Volume Seven Issue Four April 2022
  • Genealogy Library & Family Files
  • Research Library
  • 13,000 catalogued photos & local postcards
  • Museum Exhibits
  • Public Events
  • Website: joycetice.com/histcent.htm
  • Open T W Th 11 Am to 3 PM or anytime we are here, which is most of the time.
  • Stop in for a visit
It's Our Tenth Anniversary in Mansfield
Director- Joyce M. Tice: President - Steve McCloskey: V.P - Kathy McQuaid
Ninety Years Ago: Crossing History's Trail
A 90-year-old Mansfield Legend – The true story of the Lindbergh kidnapping ransom-note and Mansfield Cross Trail restaurant

One of Mansfield’s most enduring legends had its birth about this time 90 years ago. It involves one of the world’s most notorious kidnappings and a former Mansfield restaurant that some folks mistakenly believe still stands.

There was no bigger news story in the world on March 1, 1932 than the tragic kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr. in Hopewell, NJ. The 20-month-old son of one of the most recognized couples on the face of the earth was mysteriously taken from his upstairs bedroom. At the time, there were few clues except pieces of a wooden ladder, footprints, a baby blanket, and a ransom note partially written in red ink.
Interest in the case seized the nation and dominated headlines for months. One week later, on March 8, Mansfield became part of the hysteria. The Elmira Star-Gazette published a story about a ransom letter addressed in attention-grabbing red ink that was intercepted at the Elmira Post Office and addressed to Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh.

The Star-Gazette, the most widely read daily paper in Mansfield and all of the Twin Tiers, even published the contents of the ransom note. The note read, in part, “you send representatives with $500,000 in $20 bills wrapped in newspaper to Mansfield, Pa. and your representatives will meet ours at the Cross Trail Restaurant. We will leave baby three hours later in the same place providing there is no queer acting people inside or out. Be sure to be there at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Mar. 7.

The ransom-note coldly, and cruelly, ended by saying the baby was crying.
The Postmaster at Elmira immediately contacted the New York State Police, who in turn contacted the Pennsylvania State Police in both Galeton and Mansfield as well as the Mansfield police and the Sheriff’s office. All of them sent officers to conduct a stake-out of the Cross Trail to apprehend the would-be kidnappers.

Although the police were undercover, it seems they weren’t alone. According to a newspaper story days later, more than a hundred people, including some of Mansfield’s most respected citizens, also showed up to conduct their own stake-out. Perhaps they were the queer acting people the ransom note warned of.

There were so many undercover watchers, that nobody was really under-cover. The supposed kidnappers never showed at the Cross Trail. The only people present were the few people in the community who hadn’t heard of the stake-out and were just ordinary, but much-watched, customers.
Cheesman's X-Trail
where it happened
This is a 1946 photo of The Mansfield Restaurant, owned by Ernie Vosburg, who bought it from Nellie Cheesman.

This is where the Lindbergh event happened in 1932. The building was razed in 2010 and replaced with Borough Hall conference room.
The other myth that still persists today despite repeated corrections is that the Cross Trail Restaurant associated with the Lindbergh ransom note still stands on West Wellsboro Street.

At the time of the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Cross Trail was located on the west side of South Main Street where the Mansfield Borough building now stands. It also housed the bus stop and was later Ernie’s and the Dutch Pantry before being torn down.
The NEW X-Trail
where it did not happen
This little building on W. Wellsboro St. was originally a candy store beside the bank on South Main St. Harry Taylor moved it into the empty space beside his hardware store on W. Wellsboro St. in 1935 and rented it to Ray Owen's music store.

When Ernie Vosburg bought Cheesman's X-Trail on S. Main St. and changed the name, Arthur and Evelyn Howe Boucher took the name over and applied it to their new restaurant in this building. In this century the building has been Frankie Flatlander's briefly, and the Black Swan.

The building has been many things in its lifetime, but it is not, nor has it ever been, the site of the Lindbergh kidnapping legend.
Standing Room Only
We were very pleased to have an capacity-stretching crowd here to greet Jim McMullen and his presentation on the Tioga Division of the Erie Railroad. In fact, the crowd was so large, he kindly did the presentation twice.

