Known as "The Heart of Ohio," this small city provides an anchor for surrounding towns in the Mid-Ohio (north-central) region. Known for its unusual "Carousel District" and home to popular auto-racing sites (including the Mansfield Motorsports Park and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course), Mansfield has about fifty thousand residents. The Ohio State Reformatory--used in the filming of movies such as The Shawshank Redemption and Air Force One--was a Mansfield landmark, and although a new facility has since been built, the original administration building still stands. Known as the "haunted prison," the site attracts tourists from states away, especially at Halloween.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
The Boulevards: This early-twentieth-century residential neighborhood is now a well-kept historical district, with more than 130 homes. It is located just outside the city center.
Woodland: Located in the southwestern part of Mansfield, this is the largest residential neighborhood within the city limits. Originally called Woodland Farms by it developer James Dickson in 1920, the area features the Woodland Reservoir on its southwestern edge of the community, and is home to the Mansfield Arts Center.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Mansfield has a long history of manufacturing, beginning with stove manufacturing by companies such as Westinghouse and the Tappan Company. Beginning in the 1920s, Westinghouse was the area's largest employer. As industrial manufacturing began to decline in the 1970s, Mansfield made efforts to shift its economy, but manufacturing plants such as AK Steel, Newman Technology (Honda supplier), Hyundal Ideal Electric Company (generators), Therm-O-Disc (thermostats), The Gorman-Rupp Company (pumps), and Crane Plumbing still continue to thrive in Mansfield. Mansfield's largest employer today is MedCentral Health System, and the city is also home to three large food companies:
- Isaly Dairy Company, a chain of dairies and restaurants and the creator of the Klondike Bar
- Stewart's Dairy Company, began as a chain of root beer stands and is best known for the line of Stewart's Fountain Classics beverages
- The Jones Potato Chip Company
Many area attractions highlight Mansfield history as well as the community's interest in the arts:
- Historical Carrousel District is an area complete with Victorian-style buildings, dining, shopping, and access to downtown Mansfield.
- Locations featured in The Shawshank Redemption are identified all over town, including the courthouse, the hotel, and local grocery store.
- Malabar Farm State Park was previously the nine-hundred-acre home of prizewinning author and conservationist Louis Bromfield. It is now open to the public for farm wagon tours and seasonal events.
- Mansfield Speedway at Mansfield Motorsports Park has a half-mile asphalt racetrack where NASCAR and United States Auto Club fans gather to see today's greatest drivers. With a new drag strip in place, the Speedway will be able to offer even more motorsport attractions.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- Mansfield Art Center hosts visual art exhibitions, workshops, and other creative experiences.
- Carousel Magic!, a company dedicated solely to building wooden carousels, offers a chance to walk into the workshop of the artists who carve blocks of wood into beautiful sculptures for carousels everywhere.
- The Renaissance was constructed as a movie palace in 1928 and is now the top venue for live entertainment in north-central Ohio. National Broadway tours and the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra frequent the Renaissance stage.
Mansfield has three institutions of higher education:
- The Ohio State University regional campus at Mansfield
- North Central State College, a two-year technical college
- MedCentral College of Nursing
- The Mansfield/Mehock Relays: This high school track invitational has been taking place in Mansfield since 1927.
- The Miss Ohio Pageant: This Miss America preliminary has been held at the Renaissance since 1975.
- The Richland County Fair: Held every August on the Richland County Fairgrounds, which was once the site of the Ohio State Fair as well.
- Charles Mill Lake Park: boating, swimming, hiking trails, daily activities, and more than five hundred campsites.
- Charles Mill Marina: ability to both dock and rent boats at this marina
- Deer Ridge Golf Club: public golf course, driving range, full-service bar, and restaurant located on the premises
- Equestrian Valley Horseback Riding: two hundred acres of scenic trails, available to anyone wanting to try/learn horseback riding
- Camp Toodik Family Campground, Cabins, and Canoeing: cabins, , canoe or kayak rental, and an array of recreational activities for the whole family
- Snow Trails: Ohio's oldest ski resort offers winter fun for the whole family
Rail: Mansfield is served by both the Norfolk Southern and Ashland Railways.
Public Transportation: The Richland County Transit runs a regional bus service every day except Sunday. Mansfield Taxi Service is available to the public.
Air: Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport is owned and operated by the city of Mansfield. This airport is home to the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, which puts on an air show every July.
Highways: Mansfield is located off of a major east-west highway corridor that was part of Lincoln Highway, the first road that traversed the country from New York City to San Francisco. This location helped dramatically in the development of Mansfield.