This is the chapel of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield. I had a surprisingly nice time touring and playing with my camera here last year.
There is beauty in the old and faded. There is value in the unused. There is something interesting to see around every corner of this life.
There is also something haunting about this space. The way the mid-day light floods this room reminds us that even the darkest places, like an old prison, aren’t so dark that they can’t be illuminated even for a few hours a day.
Maybe I liked this space so well because much of the prison isn’t so light and spacious. I could almost feel the cell walls closing in on me.
If you ever get a chance, I would recommend a tour here. It’s where the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed and they do have some movie memorabilia for you to enjoy.
It’s been a Mansfield tradition since 1936 and I can see why. The Coney Island Diner in the heart of downtown Mansfield was a highlight of my visit to the city.
It’s traditional American diner fare. That means burgers and fries, ice cream and comfort food. They do breakfast all day so I had a veggie omlette with home fries and toast for just a few bucks. It was a large portion and tasted like something my grandma would have cooked.
The atmosphere is great with dinette tables, booths, a counter and stuff on the walls. And you can tell that it’s a good place because they have regulars. An elderly woman who sat near me waited patiently for the waitress to stop by and confirm she wanted her regular order. And did she want hash browns or home fries today?
Another woman had two children in tow, clearly grandkids, who were having fun sipping milkshakes at the counter. Two men in electric company uniforms kidded with the waitress about her tip over their large platters of food.
My service was great, the food was good and it was delivered lickety split – all requirements of a good diner. If you’re in town for the prison, the carousel park or the host of other fun things to do in the area, be sure to stop by for lunch or maybe just an ice cream treat!
Coney Island Diner is located at 98 N. Main Street and they’re open every day except Sunday. Go check ’em out and let me know what you think!
Writing about Mansfield this week caused me to revisit pictures of the Ohio State Reformatory where the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed. I already shared some pictures and the story of this visit but have tons of photos from this day.
I have a broad definition of what is beautiful. Frequent flyers of this blog will see pretty sunrise pictures and images of flowers, buildings and trails that have a traditional appeal to most people. But they also know that I tend to see beauty in things that others would consider common eyesores. I love an old truck in a field. The chipped paint of a tractor or a church that’s seen better days are common subject matter as well.
My cousin Walter paid me the nicest compliment a while back. He sent me a picture on Facebook of an old barn and it said “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” I love that he noticed and that he sees it too.
An old prison isn’t a traditional place to find beauty but here are some pictures that I find appealing and hope you will too.
Sometimes it’s just the light or the lack of light that I find appealing.
Sometimes it’s the color and texture. Look at those layers of paint, now chipping from the walls, and creating a unique kind of art work. Of course, it’s undoubtedly lead paint so try not to touch it!
Sometimes you can’t put your finger on the quality you like best. It’s just haunting and you know in your soul that it’s good for your eye to see.
Are you able to see beauty in the flawed or would you prefer to look the other way? There’s no correct answer to this question – I won’t be offended if you don’t like this type of thing! It’s not for everyone and that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be.