The Ohio State Reformatory, Also Known as ShawshankSpring Break 2016:  We spent a long weekend travelling to three different cities in Ohio finding unique & interesting places to explore and visit.  We stayed in some awesome hotels, ate some great food and saw so many cool things!  I’ll share our trip with you in a series of installments in the coming weeks to help inspire your own Ohio Road Trip!

 For more posts about our Spring Break Adventures visit my OHIO TRAVEL ARCHIVES.

The Ohio State Reformatory (aka Shawshank) ~

Ohio State Reformatory WindowsWhen I was a teenager I read the book Different Seasons by Stephen King, which included a prison tale, “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” and when the movie version came out I went to the theater to see it.  “The Shawshank Redemption” is a fantastic movie that was filmed in a beautiful and stately prison, The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.  That’s right, I called the prison beautiful.  It looks a bit like a castle from the outside and inside much of the building is dilapidated but somehow still conveys beauty.  Of course I love old architecture and I’m intrigued by older buildings with rich history such as this one.  I took about a million pictures while we explored Shawshank, and it took me forever to narrow it down to the pictures I’m using in this post.  I was surprised at the freedom visitors have in exploring the Reformatory, you really do get to see most of the prison and if you are lucky while you are there you might run in to someone who knows stories about the days when the Ohio State Reformatory was up and running.  Or maybe you will come across some ghost hunters while you tour, like we did.  They can tell you stories that would make your skin crawl.  So if you are interested in local history, enjoy touring old buildings or believe in ghosts you should visit The Ohio State Reformatory.  And while you are in Mansfield you can visit other spots where filming took place along the Shawshank Trail.

Pictures from The Ohio State Reformatory, aka Shawshank:

The Warden’s Dining Room:

Ohio State Reformatory Warden's Dining Room

Ohio State Reformatory Stairs

Underneath a spiral staircase:

Ohio State Reformatory Under the Stairs

The boys check out all of the prisoners’ homemade weapons:

Ohio State Reformatory Artifacts

Ella was fascinated by the hand-carved clarinet:

Ohio State Reformatory Clarinet

Ohio State Reformatory Electric Chair


Ohio State Reformatory Chapel

The kids ran into Red while wandering the halls:

Ohio State Reformatory Hallway

Brooks was here (so was Red):

Ohio State Reformatory Brooks was Here

Ohio State Reformatory Bedroom

Ohio State Reformatory Cell

There is much work to be done restoring the Ohio State Reformatory:

Ohio State Reformatory Construction

Ohio State Reformatory Windows and Cells

Ohio State Reformatory

Disclaimer:  My family was given complimentary passes to visit the Ohio State Reformatory for the day.   All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.