Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio has long been a favorite place for my family to visit and relax, enjoying the beauty of each season.
When my kids were younger, it was a fun place to stop after our monthly homeschool skate day. We’d ramble along the brick paths in search of the resident peacocks and stop by the duck pond so the kids could feed the ducks.
We also regularly participated in the children’s workshops that were and still are offered throughout the year. My kids have made squash people for Thanksgiving and gingerbread houses and greenery decorations for Christmas. They learned about herbs and made an herb garden. They received a Venus Fly Trap and learned how to care for it. They loved feeding it flies! Their favorite workshop was when they each received a miniature rose bush that they were quite proud of.
One year we even had a mini-garden on the grounds. That was a highlight for my kids as we planned what vegetables and flowers to plant in our little plot and cared for it each week.
When we were seeking a great outdoor spot for homeschool poetry class, Kingwood Center was a logical choice. It was then that we learned how pesky the beautiful peacocks could be. Clearly they are used to people feeding them.
When my grandfather was in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke and it was clear he wasn’t going to survive, Kingwood Center was were I escaped to find solace outside the hospital walls.
Currently, a friend and I meet on the grounds each week to walk the paths and nature trail for a bit of exercise.
I never tire of seeing the changing leaves and the ever-changing flowers. A visit to Kingwood Center is always a special treat.
Kingwood Center, the estate to Charles Kelley King and his wife, was built in 1926 and has been open to the public since 1953. The home was built by Clarence Mack who also built exquisite homes in the Cleveland area before eventually moving south and relocating and restarting his career after the Great Depression in Palm Beach, Florida.
In addition to the mansion and beautiful gardens that comprise the 47 acre estate, you’ll find a greenhouse with plants from around the world, a building that now houses the public restrooms and workshop areas and a duck pond.
The mansion is open for tours on select days. Inside you will find a large collection of gardening books which have been compiled as a horticulture library and the administrative offices of Kingwood Center.
A stop on the main floor will allow you to see the home much as it looked when it was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. King, with many original furnishings on display.
There are several distinct areas to the gardens. The Terrace Gardens, Woodland Gardens, Rose Garden, Herb Garden and perhaps my favorite, the Historic or Formal Gardens.
My kids have always loved seeing the statues in the gardens.
Many of the gardens are planted and replanted with the changing seasons. I loved the mum display, but the tulips that bloom in the spring is probably the best known display.
The fountains are beautiful but it’s getting a bit late in the year for them to be operational.
Are you curious as to where Mr. King amassed his fortune? Mansfield used to be a town full of industry and Mr. King began work as the first electrical engineer employed by Ohio Brass. He had great success with the company and went on to become the President and Chairman of the Board.
Though Kingwood Center accepts donations, offers classes and memberships and now charge a small fee for entrance, Mr. King’s endowment is the largest single source of income, allowing for the continued operation of the grounds.
I think the fall colors found on the grounds is beautiful, but if you’ve never visited Kingwood Center, a spring visit is worth waiting for.
If you’re planning to visit, I’d plan to spend at least an hour to explore the grounds and greenhouse, feed the ducks and extra time to tour Kingwood Hall (if it’s open during your visit).
Where to find Kingwood Center and other important tidbits
Address for entrance: 50 N. Trimble Road Mansfield, Ohio 44906 (entrance is at the corner of Trimble Road and Park Avenue, about three minutes from State Route 30)
Summer Hours: April thru October
Gardens are open daily from 8 am to 7pm, Greenhouse is open daily from 8 am to 4:20 pm, Kingwood Hall is by appointment and Sundays May through Oct. 1-5 pm.
Winter Hours: November, December and March (closed January and February)
Gardens: Daily 8am to 5pm, Greenhouse 8 am-4:20pm and Kingwood Hall is open during the Christmas season and by appointment.
Planning to spend the day in Mansfield? Check out my Mansfield area staycation guide for ideas of other places to see and enjoy.
Have you been to Kingwood Center? Which appeals to you more, the home or estate grounds?
This post is linked to Travel Photo Thursday with Budget Travelers Sandbox.
© 2012 – 2013, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.