Toddy asked if she could tour the Mansfield Reformatory, formerly the Ohio State Reformatory.
We learned about the history of the building from our tour guide. Civil War soldiers had trained on the land. Shortly afterwards, Ohio decided a reformatory was needed to retrain first time offenders. Construction on the OSR was started in 1886. Eventually the reformatory was 95% self sufficient. The system worked, too, as 65% of those who learned a trade and finished their schooling while in there never returned to prison. Unfortunately, the Ohio prison system got overloaded and more hardened criminals were sent in, and the Mansfield Reformatory was eventually closed in 1990.
Toddy toured the east cell block with 6 stories of cells, a community shower, and a hospital ward. She stood in a cell for a picture. Then she toured the west cell block, with only 5 tiers of larger cells. She then walked through the solitary confinement area, where prisoners who had caused problems could be held, and the days in this area did not count towards the days of their sentences.
Then Toddy got to test divining rods to "talk with ghosts" in the prison! Spooky!
Afterwards we went to lunch at a local family restaurant of her choice. She loved her adventure. (And three of the senior friends she took along had toured the prison while they were in school!) What a great dream!
Maybe we should return for a ghost hunt or Haunted Halloween!