to Schedule a Tour of the Ward - Thomas Museum.
With the price of gas going up and people trying
to find things to do close to home, may we suggest, visiting your
local historical home. It is interesting how many people in Niles
have never been inside the McKinley Memorial Library building,
let alone our Ward-Thomas museum.
People travel all over the world looking for
interesting places to visit, and here in their own home town,
sits one of the most beautiful museums in the country. The Ward-Thomas
Museum exists because caring people have volunteered to create
it. It holds over 5,000 items in the 14 rooms and it takes over
an hour just to walk through. If you take your time, you could
spend hours and still not see everything.
I once asked a Niles man, who has traveled the
world, why he never visited our museum. He said, “I guess
because it will always be there.” “No, it will not”,
I answered him. If no one visits and donates money to support
it, the Ward-Thomas Museum will fade away like everything else
Remember we are open for public tours on the
first Sunday of every month from 2-5 pm. However, we are more
than glad to open the doors just for you, if you call ahead and
schedule a tour time. Just E-Mail
Us or call the office, 330-544-2143 and
leave your name and phone number. We will return your email or
call and schedule a tour.
Sample piece of 19th Century bedroom
on the second floor of the Ward-Thomas Museum
Notes: May — June 2021
Spring is here and is absolutely beautiful and
welcome! As we pass from winter to spring and an improved COVID
the Niles Historical Society is ready to resume activities.
This issue of the Niles Register includes articles contributed
by our members. Lynda Ralston was intrigued by the story
of the Ahlstrom piano highlighted in the last issue and presented
the research on the history of the piano.
Joan Matheny approached the Society to present a story of
Ed Vargo’s achievements. Joan, Ed Vargo and
Bill Browning contributed the information for this article.
Dick Bullock was also instrumental in this endeavor.
The Society will gladly publish stories of the accomplishments
of current or former residents of Niles. Contact: Anna Marie
Beagle 330.719.5716 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on the Ward-Thomas property:
Currently the Society is working to improve the condition of the
Ward-Thomas property. The work crews of Niles City have removed
several dead trees from the property. Dave Martin, our
grounds keeper has been clearing away debris from fallen branches.
Volunteers are needed to help weed and plant the flower beds.
The Westenfield Room, the old carriage house, which serves as
a meeting space is currently closed due to an extensive mold issue.
A bidding process with companies that perform mold remediation
is ongoing. The plan is to improve the space with proper insulation,
painting, flooring and temperature – humidity control.
Also discussed at the April 17 meeting was performing necessary
repairs to the greenhouse. Caulking of the windows is a continuing
issue. Companies that perform this service will be sought for
bids on the project.
The barn roof is leaking. Mayor Steven Mientkiewcz is
investigating ways to repair the roof. The Society thanks Mayor
Mientkiewcz for his cooperation. By lease contract the Society
is responsible for maintaining the inside of the structures and
the flower beds. The City of Niles which owns the property is
responsible for maintaining the physical structures, trees and
Advisory Committee sought:
It is necessary to form a committee to determine the direction
to take with the monies in the New Building Fund account that
was begun in 2011. The Society requires an improved space for
education, research and storage of the collection. At this time
there is not adequate space or temperature and humidity control
to accept any more physical donations.
There is a proposed rendition for a facility
that would be expensive to build and maintain. The amount of money
in this fund is not adequate to cover the expense of this lofty
plan. The Board of the Society seeks input from members on how
to best use the building fund monies to provide an improved space.
I implore members to weigh in on this discussion.
Average attendance at meetings is approximately ten members who
should not be making this enormous decision for an organization
with over three hundred members.
Please contact Anna Marie Beagle at 330-719-5716 or email@example.com
for further discussion.
Thank you, Anna Marie Beagle, President.
the Buildings and Garden
Calendar of Events
Story Walk in Stevens
The theme of the Story Walk in the month of May is “Niles
Audra Dull at the McKinley Memorial Library directs
this project for which the Niles Historical Society’s
Sandy Bilovesky provided pictures and dialogue
of early Niles.Take time to visit the park and enjoy a little
bit of history.
Sunday, May 16, 2021, 3:00 PM at the McKinley Memorial Museum.
High Tea catered by Quintealia’s Tea Parlor.
Call for reservations: Ami at 330-652-4273
Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 10:00 AM
Sunday, June 6, 2021
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
Last tour starts at 4:00 PM.
Protective Masks required.
In Memoriam: History
of Niles Street Names
Tuesday, May 18, 6 P.M.
In this virtual program, Ralph Tolbert of the Niles
Historical Society will delve into the history behind some
Niles street names. Many Niles natives gave their lives
for their country during World War I, and their city honored
their sacrifices by naming streets after them.
This is a virtual program, so you will need internet access
and an email address to participate. Call Audra Dull:
(330) 652-1704 ext. 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Presentation will be recorded and later available on YouTube.
The yearly membership drive
is underway with fees of $20 for individuals, $30 for families,
$50 for patron level, $100 for businesses and organizations
and $500 for life memberships. Memberships support the society's
programs and includes the bimonthly newsletter.
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. Click
on link below:
of the many Niles Historical books.
Books vary in price.
Sample of book content
Pictorial History of the Buildings of Niles Ohio'
200 pages and 400 high resolution photographs
order your book call: Sandy at: 330.652.8329
Niles Historical Society Office at: 330.544.2143
or Email Us
$40.00 local pickup or $45.00 shipped
To save on shipping costs, all of the listed
books are available for purchase at any Ward-Thomas Museum
Shipping/Mailing costs are $5.00 for each book ordered.
Please make checks out to: Niles Historical
Send your name, address and phone number, and check to cover
Niles Historical Society
P. O. 368
Niles, Ohio 44446