Midwest Book Scouting Trip – Malabar Farm, Mansfield, Ohio

What a trip!  This morning I went for a swim (heavenly) before we set out on our two-hour plus drive to Mansfield, Ohio to Malabar Farm, the beautiful  rural home and working farm of Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield (1896-1956), which is an Ohio State Park.  Louis Bromfield is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I have managed to collect nearly everything he has written.  He wrote awesome novels, but even more important, he is the father of the organic sustainable  farming movement and was way ahead of the curve on what today’s generation calls “green” living, and author of excellent essays on what America could and should be.  You can read his ideas in his books — New Patterns for A Tired World, From My Experience, and Out of the Earth.  His writings are timeless.

At Malabar Farm we re-united with Mark Jordan, prize-winning playwright who was our extraordinary personal tour guide back in 2005 when I wrote a two-part article for Bookthink on Malabar Farm and author Louis Bromfield.

Mark Jordan, friend, Playwright, and Manager of Malabar Farm International Youth Hostel

Mark is now managing the International Youth Hostel at Malabar Farm, and writing and producing plays, and he is also a published poet.  His play, “Louie” will premiere in October at Malabar Farm in Mansfield.  Read about it here.

Poster photographed in Mansfield, OH bank – for upcoming play “Louie”

The "Big House" at Malabar Farm - Louis Bromfield's home

Ron and Mark Jordan outside Malabar Farm Restaurant - fresh locally grown food, culinary delights!

When we arrived in Mansfield, Ohio, we spent some time trying to track down Little Journey Book Shop, which used to be located on Main Street in Mansfield, and specialized to some extent in books by Louis Bromfield.  The old storefront was empty, so we talked with the helpful parking lot attendant (Lester) and an officer in the local bank, and learned that the book shop had moved to an in-home location in another area of town.  We found it, but the proprietor was not at home.  We left him our card.  The good news is, he was located directly across from an historical home which Louis Bromfield  referred to many times in his novel as ” Shane’s Castle”.   Here are photos:

“Shane’s Castle” or Oak Hill Cottage, which Louis Bromfield described in novels — it is a place he visited frequently as a child
Historical Marker for Oak Hill Cottage (Shane’s Castle) – click to enlarge

We love Malabar Farm, and all of Louis Bromfield’s writings, both fiction and non-fiction.  Malabar Farm is the culmination of his life, and a beautiful, enlightening place to visit.  I believe that our book store, Old Scrolls Book Shop,  now carries the largest selection of out-of-print books by and about Louis Bromfield available for purchase.

Today, which is the second-to-the-last day of our two week book scouting journey, was so full of adventure and wonderful experiences that I can’t possibly reveal them all in tonight’s blog entry.  This evening we have spent an incredible night in Cleveland, Ohio, and it has absolutely blown me away.  Please tune in to my next blog entry (hopefully tomorrow if I haven’t dropped over from exhaustion!) when I will tell you about our extraordinary stay in this great American city!  Cleveland ROCKS!

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