A severe storm in Ohio last week appears to have destroyed the Oak tree made famous in the film Shawshank Redemption. The tree, which sits on private land, was a mecca for fans of the 1994 movie starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.
The Oak tree was located near the state park and was part of the popular tourist attraction The Shawshank Trail. Visitors who came to see the tree and other places where meaningful scenes of the movie were filmed could also get a look inside the historic Ohio Reformatory which was used as a backdrop for the blockbuster movie. The Ohio Reformatory closed in 1990 and is now a museum.
Movie buffs who follow the The Shawshank Trail can visit 12 sites in Mansfield-Richland County and southeastern Ohio area where the film Shawshank Redemption was made.
The Mansfield-Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau has requested for years that people not visit the site where the tree was located in respect for the owners of the property who use the land for farming. The tree could be seen from nearby Malabar Farm, one of the stops on the Shawshank Trail.
Lee Tasseff, President of the Mansfield-Richland CVB said, "We're working to see if it’s possible to somehow preserve this piece of local and Hollywood history, which has lived in Mansfield since long before The Shawshank Redemption was shot here in 1993. However, we highly encourage folks who want to see the tree in its natural location to visit now, while part of it remains standing."
The tree is located in the spot where one of the final scene's of the movie was filmed. Freeman's character, Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding walked along a hayfield to the tree to find the note and money hidden years before by Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins. He sat under the tree to read the message that gave him hope to carry on in life.
The Shawshank Trail attracts thousands of visitors per year who want to see the places made famous in the movie which can still be seen monthly on television or on the Internet.