Richland County Communities
Village of Plymouth
Established in 1818, the Village of Plymouth is one of the oldest municipalities in the county. The historic downtown uniquely straddles both Richland and Huron counties in a way that allows for a short driving distance. The Plymouth Branch of the Richland County Public Library regularly hosts village events, especially for the youngest residents. The community pool and schools are assets to this charming bedroom community. The annual Christmas in the Village Street Market event draws visitors from both counties and beyond to enjoy the many vendors and food trucks, as well as showcase an iceless skate rink that is sure to bring a smile to little and big faces alike.
City of Shelby
In the northern part of Richland County lies the proud City of Shelby, where the seamless tube industry began in the United States. That pillar of success led to more accomplishments such as the popular Shelby Bicycle. Even now, Shelby is the home to both global and local manufacturers in the metals, wood and value added produce industries. The city continues to lead the charge in moving forward with a 2.5 MW solar field added to its municipal power portfolio in 2019.
Shelby boasts a historic downtown where you will find the annual Bicycle Festival, local shops and bakery, as well as a retail corridor on its south side. With just under 10,000 residents, Shelby offers a robust park system that is the envy of similarly sized cities. The city is also home to one of the counties prestigious career centers, Pioneer Career and Technology Center where area students are trained for in demand jobs while still in high school. The James W. Kehoe Center for Advanced Learning is not far behind as a campus of the North Central State College that specializes in business and technical training for manufacturing, computer technology, engineering and business.
City of Mansfield
Mansfield, the county seat of Richland County, is the manufacturing center of our economy. The city boasts a diverse mix of metals and plastics manufacturers in our industrial park, which sits next to Mansfield Lahm Airport—capable of handling large commercial and military aircraft. Additionally, a strong health care industry overtakes the city with a Level 2 trauma center and provides a robust list of health care options in the county.
Looking for a more urban feel? Downtown Mansfield is where it’s at! Enjoy fine dining, locally owned brewery, bakery selections, world-class children’s museum, carousel and a killer coffee shop. And the best part? They’re all within a walking distance.
The arts are strong in Mansfield as well, with the Renaissance Performing Arts Theater and the Mansfield Art Center, featuring incredible rotating exhibits as well as art education and a venue for local art sale. Live music can be found all around downtown, culminating in the summer with live “Final Friday” concerts in the brickyard that draw thousands of residents and our music enthusiasts to a free concert that lasts Fridays from June through September. Specialty shops and a cool eclectic feel make Downtown Mansfield a great destination.
City of Ontario
Welcome to the retail and restaurant hub of Richland and surrounding counties! Ontario is a shopper’s paradise, where big box and specialty stores abound and eateries are on every corner. From the Richland Mall featuring over 50 retail stores (which uniquely shares space with Avita Hospital), to gyms, boutiques, furniture stores and more—you will find it in Ontario. In addition to this retail hub, there are many hotels in Ontario to accommodate a short or long stay.
Community members may gather at Ontario’s Marshall Park to take in ball tournaments or a concert in the park during the summer months such as the annual 4th of July festival that brings the crowds and the fireworks. Just north of the city, both North Central State College and The Ohio State University Mansfield Campus are available for those seeking an education. NCSC is the place for upskilling incumbent workers and getting a technical degree or certificate to land a great job with a local employer. If that’s not your style, however, OSU-Mansfield offers an intimate and interactive experience.
Established in 1874, the village of Shiloh is for our rural friends to enjoy wide-open spaces and farmland. Home to a large Mennonite population, Shiloh’s claim to fame lies with their bulk food store where you will find all things baking, bulk and affordable with delicious meats and cheeses to boot! In this rural market area, you can also find a giant fabric store, a meat market and country metals who can build you a custom barn or shed. These primitive marketplaces draw patrons from surrounding areas for their unique offerings and affordable prices. It’s a lovely day trip!
Village of Lexington
The village of Lexington is perhaps best known for the race track that sits just outside of the village footprint. Long home to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, the track boasts Events including Indy Car, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. These high profile racing occasions have pulled people from all walks of life into Lexington Ohio including the occasional celebrity! The village is proud of their over 60 acres dedicated to public parks. These include athletic fields, playgrounds, walking trails, and boating and fishing recreation at the Clear Fork Reservoir. Being home to Ohio’s largest blueberry farm, the village comes together as they celebrate every summer with the Blueberry Festival. Drawing from across the county and beyond, food vendors always have a blueberry menu item and there is fun for the whole family at the festival. Lexington is home to coffee shops, local eateries, and pride themselves on being a “growing community of families”. They are growing in other ways as well being home to one of Ohio’s fastest growing blown film manufacturers as well as global and niche market producers.
To the southeast of Mansfield you will find the rolling hills and colorful countryside that make up the village of Lucas, made famous by author Louis Bromfield who made his home at Malabar Farm. This land is now a State Park and well worth exploring the sprawling “big house,” farmland and trails through the woods. They hold the Maple Syrup festival in the fall and showcase how the syrup is made from tapping the trees to processing in the sugar shack. You can swing through and grab a bottle of the good stuff in the gift shop, then travel the rural countryside just around the corner to Mt. Jeez on a crisp fall day and take in the view from the top.
The Richland County Bike Trail begins or ends depending on your fancy, in Hitchman’s Park in this quiet, quaint village nestled in the clear fork valley. The small village is on the path to Mohican State Park where hikers and campers gather in all seasons to test their footing on the trails that wind through the scenic park. In the fall, just outside of the village is the Prairie Peddler, an open air market in the woods where crafters and artisans sell their wares to the sounds of live acoustic music that draw crowds from near and far. Butler is the furthest southeastern municipality in the county.
The village of Bellville’s Norman Rockwell downtown just begs you to go for a stroll. Dotted with flower baskets in the summer and bright and cheery painted windows for the holidays, Bellville has seamlessly integrated the old with the new and created a downtown worth exploring. Bellville boasts a B&B that features unique rooms and fine dining and you can often find live music on the patio. Sitting on the B&O Bike Trail, Bellville hosts visitors downtown throughout the year and really rolls out the carpet for the “World’s Fair” where friends and neighbors gather to celebrate in the street fair that highlights all things Bellville! Just 40 minutes from Columbus, Bellville is a bedroom community for many city workers who opt for the small town lifestyle.