History & Tourism

Literary Mansfield: The Grande Dame Of Science Fiction

25 Jan , 2021  

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

History Says: Be Cautious When Voting For Mayor Of Mansfield

21 Jan , 2021  

NOTE: This was posted in September, 2019 during the last Mansfield mayoral campaign.

By 1812Blockhouse

As you can read in a current post on 1812Blockhouse, tickets are now available for the upcoming debate between the two candidates for Mayor of Mansfield.

The current campaign centers on typical early 21st century concerns for a mid-sized Ohio city, including efforts to boost the local economy, address social needs, and invest in needed infrastructure. While the same types of concerns may have been on  voters’ minds 140 years ago, the Mansfield Mayoral campaign of 1879 also featured an apparent fraudster. More…

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All About Richland, History & Tourism

A Mansfielder Attends A Presidential Inauguration

19 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

As another January 20 is right around the corner, many eyes are on the events taking place this week in Washington, D.C..

Throughout the last 231 years, there have undoubtedly been scores of Richland County men and women who have attended US presidential inaugurations. Not many of them, however, have written about the experience and provided an account of what they saw and heard.

One such person was Robert Wesley McBride, who had a close-up seat at the second inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln. McBride, who had been born in 1842 southeast of Mansfield, enlisted in the Ohio 7th Cavalry, otherwise known as the “Union Light Guard.” That unit soon served as a bodyguard for the President and mounted escort. 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

When Mansfield Welcomed: Sir Harry Lauder

9 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

A man once described by Winston Churchill as “Scotland’s greatest ever ambassador” included Mansfield among places he visited during his storied career.

At the time of his March 1916 visit, Harry Lauder was already the highest paid performer in the world. His visit took place at a time of increased anxiety in America, as the county was involved in arming the Allies in World War 1 but was still several months away from joining the fray. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Paul Robeson

2 Jan , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

There are many Mansfielders who today would not recognize the name of Paul Robeson.

That is unfortunate. Robeson was an extraordinary talent who, as Wikipedia shares, “…became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism.” A man large in stature, he had an oversized influence in American musicals and in the Civil Rights Movement.

He was also someone who made a visit to Mansfield to perform in concert. More…

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History & Tourism, Holidays, Literary Mansfield

Louis Bromfield And Christmas

25 Dec , 2020  

NOTE: First published  during our first Christmas in 2016, this look at Louis  Bromfield and Christmas has become an annual tradition.  We’ll be running this story through Christmas Day.  A very Merry Christmas to you from 1812Blockhouse!

There is no question that Pulitzer Prize-winner and Mansfielder Louis Bromfield was a fan of the holidays.

During the period of time that Bromfield lived there, Malabar Farm was an active place during the Christmas season. More…

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Downtown, History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: John Philip Sousa

12 Dec , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

John Philip Sousa was a musician whose reputation remains strong almost a century after his death.

The scene must have been extraordinary that late October evening in 1892, over 125 years ago, when Sousa came to town. The venue was the brand-new Memorial Opera House, a 565 seat auditorium situated in what was later the site of the Madison Theatre, and is now the parking lot of the Solders and Sailors Memorial Building on Park Avenue West. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Its Very First Automobile Show

9 Dec , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Richland Countians love their cars.

The role of the automobile in daily life was a relatively new one, however, on February 24, 1917, the day that Mansfield’s very first automobile show opened its doors.

Just nine years after the Ford Motor Company launched its signature Model T, and just four years after the company’s integrated moving assembly line revolutionized manufacturing, the car owners in north central Ohio decided to hold a show at the brand-new building of the Cotter Transfer & Storage – then, as it still is 100 years later, at 40 West Third Street. More…

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History & Tourism, Richland Recollections

Richland Recollections: Sally Huber Lanyon Reflects On The Mansfield Of Her Youth

3 Dec , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

In this series, Richland Recollections, we feature remembrances of Richland County as told by those who lived here.

Today’s article features Sally (Huber) Lanyon, who grew up in Mansfield in the 1950s. Last year, she spoke at Main Street Books; she is the co-creator of Brutus Buckeye and co-author of “The Autobiography of Brutus Buckeye: As Told To His Parents.”

Sally recently shared the following memories with 1812Blockhouse. It’s a great read! More…

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History & Tourism

The Year Of No Turkeys

24 Nov , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

It was a different kind of Thanksgiving in Mansfield 100 years ago.

For one thing, Mansfielders could travel to watch professional football being played on Thanksgiving Day for the very first time. Three of those games were played in Ohio, including contests between the Akron Pros and Canton Bulldogs; the Elyria Athletics and the Columbus Panhandles; and the Dayton Triangles and the Detroit Heralds.

What was on the average Richland County dinner table that day?

Most likely, it wasn’t a turkey. More…

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History & Tourism

Johnny Appleseed Museum Artifacts To Remain Together

23 Nov , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

Mansfield’s unique and strong connection with pioneer nurseryman Johnny Appleseed is an important element of local history.

While Johnny moved away in later life, and is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana, his connections to this area remained strong. His name has appeared on a local shopping center; on an Boy Scout Council; and on a historic marker in Mansfield’s Central Park and monument in South Park near the Blockhouse.

Richland County is also a key part of the Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway.

1812Blockhouse has followed stories related to Johnny’s fame as well as artifacts related to his life and legend. That has included the fate of the former Johnny Appleseed Education Center and Museum on the campus of Urbana University in Urbana. More…

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All About Richland

Mansfield: Where Roots Run Deep And Wide

12 Nov , 2020  

From our friends at Destination Mansfield – Richland County

Mansfield is a place whose personality, present and future, cannot be separated from its past. To truly know this city, you must first get acquainted with its history because Mansfield’s roots run deep and wide.

The Wellspring of Richland County

Mansfield is the heart of Richland County and home to both a literal and metaphorical wellspring — a city that sprang up from nothing but forested wilderness on the American frontier. In 1808, the city’s founders chose an unusual spot to settle: a picturesque hilltop flanked by forks of the Mohican River. For settlers, a water source was often the primary factor for choosing a location to put down roots. Most settled in locations near rivers, but this hilltop had a unique water source and high elevation which made it quite preferable to the mosquito-plagued lowlands of the Black Fork River. The Big Spring, a natural spring an easy walk from the square (now Mansfield’s Central Park), provided early Mansfielders with an endless supply of cool water straight from the earth for the necessities of life of the frontier. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Went Online: First Editions Of Local Websites

12 Nov , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

It wasn’t that long ago that Richland Countians obtained local news and information almost solely via newspaper, radio, and television.

Everyone who has lived through some or all of the last twenty years knows the impact that the Internet has had on communication. In fits and starts, Mansfield businesses and organizations have joined local media in staking out an online presence. Today, it’s a standard part of doing business.

More…

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History & Tourism

Mansfield Faces A Pandemic: November 1918

1 Nov , 2020  

By 1812Blockhouse

On this very day back in 1918, the order went out. All Mansfield businesses were required to close promptly at 7:00 PM each evening.

The city of Mansfield in 1918 was a bustling place. By the time of the 1920 census, the city would have grown over 34% in the previous ten years. The manufacturing base was firmly established, and the city was a market center for the area.

Something alarming was happening, however, something which has eerie parallels to the present COVID-19 impact on Mansfield and Richland County. More…

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