Just to the west of downtown Mansfield sits the 47-acre estate that was once home to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kelly King up until his death in 1952. Ever since 1953 it has been a public garden and that was by his design as he was married and divorced twice and had no children to inherit his fortune he earned at the Ohio Brass Company. Mr. King was hired as the company’s first electrical engineer in 1898 and remained with the company and eventually became Chairman of the Board and President of Ohio Brass.
To take in all there is to see here, it’s about a 2-3 hour visit.
While Kingwood is not promoted as a place to hike, as you might imagine there is plenty of space for doing that on its 47 acres. It is kind of quiet considering that it’s not out in the country but at the corner of Trimble Rd and Park Avenue West. In the rose garden picture, on the right side you can see houses which are not part of the estate but are on N. Linden Rd.
While there are no spaces for group picnics, there are tables available for couples and small groups for eating in the great outdoors.
Some outlets refer to the address as 900 Park Avenue West. That changed this past spring to 50 N. Trimble Rd since that was always the public entrance to the park.
Hours: Grounds are open 9 AM – 7 PM daily; greenhouses are open 9 AM – 6 PM daily. Kingwood Center is closed January through March. Kingwood Center is closed for most of November while it is prepared for Christmas at Kingwod which starts November 28, 2015. Kingwood Hall is open May 10 – September 27.
Admission: $5 per car or $2 if walking in off the street. Guided tours of Kingwood Hall are $3 each for ages 7 and up; younger is free. Kingwood Hall tours are normally available at 11 AM Saturdays and 2 PM on Sundays unless there is a wedding in the Hall. Self-guided tours can be done on weekdays from 11 AM – 2 PM.
Pets are not allowed on the Kingwood Center grounds.
Parking: $5/car which includes admission to the grounds. In other words, admission is not per person (unless you’re walking in) but per vehicle.
Sometime around 5:30 AM on Saturday, June 6, 2015, David Sweat and Richard Matt- both convicted killers in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY- were discovered missing from their prison cells. Matt was shot and killed by U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit in Malone, NY on June 26, 2015. Sweat was shot but survived and was taken into custody June 28, 2015. The news media declared it the Shawshank Redemption escape in reference to Andy Dufrense’s escape from the fictional Shawshank prison. And then there are the newspaper headlines:
“A sensational ‘Shawshank Redemption’-style prison break,” – The New York Daily News
“Daring ‘Shawshank Redemption’-style escape,” – The New York Post
“How real-life prison escape compares with ‘Shawshank.’” – the Associated Press. ABC News has also done a similar story.
Tim Robbins was on Conan the following Monday night to promote his HBO series The Brink. I don’t know when he was booked to be a guest but usually those bookings are made a few weeks in advance of the scheduled appearance. So it was probably luck for Conan O’Brien to get the star of The Shawshank Redemption on his show only days after the real-life prison escape in upstate New York:
If it had not been for that prison break, this posting would probably start here noting that while the Shawshank Prison is fictional, the prison that “played” the role of the Shawshank prison is in Mansfield, Ohio. Known as the old Ohio State Reformatory, it opened its doors to its first 150 inmates in 1896 and closed on December 31, 1990 when the last of the prisoners were moved to the nearby Mansfield Correctional Institute.
Tours of the old prison can be taken April 1 – September 1. The only days it’s closed are the holidays (Easter, Memorial Day, and July 4th). The only guided tours are available on Sundays and the Reformatory hours are 11 AM – 4 PM daily. The are four different guided tours one can take on a Sunday.
The Hollywood Tour
West Tower Tour
East Cell Block Tour
Behind the Scenes Tour
Or, if you want to see the prison at your own pace, self-guided tours are an option every day of the week.
In downtown Mansfield are a couple of other stops on the Shawshank Tour:
Just outside of Mansfield in Southeastern Richland County is the village of Lucas and home to the Oak Tree from the Shawshank Redemption.
Hours: 11 AM – 4 PM Daily from April 1 to September 1; closed the rest of the year except for special events
Admission: Self-Guided Tours: General Admission – $9.00; Students (Ages 7-17); Seniors (Age 60+), College ID, and Military – $7.00. Audio wand – $5.00 per wand
Admission: Guided Tours (Sundays only): General Admission – $14.00; Students (Ages 7-17); Seniors (Age 60+), College ID, and Military – $12.00. Same-day discount: if you take more than 1 guided tour, every tour after the first one is $7.00 each on that day.
Distances from Ohio cities:
76 miles northeast of Columbus
190 miles northeast of Cincinnati
80 miles southwest of Cleveland
106 miles southeast of Toledo
67 miles west-southwest of Akron
TheShawshank Trail takes you on a tour of 14 sites across Northern Ohio where the Shawshank Redemption was filmed.