History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Ohio State Fair

3 Jun , 2020  

With the recent announcement of the cancellation of the 2020 Ohio State Fair, we thought we’d post this post about a previous edition held right here.

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

Here’s a summertime trivia question for you – when was the last time that the Ohio State 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…


History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Ohio State Corn Show

22 May , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

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. More…


History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Investigative Journalist

14 Apr , 2020  

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. More…


History & Tourism

A Presidents’ Day Tale: John Kennedy Comes To Richland County

16 Feb , 2020  

In a special edition of our “When Mansfield Welcomed” series, and in honor of President’s Day, we look at the visit of a US presidential candidate that took place 60 years ago.

On September 27, 1960, with just about 6 weeks left to go before Election Day, Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts visited the Richland County Courthouse in Mansfield to give a speech and give voters a chance to size him up. As a part of the famous Kennedy family he was already well-known, but being able to see him in person would allow Richland Countians to evaluate him as a possible President of the United States. More…

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Downtown, History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: John Philip Sousa

29 Jan , 2020  

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: Sir Harry Lauder

11 Jan , 2020  

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…


History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: President Rutherford B. Hayes

6 Oct , 2019  

This past Friday evening, hundreds convened at the corner of Sandusky and William Streets in downtown Delaware for the unveiling of a new statute of the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. The statute looks toward the site of his birthplace.

As a native son and as someone who kept connection with the city throughout his life, Hayes is a cultural icon in Delaware. Of course, the high school itself is named after the former President. Fremont is where Hayes chose to live as an adult, and the Hayes’ home, Spiegel Grove, stands to this day.

It is almost certain that Hayes made several visits to Mansfield and Richland County during his life. More…

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History & Tourism, Sports

When Mansfield Welcomed: Baseball’s Greatest Shortstop

13 Sep , 2019  

This story was first posted in October 2018.

It would be difficult to over estimate 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. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Fisk Jubilee Singers

7 Sep , 2019  

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

In fact, it was made over 147 years ago, on November 29, 1871.

On that date, a concert took place here featuring a group of singers from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. That institution of learning, founded a few years previously to provide African American students with the best education possible, was struggling in the post-War south and faced bankruptcy. The idea was advanced by Fisk’s treasurer to have a number of students form a choir which would travel to raise funds for the college. More…

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Its Very First Automobile Show

24 Jul , 2019  

Cars have been on our minds here at 1812Blockhouse, with two feature stories already this week considering automobiles and traffic. In keeping with the theme, we’re re-posting a story we ran two years ago on the one hundredth anniversary of a unique community event.

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

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History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: Buffalo Bill

17 Jul , 2019  

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

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

When Mansfield Welcomed: England’s Greatest Actor

28 May , 2019  

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…


All About Richland

When Mansfield Welcomed: Jayne Mansfield

20 Feb , 2019  

2017 marked the 50th anniversary of 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. More…


History & Tourism

When Mansfield Welcomed: The Greatest Show On Earth

20 Jan , 2019  

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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