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

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, Sports

When Mansfield Welcomed: Baseball’s Greatest Shortstop

24 Mar , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

It would be difficult to overestimate the storied reputation of Honus Wagner in the world of professional baseball. Over 100 years after winning his eighth and final batting title – a National League record which remains in place to this day – Wagner is also well-known for the record prices set by the sale of his baseball cards. He was also, for a short time, a Mansfielder.

Not only did Honus Wagner visit here, he lived here for a short time and played ball for part of one season with the Mansfield Kids of the Inter-State League. And, while he played with the Kids, something happened in Mansfield which would change the course of baseball history. 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

When Mansfield Welcomed: Sir Harry Lauder

5 Feb , 2022  

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: General Rosalie Jones

24 Jan , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse.

A bit over one hundred years ago, women voted in a US Presidential election for the first time.

The road to the point was a long and difficult one. Some of the leading proponents of women’s suffrage are now well-known names from history — Susan B. Anthony in the United States, Emmeline Pankrust in England, and others.

One activist for women’s suffrage was certainly just as vocal and, at an important point in her crusade, was a visitor to Mansfield.

It was in July, 1912 when Rosalie Gardner Jones and her friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Freeman, made it to Richland County. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Its Very First Automobile Show

13 Dec , 2021  

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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Downtown, History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: John Philip Sousa

3 Dec , 2021  

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. An October 1892 edition of the Mansfield Daily Shield provided this set up for the concert during the week prior to the event:

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Ralph Waldo Emerson

18 Nov , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

It is said that the winter of 1867-1868 was a uniformly cold one, though a late season snowstorm wreaked havoc on the eastern part of the country.

It was during that winter that a man arrived in Mansfield and checked in at the Wiler House hotel. The establishment was frequented by travelers arriving via coach in the city. It had been established about 1820 at the corner of North Main Street and Dickson Avenue, not far from the current Richland Carrousel Park.

When registering, the man put down the name “Ralph Waldo Emerson” in the guest registry. From that time on, it has been claimed that that man was THE famous lecturer, essayist, and poet, perhaps best known for development of the philosophy of transcendentalism. More about his rich life and career can be found here.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Old Tippecanoe

11 Nov , 2021  

Editor’s Note: In honor of Veterans Day, we repost this story about a remarkable national military leader who once visited Mansfield.

By 1812Blockhouse

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.

It is also the answer to the question “Which US President first visited Mansfield at some point in his life?” On at least two instances, he made a visit here — the second about 28 years after the first. 

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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All About Richland

When Mansfield Welcomed: Jayne Mansfield

1 Oct , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

It has been 54 years since the tragic death of an American actress, a lady with a very familiar last name and who paid at least one visit to Mansfield and Richland County.

It was on the night of June 28/29, 1967 that Jayne Mansfield and her attorney were killed on a car trip from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana. At 2:25 AM, the car slammed into the back of a tractor trailer which had slowed behind and was obscured by a truck spraying mosquito fogger. Mansfield’s three children escaped with minor injuries.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Good Witch Of The North

5 Sep , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Certain Hollywood actors and actresses who have had long and successful careers are largely remembered for a single role.

Such might be the case for actress Billie Burke, whose career spanned over four decades. It began with a stage appearance in London where she had toured with her father, a clown for Barnum & Bailey Circus, and included Broadway shows, movies, and plays. Her final film was released in 1960.

In 1910 she made a trip to Ohio. More specifically, she came to Mansfield to appear at the Memorial Opera House, which was attached to the Soldiers and Sailors Building on Park Avenue West. One of her first Broadway plays, Mrs. Dot, had run at the Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street in New York City from January to March, after which the company appeared for a short time in Washington. D.C. at the New National Theatre.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Investigative Journalist

30 Aug , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

Although she disliked the moniker, there is little question that Ida Tarbell was a muckraker – or, in modern terminology, an investigative journalist. In 1926, the famous muckraker paid a visit to Mansfield.

In fact, Tarbell basically created the field in becoming the foremost woman journalist of her time. She set the standard by taking on the largest monopoly the country had ever known.

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Paul Robeson

21 Aug , 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

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Ohio State Fair

12 Aug , 2021  

By 1812Blockhouse

The online, pandemic-shuttered Ohio State Fair recently concluded. Here’s a trivia question for you – when was the last time that the Fair was held outside of Columbus, and where was it held?

You might be able to guess the answer to that question from the title of this post.

Mansfield was home to the Ohio State Fair in 1872 and 1873, one of only 10 cities statewide to ever hold that honor. More…

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