Front View of Thomas House Five images of buildings and grounds
Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

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

E-Mail Us Phone: 330.544.2143

Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

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Individual Membership: $20.00
Family Membership: $30.00
Patron Membership: $50.00
Business Membership: $100.00
Lifetime Membership: $500.00
Corporate Membership:
Call 330.544.2143

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Built 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.

The second 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 Society.

Formal front door of Ward-Thomas Museum

The 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 Washington, D.C..

Two White House Ladies' gowns

Also 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.
Rebuilt green house

Proceeding from 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 greenhouse.

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.

Additional guided tours may be arranged by contacting the Niles Historical Society
or calling: 330.544.2143.

Building used as workspace for green house


Mark Your Calendar:

Friday, September 28, 2018
Saturday, September 29, 2018

NHS Garage Sale
Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday AM 9-Noon
37 Hartzell Ave.

Donations of household goods, books, antiques and
miscellaneous items are being accepted and many useful
and interesting items will be offered at affordable prices.

Call Sandy Bilovesky at 330.652.8329
to deliver donations for garage sale

Sunday, October 7, 2018
Open House, Ward – Thomas House
2 – 5 PM

Saturday, October 27,2018
First Annual Halloween Party
Grounds of McKinley Memorial
6 – 9 PM

Sunday, November 4, 2018
Open House, Ward – Thomas House
2 – 5 PM

Saturday, November 8, 2018
Remembering WW1
The Niles Connection
McKinley Memorial Library (sponsor)
1:00 - 2:00 pm
McKinley Birthplace Home,
40 South Main Street (location)
Ralph Tolbert (presenter)

Saturday, December 8, 2018
McKinley Christmas
12 – 4:00 PM
McKinley Memorial, McKinley
Birthplace Home and Ward – Thomas House

Niles Historical Society
October 2018 Calendar

The membership meeting will be Saturday October 6 at 10:00.
Plans for participating in the first annual Halloween Party and Pumpkin Walk at the McKinley Library on Saturday October 27 from 6:00-8:00 will be discussed.

This is in conjunction with The Friends of the Library and the McKinley Memorial Museum.

The 2019 calendars featuring early schools in Niles may be ordered by calling 330-652-8329.

The Niles Historical Society will hold their monthly Open House tour of the Ward-Thomas House at 503 Brown Street on Sunday October 7 from 2:00 to 5:00
( with the last tour beginning at 4:00.)


Garage Sale, Items, Volunteers!
The annual garage sale is scheduled for September 28 – 29, 2018. This is a significant fundraiser for the Society. Please consider donating items. Sandy Bilovesky will again host this event at her home, 37 Hartzell Ave., Niles.

Please contact Sandy at 330 .652 .8329.
Volunteers are needed to help Sandy prepare items for set up and for sale beginning now!


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