MVHS unveils ‘People of the Mahoning Valley’

Two new exhibitions, one permanent and one temporary, open to the public Saturday at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center.

“The People of the Mahoning Valley: Stories of Identity and Innovation” was five years in the making and cost more than $500,000. It traces the history and development of the Valley from the early Native Americans and pioneers to the formation of townships and cities to the rise and fall of the iron and steel industries, all through the stories of the people that called this Valley home.

Visitors will learn about the companies that flourished, the culture of philanthropy, the birth of arts and sports and the locations that the people grew to love. The exhibit will display original artifacts, photographs, maps and manuscripts as well as audio, video and interactive stations.

Some of the stories featured involve famous names from the Mahoning Valley, like the Warner Brothers, but others are inspirational stories about those who are less well-known, such as Oscar Boggess, a Civil War soldier and African-American tradesman, and Lucy Buechner, who sought to empower girls and women during World War II.

According to Jessica Trickett, manager of collections for the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, “While the walls and exhibit furniture will be a permanent fixture in the gallery, the exhibit sections can be changed out to showcase the many different items and stories that are housed in the Historical Society’s three dimensional and archival collections.”

Many foundations, corporations and individuals contributed to the renovations and restoration of the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center and this permanent exhibit. A thank-you event will be held for donors prior to the public opening, and MVHS members will be given a chance to tour the exhibit today.

It will be unveiled to the public during a free open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the center, 325 W. Federal St., Youngstown.

Also opening Saturday is an exhibition featuring items from The Idora Park Experience, created by Jim and Toni Amey to celebrate the former amusement park that was destroyed by fire in 1984.

The Youngstown Foundation Community History Gallery will host a portion of the Amey’s collection, including a car from the Baby Wildcat, a Tilt-A-Whirl car and signage, arcade games, posters, game prizes and souvenirs.

It will remain on display through February 2018.

After Saturday’s open house, admission to the Tyler History Center will be discounted to $2 for adults, $1.50 for senior citizens and college students and $1 for children through Nov. 17. Starting Nov. 18, admission rates will increase to $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and college students and $5 for children, and the increase will coincide with the opening of “Memories of Christmas Past” at The Arms Family Museum. Admission includes a same day visit to all MVHS sites.

For more information, go online to or call 330-743-2589.