Mansfield Reformatory: Part 1

Also known as the Ohio State Reformatory, the Mansfield Reformatory is only about 30 minutes away from my parents house where I grew up.  Yet, until about a month ago I had never been.  Known primarily as the place where most of Shawshank Redemption was filmed, the reformatory was built in the 1880s and housed inmates from 1896 until 1990 when the prison closed its doors.  At the end of July Antoine and I made plans to meet up with my best friend and her boyfriend (Amanda and Aaron) to check out the reformatory.  There are a variety of tours available at the reformatory, but since we were on a limited time schedule we opted to just do the self-guided tour.  The self-guided tour is only $9 per adult, but I wish we would have had time for the audio tour which was only an additional $5.  But I have every intention of going back so I'll make sure to do it then!

Antoine and I got there about 15 minutes before the gates opened and there already a bunch of people waiting.  It was Saturday though, so I was kind of expecting that.
 Sadly I was so excited to get into the building that I didn't really take many photos of the exterior.  This one was the best I got.  Next time I'll make sure to get some better ones for sure!

The first part of the tour starts off in the offices and administration living quarters of the reformatory, which is what this post will cover).  The second half of the tour takes you to the inmate areas and cell-blocks...that'll be part two.
 Throughout the reformatory there were a tone of tiny corner rooms with tall, skinny doorways that were just big enough for a person to squeeze through.  I'm not really sure what these were for, maybe storage?  Bathrooms?  Though I didn't really see evident of plumbing in them.  In the office areas these rooms were usually circular and had windows that looked out onto the courtyards. 
 Paint is peeling everywhere.  And in many areas the flooring (wood, tile, etc.) is coming up.
 If you've seen Shawshank Redemption then this room should look's the warden's office. 
 Complete with wall safe!
And even a little movie memorabilia.
 One of said little, corner rooms. 
 Antoine posing in one of the corner rooms.
 A lot of the offices/living quarters had closets with these really cool built-in, wooden cabinets and drawers!  I wish we had these in our house! 
 You can kind of tell from this photo that these stairs (and a majority of the stairs in the building) are actually made of steel!
 The schoolroom. 
 X marks the spot.  A weird design feature to the building creates an "X" of light beams from the windows of the four neighboring rooms.  And those stairs straight-ahead lead to the chapel, which I'll start off with in part two. 
Another familiar spot for the Shawshank movie lovers...
I was surprised how much of the movie was actually filmed in the prison and not at another location or in a film studio like I would have expected.

So that's part one.  Stay tuned for part two, which might not be until next week (sorry!).  But I will have some silly outtakes from our tour to share as well, so that'll be fun!  Until then, happy Wednesday and I hope your week is going well.


Summer in Spring Grove

Alternate title, the time I twisted/sprained my ankle walking around the pond.  But that's what I get when I'm not looking where I'm walking because I'm so focused on the enormous fish in the pond!  Seriously, have you ever seen them?!  They are like the size of baby sharks!  Somehow, in all the times I've been to Spring Grove I've never seen them before.  I guess I was always just too focused on the turtles to notice the fish.  Anyway, luckily when I stepped in the hole and my ankle went "crunch!" no one was around to see it and I just sat on the ground for a while until I could put some weight on it.  I have really weak ankles and have twisted and sprained my ankles more times than I can count (but only one fracture, so far, though)!  This felt worse than a twisted ankle but not as bad as any of my other sprains (which have all been pretty bad and involved falling down stairs onto concrete) I chalked it up to a very mild sprain and didn't bother going to the doctor.  Don't do what I do kids, it's dumb!  And you better believe that next time I go to Spring Grove I'll be wearing my very supportive hiking boots, even if it's just for a leisure walk to take some pictures.

Anyway, here's what I shot before I fell (and on the way to my car).  Still experimenting shooting in manual which is fun, but I definitely still have a lot of learning to do!
It might have just been me, but there seemed to be a ton of dragonflies out and about the weekend of the July 4th.
The reason I originally went to Spring Grove that day was to take pictures of the Southern magnolias.  However, most of the flowers were either fried or not open yet, so I didn't get as many photos as I was hoping for and then I didn't care for most of the ones I took.
This guy was following me around as I walked along the pond, it was quite adorable.  (This was pre-falling!)

Sorry I've been AWOL for a week or so!  I was distracted and kind of forgot to post.  I'm now caught up with my July 4th weekend photos (I know, I'm so behind!).  Anyway, happy Wednesday!  I can't believe it's Wednesday already.  The week seems to be flying by, which is rather nice.