MANSFIELD — One of the most popular movies of all time, which included some local actors and actresses when it was filmed in this area 30 years ago, continues to grow in popularity.
In an effort to celebrate The Shawshank Redemption’s widespread reach, Destination Mansfield (formerly the Mansfield/Richland County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) has added a new stop to the wildly popular Shawshank Trail — this time far outside the borders of Ohio.
Destination Mansfield this weekannounced that a Shawshank Movie Site sign was erected on the beaches of Sandy Point, St. Croix. The sign marks the 15th stop on the Shawshank Trail, which includes 14 other sites in Mansfield, Ashland and Upper Sandusky, Ohio where the most popular movie of all time was filmed.
Although the majority of Shawshank’s scenes were shot in and around Mansfield, the movie’s final scene, portrayed as Zihuantanejo, Mexico, was actually filmed in St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Bill and April Mullen, owners of the Shawshank Woodshop in Upper Sandusky, contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ranger Michael Evans in St. Croix, who was thrilled with the idea of continuing the Shawshank Trail in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“The Shawshank Redemption film shoot was incredibly important to Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge for many reasons,” said Evans. “Most important was the economic impact the film production brought — in both spending and salaries — to St. Croix.”
Evans went on to say that the mission of the refuge perfectly aligned with the needs of Shawshank’s production crew.
“We have always tried to communicate the value of preserving critical wildlife habitat,” Evans said. “Sandy Point NWR’s unspoiled setting was a good fit for the needs of the film project and brought economic benefit to the island economy.”
The Mullen’s traveled to St. Croix in early February to meet with Ranger Evans and erect the Shawshank Movie Site sign.
Citing the film’s incredible popularity, Destination Mansfield created The Shawshank Trail in 2008 to highlight the region’s 14 filming sites. Partnering with Ranger Evans allowed Destination Mansfield to further extend the film’s reach.
“Destination Mansfield wanted to extend the movie’s legacy and impact beyond our borders for our visitors,” said Destination Mansfield Media Director Jodie Snavely. “The Shawshank Redemption has such a devoted following; we are excited to help travelers experience yet another stop on the Shawshank Trail.”
For information, visit DestinationMansfield.com or call 800-642-8282.