This is the second article of a series on area fun places to visit this summer following the RichHistory event.
MANSFIELD – Oak Hill Cottage is a large “cottage villa” in the Gothic Revival style. Railroad builder and grist mill owner, John Riley Robinson, built the home beside a giant old oak tree in 1847, on a hill overlooking his industrial accomplishments.
In 1864, it became the home of the Dr. Johannes Jones family, who updated and furnished the home as we see it today. All of the furnishings throughout the house belonged to the Jones family.
Dr. Jones traveled city to city in his medical practice, advertising ahead of his arrivals and charging enormous fees for his cures. It was owned by the family for 101 years. Built in 1847, it has seven gables, five double chimneys, and seven Italian marble fireplaces and a steel bathtub.
A wedding gown that was worn for weddings in the family in 1886, 1946, and 1979 hangs on display along with many other clothing outfits from the family. One of the daughters was a remarkable painter with numerous water color paintings on display. The family of Doctor Jones preserved a remarkable example of a late nineteenth century lifestyle. Originally it was sitting on 10 acres on a hill overlooking Mansfield.
The Richland County Historical Society purchased Oak Hill Cottage and its contents in 1965 from the youngest Jones daughter. It was restored and opened as a house museum in 1984. The Society also provides historic preservation research and guidance on dealing with threatened historically significant properties around Richland County.
Oak Hill Cottage is located at 310 Springmill Street, Mansfield. Guided tours are available Sundays, 2pm to 5pm, April thru December. ($5-adults/ $1-children 12 -under) Other events Free or special rates, and group tours are also available. In mid-December “Ghosts of Christmas Past” is presented to visitors.
The guided tours are well worth the cost. The carriage house across the street is currently undergoing refurbishing, but will be open later this summer. It contains the carriages used by the Jones family along with a wooden car and a refurbished buggy.