Learn More About The History of Mansfield
There would be no Mansfield without Man.
As in Ralph S. Man, one of the city’s founding fathers and whom it is named after.
Soon, folks in the city of his namesake and many far and wide can relive Man’s life through a visit to the Man House Museum. The gallery is named after the house in which he grew up.
“The Man House Museum is going to be a wonderful asset for Mansfield. Our staff and dedicated volunteers have worked hard to create a place where visitors will enjoy learning about the past,” said Jessica Baber, Museum Director.
Man, along with his partner Julien Feild (correct spelling), opened the Man and Feild Mill, which the town of Mansfield grew up around.
“The Man House is the oldest remaining building in Mansfield, and has been restored and will be preserved for future generations of citizens and visitors in Mansfield to enjoy and learn from,” Baber said.
When did the museum open?
The Man House Museum will open Dec. 12. It will be available for visitors, including tours, on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free.
Man was trained as a cabinet maker before he moved to Texas (he was born in Charleston, South Carolina). The home still retains many fine examples of his craftsmanship. All of the mantles in the house were made by Man, as well as some of the remaining doors.
The house has been furnished in the style of a 1860-1880s home. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn what life was like in Mansfield during that time.
In all, the museum has a collection of nearly 1,000 artifacts that document the history of the Mansfield area. The house has three rooms available for viewing. The property also contains the circa 1865 barn that visitors can see.
The house started as a one-room log cabin, built around 1865. Over the course of the next decade, a brick addition of a parlor and dining room, and second floor bedrooms were added. The last addition was a service porch and bathroom, which were added in 1930.
The house has only ever been a home before now, Baber said.
“Members of the Man family lived there until 1940. Since then, it has been the home of many Mansfield families,” she said.
The city of Mansfield purchased the home and the surrounding property a few years ago.
“I believe the intent was always to restore the house and open it to the public as a museum,” Baber said.
Man still has relatives alive today, though none live locally.
“The museum has been in contact with a few of them and are working with the living Mans to try to learn more about the history of their family,” Baber said.