Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
Do you love the history of Niles, Ohio and
want to preserve that history and memories of events for future generations?
here to donate:
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization,
your donation is tax deductible. When you click on the Donate Button,
you will be taken to a secure Website where your donation will entered
and a receipt generated.
To Review the Constitution
of The Niles Historical Society, Click Here
in 1862, the Ward Thomas House was the home of two prominent Niles
industrial families. James Ward, who built the house,
was a pioneer in the iron industry in the Mahoning Valley. He
built puddling plants, Falcon Nail and Iron Company and the Russia
mill for manufacturing steel.
owners were John and Margaret Thomas who came
to this country from Wales. The Thomas family founded the Niles
Firebrick Company and later, Mahoning Valley Steel. The Thomas
family occupied the house until 1969 when the property was deeded
to the City of Niles. Through the efforts of Clare Westenfield,
a local attorney, the house became the home of the Niles Historical
house is now a museum consisting of fourteen rooms, many furnished
in the style of the period, some with furniture owned by the Thomas
family and donated to the museum. The museum collection has more
than 5000 items, including many from the two families. Throughout
the museum, mannequins wear life size replicas of the White House
ladies’ gowns displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in
on the five acre property are a recently restored barn and a 1925
green house as well a various gardens and 56 varieties of trees
in the arboretum. Care of the house and gardens is done by volunteers
and the house is decorated appropriately for each season.
the back porch of the Ward-Thomas house, a walk-way leads to a
secondary building. This building is used as a workspace for the
first Sunday of each month the Thomas House is open to the public
from 2 - 5 pm.
The last tour begins at 4:00 pm and ends at 5:00 pm.
guided tours may be arranged by contacting the Niles
or calling: 330.544.2143.
The Niles Historical Society
will be hosting an author talk and book signing on Wednesday
May 24 at 7:00 PM at the Ward-Thomas Museum, 503 Brown St.
Larry Brough will discuss his book The Electric
Pullman: A History of the Niles Car & Manufacturing Company.
This car company produced railway cars in Niles from 1901
Mr. Brough was born in Newark,
Ohio and grew up there and in Cleveland. He is a graduate
of Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve
University) and Xavier University in Cincinnati. He has authored
three published books, two on electric interurban car builders
and an award winning one on the Great Lakes automobile carriers
of the early 20th century. He currently resides with his wife,
Shirley, in Newark.
Railroad enthusiasts and local
historians can purchase his book for $30.00 at the event.
There will be a $5.00 donation and light refreshments will
Erie Street view of the Niles
Car & Manufacturing Company, makers of one of the finest
lines of plush electric cars of the area. This building was
located on the block bounded by Erie, South Cedar, Allison
Avenue and Mason Street. the plant operated for 16 years before
being converted to truck chassis production.PO1.1434
2017 Niles Historical
President — Anna Marie
Vice-President — Dave Martin
Treasurer — Patty Burgess-Fisher
Secretary — MaryAnn McMahon
Corresponding Secretary — Ruth
Sandy Bilovesky, Fremont Camerino, Nancy Malone
Front: Sandy Bilovesky, Fremont
Camerino, Nancy Malone
Back: Dave Martin, Patty Burgess-Fisher, Anna Marie Beagle, MaryAnn
Niles Historical Society
2017 Scheduled Meetings/Events
May 5, 2017
Open House Tours
May 6, 2017, 2-5pm