Ohio State Reformatory

100 Reformatory Rd.
Mansfield, OH 44905- Map It
(419) 522-2644

AAA Editor Notes

Ohio State Reformatory, 100 Reformatory Rd., was opened in 1896 and was in use as a prison facility until 1990. Its castle-like appearance—with a combination of Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Queen Anne architectural styles—was intended to steer the prisoners from their past misdeeds and lead them toward repentance. Visitors can tour the complex on their own with the aid of an audio wand to enhance the experience. Four 1-hour guided tours provide a more in-depth overview of the structure: the West Tower Tour includes the guard tower and views of the cemetery and underground tunnel system; the East Cell Block Tour covers living quarters on multiple floors and the Catholic chapel; the Behind the Scenes Tour goes into the attic, yard and sub-basement; and the Hollywood Tour highlights the reformatory's use as a film location in "The Shawshank Redemption" and other movies and music videos. A room is dedicated to the state’s original electric chair, known as “Ol’ Sparky,” and includes related items. Special events also are offered. Note: Tours require stair climbing. Limited handicap-accessible tours are also available; phone for details. Due to lead-based paint throughout the facility, pregnant women and children under age seven are advised not to visit. Guided tours are available.
Self-guiding tour $12; $10 (ages 7-17 and college students, military and senior citizens with ID). Audio wand rental $5. Guided tour $16; $14 (ages 7-17 and college students, military and senior citizens with ID). Additional same-day tours $8 each after taking one at regular price (Behind the Scenes Tour excluded).
Hours: Self-guiding tours daily 11-4, Apr. 1-Sept. 1.; Thurs.-Sun. 11-4, Feb. 1-Mar. 31. West Tower tour departs Sun. at 11:30, 1, 2:30 and 4, Apr. 1-Sept. 1. East Cell Block Tour departs Sun. at noon, 1:30 and 3, Apr. 1-Sept. 1. Behind the Scenes tour departs Sun. at 11, 1 and 3, Apr. 1-Sept. 1. Hollywood Tour departs Sun. at 11, 12:30, 2 and 3:30, Apr. 1-Sept. 1. Phone for Sept.-Dec. schedules.