I really needed a break from the daily grind. My extended hours have finally come to an end, at least for the time being, and I was tired. Tired of being frustrated, tired of trying to keep up, tired of my surroundings. I decided that I just needed to get out of town for the day. I had some ideas, so I brought it up with the hubs and he was interested too, and we decided to take a day trip to Mansfield, Ohio, a little over an hour away--and found some great things to do!
My mom had mentioned a few weeks back that she went blueberry picking near where they live in Michigan. That sounded like something I'd enjoy, so I decided to look up local blueberry u-pick patches in our area. Unfortunately, all of the patches are at least an hour away in any direction, but there was a very popular one called The Blueberry Patch in Mansfield. Boom! Destination #1.
Ohio State Reformatory, the location of this and a few other films, was located in Mansfield! Ever since I found that, I had wanted to visit the building and grounds. I'm not a big fan of the movie--I mean, I liked it when I saw it, and occasionally catch snippets whenever it's played on TV, but it's not a go-to movie for me. BUT, I absolutely loved the building (you'd be surprised how often I pay more attention to the sets and backdrops in a movie instead of the plot), and when I found out that tours are offered of this spectacular late-Victorian prison, I was very interested. Boom! Destination #2.
We didn't have enough time to do everything that I found, but these were the two that interested us most. We struck out on our adventure around mid-morning.
We had a great time picking blueberries. I wanted to pick as many as possible to freeze for the winter. When we arrived, we were given a bucket for our blueberries, and we filled it with a little over six and a half pounds. We wish now that we had brought back two buckets full! It was nice to just be out in the hilly countryside, enjoying an absolutely beautiful day together and listening to nature as we went up and down the rows picking our berries. It was great! There weren't that many people there, but there were families enjoying some quality time together. It took us about an hour and a half to fill our berry bucket.
|"Cell Block Cafe" food wagon|
Hmmm. That's not a sentence that I ever thought I'd say, or in this case, type.
The building itself is in rough shape. Certain areas have been updated for parts of the different movies filmed here, but overall, it's rough. Lead paint is peeling and chipping off of all of the walls. Water damage is apparent in several areas, along with rotting wood and termite damage. Many windows are missing, but there are several stained-glass windows that look to be well-preserved. The structure, however, is well-built and sound, and will be around for years to come. They are working on preserving many architectural aspects of the buildings, and I'm sure that this will be a long-term, ongoing restoration.
|A restored staircase at the end of the tour. The restored staircase is a great late Victorian color scheme.|
|**Spoiler alert**--I believe I remember seeing a sign that this is the room from the Shawshank Redemption where they filmed one of the end scenes, when the warden commits suicide.|
|The chapel on the top floor of the prison building. All prisoners (up to 1900 of them) would attend church here on Sunday as part of their rehabilitation. This room used to have a balcony.|
|A cell that looked as it did in 1950. It was probably a 5' x 10' cell, so hopefully the prisoners learned to get along. Either that, or get shivved, I suppose.|
|This is the longest open cell block in the U.S. I wish I could remember how long they said it was! Just trust me, it was long.|
|A dizzying look up to the ceiling from the bottom floor of the cell block wing.|
|These cell blocks were built around 1910. Interesting that they bricked them in and only left a barred window and the barred door for light.|
|We weren't sure why the door and window lintels were painted gold here. Possibly a movie cell? We didn't see any displays or explanation plaques. It'll remain a mystery for the time being.|
We really had an enjoyable day, and were worn out when we finally got home, but it was also refreshing. It was great to see something new, and do something together with my best friend. A much-needed day away!
|The entrance of the building. The warden and assistant warden quarters are what you see on the left and right, and are actually attached to the prison. This part of the building is exactly symmetrical. And absolutely gorgeous, if you ask me!|