Arms Family Museum Exhibits
Youngstown Illustrated, published in 1889, is a nine-part pictorial record of the city’s
prosperity during a period of tremendous growth and change. Youngstown grew from an
incorporated village in 1850, to a city of the second class (having at least 5,000 people) in 1868,
to a city of the first class (having at least 25,000 people) in 1896. The population swelled rapidly
as people moved here to work in the iron and coal industries, and other trades and businesses that
grew along with the city.
The images in Youngstown Illustrated celebrate the growth of industry and commerce,
showcasing Youngstown’s central business district, civil and financial institutions, industrial
sites, and the impressive residences of those who made their wealth here. It also touts the
expansion of infrastructure and services for the growing population, highlighting the city’s
hospital and water works, transportation hubs, schools, and churches.
Not to be overlooked are the city’s scenic views. The publisher notes that “Youngstown
is a pleasant city to look upon,” and provides vistas of the Mahoning River, the fountain at
Central Square, and the shaded walks and flowering shrubs of Oak Hill Cemetery.
Youngstown Illustrated shows the city as a rising industrial hub. The publisher, H. R.
Page and Co. of Chicago, had similar publications for other Midwestern cities and counties. It
documents Youngstown in the late-19 th century, capturing the time just before steel
overshadowed iron and the city truly became a metropolis.
Tod Family Treasures: 19th Century Heirlooms
This new exhibit explores the Tod family legacy through their decorative arts. Family portraits, china, silver, and more will give insight into the daily lives of the Tods living in Youngstown during the 19th Century. Some pieces were gifted to David Tod during his service as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, while others were purchased by the family.
A Tod bedroom suite recently traveled from Minnesota to make its way back to the Mahoning Valley. The Tods purchased the suite – an ornately carved walnut bed and marble-topped dressing table – from A. S. Herenden Co., a Cleveland furniture maker, sometime in the 1870s-1880s. After being used by the Tods, the suite was given to Anna Morgan King, a local friend of the family. Mrs. King passed the suite down to her niece, Anna May Morgan Curry, who subsequently passed it to her grandson, Charles P. Curry, in the late 1970s.
Tailor Made: Local Clothing and Accessories
The clothing and accessories in the exhibit reflect the talent of many local men and women. Whether tailor made for downtown Youngstown’s shops or wealthy clients, or hand-sewn for family and friends, these pieces beautifully reflect the styles of their time. The exhibit includes pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries, from simple cotton bonnets, to extravagantly beaded evening dresses.
Anne Kilcawley Christman Decorative Arts Gallery
Mid Century Modern in the Mahoning Valley
This exhibit explores the design period from the late 1940’s through the 1960’s when designers embraced technological advancements and natural forms using bold colors and streamlined edges. The exhibit highlights the 1948 Youngstown Kitchens set, pieces from the Plakie Toy company and more.
The Story of My House: Arts & Crafts Design at Greystone
This exhibit explores Greystone’s design, from conception to realization. With sketches drawn by Olive Arms, photographs of original room designs, and never before seen furniture and decorative objects, the exhibit demonstrates the Arts and Crafts influences in the Arms family home.
B.F. Wirt was a Youngstown lawyer and businessman, and served as an Ohio state senator for four years beginning in 1889. An avid traveler, Wirt amassed a unique collection of rare ancient artifacts, artwork, Asian decorative arts, as well as books, autographs and manuscripts. He intended to develop a museum for his collection, however that never came to fruition and the collection is now under the care of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. Visitors will see a variety of items including famous autographs, artifacts from the War of 1812, a Persian (Iranian) perfume bottle, Chinese embroidery and a Native American basket.
The Hands-On-History Room has again been transformed into an interactive North Pole experience. Guests of all ages are welcome to explore Santa’s office and take pictures in his sleigh. For even more holiday spirit, guests can use try-on Elf, Santa, and Toy Soldier costumes to add a festive layer to their photographs. Activity tables offer the chance to get crafty with ornaments, greeting cards, and other holiday pieces with a little something for everyone to enjoy. The space is complete with Christmas cartoons, music, a Santa exhibit, and even an hourly North Pole Elf News Network broadcast.