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
July 2019 Calendar
The Niles Historical Society
will hold its monthly open house of the Ward-Thomas House
at 503 Brown St. from 2:00-5:00 on Sunday July 7 with the
last tour beginning at 4:00.
It will hold the membership
meeting on Saturday July 6 at 10:00 in the Westenfield Room.
Plans are being made for Heritage Day on Sunday August 18
from 11:00-5:00 on the grounds of the Ward-Thomas House.
year will also feature a car show as well as food, artisans
and vendors. Entertainment will include presentations from
Birds in Flight, speakers and music by students of Amanda
Activities for children will
be included and Rick Muccio will be doing character
drawings. There will be tours of the house, barn and greenhouse.
Admission will be free.
Society memberships may be obtained
for $20.00 an individual and $30.00 for a family. All are
welcome to join. Members receive the newsletter six times/year
and free admission to the Ward-Thomas Museum when open on
the first Sunday of the month.
Gifts with a
Niles' History connection.
of the Niles Historical books.