Niles Heritage Day showcases local history

NILES — Local history will be showcased at the annual Niles Heritage Day noon to 5 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Ward Thomas House Museum, 503 Brown St. The theme is “Remembering our Past, Living in the Present, Embracing our Future.”

David Rosine, chairman of the committee planning the event, said the day will include displays and demonstrations by local crafters, vendors, and artisans, including the Dragon Guild, which was started by Niles High School alumni who do artwork.

“Many groups that took part in the Warren Art Hop are planning to be part of Heritage Day,” Rosine said.

There will be food, raffles, book sale, face painting, children’s games and activities on the grounds.

Local artist Rick Muccio will draw caricatures and character drawings. Muccio draws political cartoons for the Tribune Chronicle.

The deejay will be Rich Palumbo. Hugh Mullen will have a Civil War display.

Historical books and items will be available for viewing and for purchase.

Tours will be given of the Ward Thomas House, a 14-room Victorian Mansion built in 1862 that is included on the National Register of Historic Places and the home of the Niles Historical Society. Rosine said displays are set up on both floors of the house, plus artifacts are on display in the barn.

“We want to get people to come in and see what is here. There are some people who live in Niles who do not know what is here or do not know we are even here. This gives us the opportunity to show what Niles has,” Rosine said.

The staff of the Niles city light department will have basket raffles at the event to benefit Relay for Life.

Rosine said it was decided to hold the event on a Saturday, not Sunday like in past years.

“We wanted to try something different on a Saturday so many local historical groups can attend. All our society members will be here to help,” he said.

Rosine said many historical societies hold open houses on the first Sunday of each month including the Ward Thomas House so by moving to a Saturday it will not conflict with their events.

The event is free. Parking will be available in the field next to the house off Brown Street. There will be guides to lead people to the house.