Sunday, March 12, 2017

1900 Nicholson Shooting

We were on the road for a couple of weeks so I was unable to post any new articles.  One of our stops along the way included a tour of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.  The location for the filming of "Shawshank Redemption," starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, filmed in 1993.  

The reason I bring this up is because of anecdotal stories we heard during the tour.  One in particular of how the wife of the last warden and his family to live at the prison residence.  She was shot in the stomach by a rifle, as it supposedly fell off a shelf and fired, killing her.  It could never be proved whether it was an accident, intentional by her husband, or suicide by her.  

So now, as I'm browsing through some articles in "The Fowlerville Review," dated October 19, 1900, I happened up the following article.  This one does appear to be an accident but I'm prone to wonder how often things like this happened over the years.
By the way, if you ever get anywhere close to Mansfield, Ohio, I highly recommend your heading to the Ohio State Reformatory.  You can choose either a guided tour or a self-guided one (which we took).  After seeing all there is, we came away so very thankful for so much.  Following are a few pictures from our tour:

~~The centerfront of this massive reformatory, formerly used to house up to 1900 inmates.

~~A shot of the stairway heading up to the warden's living quarters.  I'm pretty sure the light flare at the bottom of the staircase is an "orb" -- they say the place is haunted!
~~The west cells, the first to be built between 1886 and 1896.
 ~~The east cells, built a few years later, with caging bars closing in all six floors of cells so inmates would not jump or be pushed to their death to the concrete floor below.
~~The shower room, which the inmates dubbed "the carwash" as they'd walk down the line of the piping, letting the water spray over them.
~~The chapel, where every Sunday all 1900 inmates were filed into this room for their weekly dose of reforming.  Now the place is overrun with pigeons!

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