Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
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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.
Niles Historical Society
April 2019 Calendar
The Niles Historical Society
will hold its annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser on Thursday
April 25, 2019 at 6:00 at Ciminero's Banquet Centre 123 N
Main St., Niles. Tickets are $30.00 and may be obtained by
calling 330-652-8329.The speaker will be Sean Posey,
historian and author of the books Lost Youngstown and Historic
Theaters of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
The monthly open house of the
Ward-Thomas House at 503 Brown Street will be Sun. April 7
from 2:00-5:00 with the last tour beginning at 4:00. The membership
meeting will be Saturday April 6 at 10:00 in the Westenfield
Room. Society representatives recently participated in Historical
Society Day at Park Vista in Youngstown where they presented
items featuring Niles history. Plans are being made for the
Niles third graders to visit the Ward-Thomas Museum in May
to learn about local history.
Society memberships may be obtained
for $20.00 an individual and $30.00 for a family. All are
welcome to join.
Looking for a unique gift for
that person who has everything?
of the Niles historical books.