Founders Day celebrates life in the 1800s

October 5, 2023
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By Amanda Rogers

Mansfield Record

This weekend, Mansfield residents can step back two centuries to check out life in the 1800s.

The third annual Founders Day celebration will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Man House Museum, 604 W. Broad St. Admission is free.

“(Mansfield founders) Ralph Man and Julian Feild met in Marshall and became good friends,” said Tom Leach, president of the Mansfield Historical Society and a member of the Founders Day committee. “They made their way out here in the 1850s.”

The event will be held at the house Ralph Man built and added onto from 1865-1879. The city purchased the historic property in 2017, restored the building and opened it as a museum in 2020.

Founders Day celebrates the way that people lived in the area in the 1800s, including artisans, vendors and volunteers showing how people did their chores, made crafts and essential items and how they had fun.

Artisans will include a lace maker, candle maker, wood carver, quilter, spinner, potter, leather worker and blacksmith. Plus there will be a storyteller, dulcimer player, telegraph operators, beekeeper, faro dealer and a dance instructor teaching the Virginia Reel. Some of the artists will have their work for sale. Plus, there will be tours all day of the historic Man House.

“It’s for the kids – where else can they go to get exposed to this without any cost?” Leach said. “You always walk away with different stories. The first year we had a checker board out and an older couple just sat there and played and enjoyed the day.

“Even adults say ‘I’ve seen pottery and blacksmiths on TV, but never seen it in person,’” he said. “How many people have written with a quill pen?

“The memories, that’s what it’s all about,” Leach said. “There’s always something special that comes out.”

There will also be live music and food trucks. Free shuttles will run from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. from the parking lots in downtown Mansfield.

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Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.

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