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Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield

Courtesy of The Ohio State Reformatory

Mystery and film history in Mansfield

Beyond the spooky-fun Ohio State Reformatory, visitors will find good eats and outdoor activities.

Every year, two and a half times more people than live in Mansfield visit the city for one simple reason, says Dan Smith ’11, ’12: its ties to “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Much of the classic 1994 movie was shot in the old Ohio State Reformatory, which has become something of a magnet for fans.

“One man even flew all the way from New Zealand,” says Smith, the reformatory’s marketing manager. You’ll also want to check out Malabar Farm State Park in nearby Lucas.

Where to stay

To immerse yourself in all things Andy and Red, you can book a Shawshank lodging package at the Quality Inn and Suites, Mansfield. The package includes a hot breakfast, two adult reformatory tour tickets and an assortment of gifts and discounts around town.

Where to eat

Located in an old funeral home, the Phoenix Brewing Co. has 16 taps, including six flagship beers. Food trucks are available seasonally, and patrons also can order from nearby Two Cousins Pizza.

And don’t miss

Kingwood Center Gardens provides a colorful balance to the reformatory. Visitors can tour the mansion and a variety of gardens that remain vibrant until the first frost. For the faster crowd, there’s the Mansfield Motor Speedway, which hosts weekend events through mid-September, as well as Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in nearby Lexington.