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Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

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Where is Russia Field in Niles, Ohio?

Ward — Thomas Museum
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Russia Sheet Mill. Copied from a picture in a souvenir pamphlet by Sykes Steel Roofing Co. of Chicago & Niles in 1893

Russia Sheet Mill. Copied from a picture in a souvenir pamphlet by Sykes Steel Roofing Co. of Chicago & Niles in 1893. PO1.621

“Russia Field” in Niles

In 1867, James Ward II sent a man to Russia to study the process of manufacturing “Russia Iron”, a high grade and lightly finished product much in demand by stove manufactures, and very expensive after importation.

Upon a favorable report by the expert, Ward and company constructed the Russia Iron Mill and attempted to duplicate the Russian product. This plant in 1874, was located on the north bank of the Mahoning River just east of the Lisbon branch of the Erie Railroad, and south of where the Niles Steel Products Company was located. It was the first plant to be located at a considerable distance from the original industrial site along the creek near its confluence with the river.

The Russian Mill brought Niles much publicity since here for the first time in the U.S. a certain kind of steel was manufactured that was much valued and used. Around this mill a settlement of workers’ homes sprang up and people referred to it as “Russia Field”. After a time the Russia Mill was taken over by the Summers Brothers and Co. The name “Russia Field ” still clings to that district.





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