On Friday, July 29, straight-line winds split the tree, which is located on private property, down the middle, taking out one side. Now that the Shawshank Tree doesn't appear to be salvageable in its natural state, the Mansfield Convention & Visitors Bureau is working with the property owners to see if it's possible to somehow preserve the tree so visitors can still experience that part of the Shawshank story. Local tourism officials have always counseled visitors to be respectful of the property owners, advising them to view and photograph the tree from the road.
"We're working to see if it’s possible to somehow preserve this piece of local and Hollywood history, which has lived in Mansfield since long before The Shawshank Redemption was shot here in 1993," said Mansfield Convention & Visitors Bureau president Lee Tasseff. "However, we highly encourage folks who want to see the tree in its natural location to visit now, while part of it remains standing."
Tasseff added that visitors are still encouraged to come to Mansfield and take the same paths that actors, film producers and directors walked while filming scenes for this timeless movie. With 12 different stops, the tour starts at the historic Ohio State Reformatory and takes visitors step-by-step through the movie’s most meaningful scenes. One of the five largest castle-like structures in the United States, the historic Ohio State Reformatory surrounds visitors with the intriguing history of not only the movie, but of the reformatory itself. At six stories high, the reformatory houses the world’s tallest free-standing steel cellblock. Because of its remarkable history and architecture, the reformatory was selected as the set for a number of other motion pictures national TV shows, music videos and other productions, including Air Force One, Tango & Cash; and shows on the Travel Channel and SciFi Channel.
After visiting the reformatory, the tour continues to other scene settings from Shawshank, including the Bissman Building, the historic Carrousel District, downtown Mansfield's Central Park and the Renaissance Theater, all of which played major roles in The Shawshank Redemption when it was filmed in 1993, prior to its 1994 release.
Complete visitor information, including the free Shawshank Trail Drive-it-Yourself tour brochure is available at http://www.mansfieldtourism.com/