes into play here at 1812Blockhouse. This weekend, the serendipity was startling and a wee bit mysterious.

On Sunday, we ran our latest post in the Landmarks of Mansfield series, this one focusing on the beautiful Mansfield Savings Bank Building at the corner of Fourth and Main. That same afternoon, an 1812 reader — in fact, the sister of the Publisher of 1812Blockhouse — happened to be looking through a box of family photographs which were interspersed with paper “ephemera,” that is, announcements and news clippings and, as it turns out, postcards. More…

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All About Richland

Pictures Shared Of Endly House Interior

25 Feb , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

By 1812Blockhouse

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.

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History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Mansfield: The Adam J. Endly House

23 Feb , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

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…

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History & Tourism

Richland Roots: An American Girl – The Life Of Olive Anderson

22 Feb , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Her name was Olive San Louie Anderson.

Not only was her name a bit unusual, her life was a pacesetting one in the area of higher education for women. Unfortunately, it was also one which ended in tragedy.

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

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History & Tourism

Cooking From Yesteryear

10 Feb , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

If you act quickly, you might grab one of the remaining seats in18th Century Cooking sponsored by Richland Early American Center For History (REACH).

Join guest Laura Supinger on March 19 from 10AM to 3 PM as she demonstrates period recipes over an open hearth at the Petersburg Cabin located in South Park in Mansfield. 

You can watch and learn as Laura prepares recipes for your tasting pleasure. Class will be held rain or shine.

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