Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
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want to preserve that history and memories of events for future generations?
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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.
Mark Your Calendar:
Saturday, December 8, 2018
12 – 4:00 PM
McKinley Memorial, McKinley
Birthplace Home and Ward – Thomas House
Click on photo to view
On November 5, 2018, clients
from the Tony Tamasi Center on North Road
in Niles, raked leaves at the Ward-Thomas House. It was a
“Giving-Back to the Community Project” spearheaded
by Julie Blaine, coordinator.
They wanted to thank the community
for voting for the Fairhaven levies over the years.
Participants were: (not in order of photo)
John Aho, Peter Pascale, Marianne Sprankle, Marie Smith, Paul
Colla, Danielle Cesene, and Amanda Irwin. They
raked and filled 24 bags at the entrance to the house. Many
thanks to these hard workers.
Submitted by: Joyce Mahan
Niles Historical Society
December 2018 Calendar
In November and December, clocks
from member Pete Sciullo's vast clock collection of
Ansonia clocks from the 1800-1900's will be on display in the
Calendars featuring "Early
Schools in Niles" will be on sale this year for $10.00.
Shipping is available for an additional fee. Orders may be placed
by calling 330-652-8329.
Plans for McKinley Christmas on
December 8 from 12:00-4:00 are being made. This will be held
in conjunction with the McKinley Birthplace Home, McKinley Memorial
Library and McKinley Museum with activities planned at each
location. The trolley will transport patrons between sites.
The Ward-Thomas House will have crafts for children, special
stories and refreshments as well as tours of the house which
will be decorated for Christmas.
Looking for a unique gift for
that person who has everything? Try one
of the Niles historical books.