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
March 2019 Calendar
The Niles Historical Society
will hold its annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser on Thursday
April 25, 2019 at 6:00PM at Ciminero's Banquet Centre 123
N Main Street, Niles.
Tickets are $30.00 per person and may be obtained by calling:
The speaker will be Sean
Posey, historian and author of the books Lost Youngstown
and Historic Theaters of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.
Ralph Tolbert will
present a slide show featuring photographs of Niles. The slide
show will begin when the banquet doors open at 5:30 and repeat
during the meal.
The monthly open house of the
Ward-Thomas House at 503 Brown Street will be Sunday, March
3 from 2:00-5:00 with the last tour beginning at 4:00.
The membership meeting will
be Saturday, March 2 at 10:00 in the Westenfield Room. The
society has wrapped up its calendar sale and has announced
its officers for 2019. President is Anna Marie Beagle
while Vice-President is Dave Martin. Treasurer is
Lynda Ralston and secretary is Coleen Tominey.
Looking for a unique gift for
that person who has everything? Try one
of the Niles historical books.
Ward-Thomas House, 2017.