On my way to Erie, Pennsylvania, I had a few hours to stop and visit with my friend Tonya. She is a travel writer and an amazing person. We met in Mansfield, Ohio and while I was there she gave me a quick tour of the area.
Mansfield has grown in popularity as a tourist destination due to the prison that was the filming location of the movie Shawshank Redemption.
There are several self-guided maps of the Shawshank Trail located throughout the city and we had enough time to stop at a few of them. There are 14 film locations on the trail. I had a bit of an advantage for my self-guided tour because I had my own personal tour guide.
1. Ohio State Reformatory
Our first site was the Ohio State Reformatory or the fictional “Shawshank State Prison” that was supposed to be in New England in the movie. Tour season for the prison is from April- September. “The Hollywood Tour” of the prison takes you to Andy’s cell, the warden’s office, the tunnel that Andy crawled through and replicas of carving on the ceiling. Unfortunately, the prison wasn’t available for tours during our visit because they were getting it ready for the Haunted Mansfield tours that were going to start a few weeks later.
I had to be happy with a view from behind the fence.
2. Olivesburg General Store
Our next stop was the Olivesburg General Store. It’s not officially part of the trail but it was a cute place to visit that dates back to 1840. They were also voted best ice cream and sandwich in Mid Ohio in 2015. There is still a tie to Shawshank because the original ceiling lights from the movie are at the general store.
During our quick tour, I was grateful that Tonya knew that I would need to get a shot of this, just because.
I got a few more pictures of a few buildings before we stopped at the park.
3. The Bissman Building
The Bissman Building was used as the front office of the building for the set of the Portland Daily Bugle. The building was also the site of the Brewer Hotel where the character Brooks hung himself after being paroled. The building is also rumored to be haunted.
4. Carrousel Antiques
The “Pawn Shop” window at Carrousel Antiques was the window that Red looked through at the compass that would help him find the Oak Tree.
5. Central Park
Our last downtown stop was Central Park in downtown Mansfield. This was the film location where Brooks sat down to feed the birds on a bench.
6. Malabar Farm State Park
Our final stop was Malabar Farm State Park. Tonya told me that this park is one of her favorite places to go hiking in the area. Pugh Cabin at Malabar Farm is the location of the opening scene of Shawshank Redemption.
Make sure that you take a little time to enjoy the beautiful view of the area from the top of Mt. Jeez overlook while you are at Malabar Farm.
Thanks again to Tonya from The Traveling Praters for showing me a lot of Mansfield, Ohio in a short amount of time!
You can find out more about the Self Guided tours on the Shawshank Trail from their website.