Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

Early General Stores

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

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Harris House.

Harris House. PO1.425
The southwest corner of Main and James (now Park Avenue) streets was built as a hotel in 1842 and purchased by the Harris Family in 1865 who occupied it until 1904. From then until 1920, it was used as a store and warehouse.
Pictured in the photograph taken in 1866:
Marth J. Robbins, Sarah A. Pew, Hannah M. Taylor, A.F. Harris, C.G. Harris, Mrs. James Harris, F.W.Harris and H.J. Harris
.

General Stores Furnished Supplies for Pioneers of Nilestown As Early as 1830s.
Butter sold at 6 Cents per pound; First Hotel in 1836.
Special Edition Niles Daily Times 1934

Pioneer village though it was, Nilestown before the end of the Heaton period already possessed the beginnings of those institutions which give strength and permanence to a new community. Industry came first; business, the church and school quickly followed.

Quite early Heaton had established a store at his mill for the convenience of his workmen; but his store apparently carried a very limited stock and was not his primary interest. The first separate store was established by Robert Quigley in 1836 on the corner of Mill(now State) and Main Streets. Three years later a second store, located where the old Crandon Building now is, was opened by Josiah Robbins and Ambrose Mason. This store continued until 1864. An aged record book record book of a store operated by H.H. Mason in 1842 reveals the wide variety of stock sold by these general stores.

Wine sold at one-dollar per gallon, a wagon for a down payment of $45.00. Other common articles were sparables, bombazine and calico. Wheat sold at sixty-six cents per bushel; apples, 25 cents per barrel; butter, six cents per pound; eggs, 7 cents per dozen; and a suit of clothes was sold to James Heaton for $23.78.


Birth home of President William McKinley.

Birth home of President William McKinley.
Photograph dated 1895. PO1.697a

As early as 1836 there was need of a hotel or tavern in Nilestown; and in that year one was opened by Jacob Robeson on the corner of James (now Park) and Main Streets where the Hotel Heaton now stands. There seems to be no record of other businesses before 1840 but it is probable that a number of houses, such as the Mckinley home stood on the streets of the present business section during the period.

The home of William McKinley Sr. on the west side of Main Street. In 1843 William McKinley Jr. was born on January 29th.

Sometime before 1875 the house was enlarged and converted into a store owned by J. S. Benedict.

In the 1890's half of it was moved to Riverside Park and half to the back alley. A bank and the Benedict building were constructed on the site.


From 1836 when the Sandford House or Inn first opened until the Allison Hotel was built in 1906, the mode of local transportation was generally by horse-drawn carriage or on horseback.

From 1836 when the Sandford House or Inn first opened until the Allison Hotel was built in 1906, the mode of local transportation was generally by horse-drawn carriage or on horseback. Postcard dated 1908.

The first trains arrived in Niles in the mid-1850s and provided city-to-city travel. Streetcars became available in the late 1880s and provided point-to-point transportation. However, horses still provided the main transportation to locations that were unavailable to trains and streetcars.

The Sandford House provided livery service whereby travelers could rent a carriage or horse for travel, parties, and funerals.

According to several 'old-timers', the Sandford House was not actually torn down; instead the new hotel was built around it and the old Sandford Inn became part of the new Allison Hotel.

Comparing the Panoramic View of Niles map above to the postcard on the left, it appears that the previous entrance on James Street, now Park Avenue, was changed to face North Main Street with areas for shops on the ground level.

Comparing the Panoramic View of Niles map above to the postcard on the left, it appears that the previous entrance on James Street, now Park Avenue, was changed to face North Main Street with areas for shops on the ground level.


 

 

 


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