Heritage Day set for Niles

NILES — Members of the Niles Historical Society said the annual Heritage Day is a way to showcase local Niles history that many residents do not even know about.

Heritage Day will be noon to 5 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Ward Thomas House, 503 Brown St.

Historical Society President Anna Marie Beagle said the day’s activities will include guest speakers, historical displays in the Westenfield Room and barn, guided tours of the house, greenhouse and barn, crafters, artisans, vendors, caricature drawings by artist Rick Muccio, children’s activities and a scavenger hunt.

Beagle said at 12:30 p.m., a tree on the property will be dedicated to the late Fremont Camerino, who died in 2017. He was a longtime member of the society and an active community member, having served as Niles City Council president.

Other entertainment includes:

l 1 p.m. — Musical performance by Howland native and 2004 Miss Ohio Amanda Beagle, accompanied by Jack Ciarnello;

l 2 p.m. — Birds of Prey demonstration with Heather Merritt from Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Howland;

l 3 p.m. — Talk by historian Sean Posey, author of “Lost Youngstown,” who will discuss “The Rise and Fall of Sheet and Tube” and the local steel mills in the Youngstown area. He will discuss cultural landmarks of Youngstown, including Brier Hill, Monkey’s Nest and Smokey Hollow.

“There are many people, including Niles residents, who do not even know the Ward Thomas House is here. This is a hidden treasure of the city,” society member Sandy Bilovesky said.

She said there will be tours set at different times to showcase the local Ward and Thomas family history.

In the Westenfield room will be displays, photos and other items from Bonham and Lincoln elementary schools, which were both closed. In the barn will be displays of tools, equipment and Washington school memorabilia.

Beagle said the event is a family day, with activities for people of all ages.

“This lets us showcase what we have here in the house, barn and grounds,” she said.

There also will be food and lemon shakes. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

Any vendors who would like to participate may call 330-652-8329.

Beagle said to prepare for the celebration, two cleanup days were held in the spring, with volunteers from the men’s group at Niles First Christian Church removing brush and cutting down dead tree limbs, and members of the Niles McKinley football team clearing the fence line of the property.

Society members also did work on the gardens and will have lilac bushes, spider plants and asparagus ferns for sale.