We had all the chairs filled and people still left standing, more than 60 for each session. Thanks to Jim for sharing his extensive knowledge, as well as his photos and artifacts, on the subject.

The event was hosted jointly by The History Center and the Friends of the Mansfield Free Public Library. Gary Butters of Arnot Building Supply had the Railroad Depot building open for visitors and gifted a brand new 18-inch Novelty Works ruler to all attendees.

Thanks also to Dr. Michele Whitecraft's M.U. class on Social Studies Methods who created a railroad display beside our display of Jim's books and items.
A Fitting Memorial
This one-of-a-kind tombstone in the shape of a camera memorializes Ann Taylor (1935-2020), a life-long Mansfield citizen.

Among Ann's favorite activities were photography and caring for her cats. Both are represented on this unique representation.

New to the Collections
Framed Certificate appointing Charles Emery Knowlton as Postmaster of Canoe Camp Post Office, July 1901. Donated by Victor Otruba.
Pen used by Gov. Thornburg to sign an Act designating a portion of Rte. 15 as the Harold G. Strait Memorial Highway in 1984. Donated by Oliver Bartlett.
Pictorial Scavenger Hunt
To enhance your museum visit, we have created a series of pictorial scavenger hunts. Each page has 10 to 14 items to find throughout the rooms and display areas. It's fun to hunt them down. Stop in if you have a few minutes. Bring a friend and turn the hunt into a competition.
Upcoming Events
We are open for visitors noon to 3 T, W, Th or by appointment or any time we are here (which is most of the time). Masks encouraged.

June 25 - Mansfield High School Class of 1972 50 Year Reunion.

July 16 - Mansfield High School Class of 1982 40 Year Reunion. We'll be open in case any want to drop in.

August 27 - Mansfield High School Class of 1967 Saturday 8/27/2022 from 1-3 PM

September 17 - Mansfield High School Class of 1962 60 Year Reunion
MHS Class Reunions
After two long Pandemic years, we hope that the High School reunions can start again. If you are planning a reunion, consider a casual afternoon Meet & Greet at the History Center's Museum of Us. In an informal environment, you can chat with your friends, watch a slide show of Mansfield's historic photos, and find traces of yourself, your friends, and your family. Many of our exhibits are geared to those who grew up here. The Blue & Gold Room is full of MHS sports mementos. The pictorial display includes YOU along with all the other MHS graduates in its first hundred years.
Update on Our Renovations

Growing With YOUR Help!!!
Your Town, Your Ancestors, Your History

For the New Year. Consider a gift membership. Members will receive our 40 page printed journal by mail 4 to 6 times a year with new articles that have never been researched before and outstanding photos to illustrate. Share your love of the Mansfield area with your friends and family.
Why do we ask for donations in every newsletter? Because we have to.
It's the only way we can continue offering our important services to the community.
Your help will make it possible.
The next issue of Voices from the Archives is in preparation. It will be forty pages of articles about the lives and activities of our town. Be sure your membership is current, so you don't miss any.
Membership- Renew for 2022
Annual memberships are an important part of keeping us operating. Please consider a new or renewed membership.

Members receive four to six issues annually of our printed journal Voices From the Archives.

Membership dollars are an important part of our operating resource. Be sure to renew your membership for 2022 or become a new member. A renewal card will be included in the next journal which will be mailed this month.
Annual Membership Levels
Family $50
Individual $35
Senior (Over 65) $25
Business Level $100
Lifetime $500
MHS Class Memorial $200

Checks to
The History Center
83 N. Main Street
Mansfield PA 16933
or by the PayPal Donate Button
A History Center Member is a History Center Hero
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Thank You to Our Gold Level Sponsors
Ward Manufacturing
Law Offices of Larry Mansfield
First Citizens Community Bank
VFW Post 6757
Mansfield Auxiliary Corporation
Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Lutes Foundation
Thank You to Our Silver Level Sponsors
Real Disposal Service
UGI Utilities, Inc.
Blue Ridge Cable
Matt Neal Construction
The History Center on Main Street
The History Center on Main Street provided no goods or services in exchange for your contribution. Your contribution is deductible to the extent provided by law. The official registration and financial information of The History Center on Main Street, may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement