State theater Reopens as Rock Concert Hall

From our film vault, WKBN 27 Youngstown OH reporting – 7/19/73 – “State Theater reopens as rock concert hall” – officially opening and operating as the “Tomorrow Club” on On October 20, 1974. Multiple national and international acts played the venue including RUSH, AC/DC, KISS, The Runaways, Heart, Talking Heads (official) and The Ramones to name a few. The Ramones played their first gig outside of the New York City here and it is where Joey Ramone first met The Dead Boys who later moved to NYC becoming one of the house bands at CBGB. On December 31, 1978, the Tomorrow Club reopened as the Youngstown Agora and continued to book great acts up until July 23, 1982.

Aug 12: History to Go! Bus tour to East Liverpool

Join us for History to Go!

The Young Leaders Advisory Board (YLAB) of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society is hosting a bus trip to East Liverpool, Ohio, on Saturday, August 12. The trip will begin with a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Homer Laughlin China Factory with host Katie Bricker, East Liverpool Rotarian and General Marketing Manager for Homer Laughlin.

Brothers Homer & Shakespeare Laughlin formed The Homer Laughlin Company in 1871 to sell the pottery ware that was made in their hometown of East Liverpool. The current factory in Newell, West Virginia was constructed between 1904 and 1905, and at the time, it was the largest pottery factory in the world. After the tour, there will be time for shopping in the factory store where the popular Fiesta Ware® is sold.

Lunch will be at historic Bricker’s Cafeteria, a former Isaly’s store, and current East Liverpool institution. After lunch will be a guided tour of the Museum of Ceramics downtown, along with a walking tour of several other downtown historic sites with MVHS Executive Director Bill Lawson. The bus will depart for Youngstown at 5:00 p.m., and return to the Tyler History Center at 6:00 p.m.

The bus tour will depart the Tyler History Center, 325 West Federal Street in Downtown Youngstown at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 12, 2017. Cost of the trip is $40 per person for MVHS members and $45 for not-yet-members. The cost includes transportation on a deluxe motor-coach, lunch, and tour admissions.  The tour involves some walking and handicap accessibility to the Homer Laughlin factory floor is limited.

Pre-paid reservations are required and only 40 seats are available. You can register by calling the Historical Society with a credit card at 330.743.2589, or print and mail in the East Liverpool Registration Form with your payment.




Hidden Gems: Unique Objects from our Collection

The next exhibit in the Youngstown Foundation Community History Gallery will bring to light some of the historical society’s rarely seen artifacts. We collect objects because they help to piece together the stories of the Mahoning Valley. Objects can tell us about the people who used them and about the period and culture from which they came.

Beginning July 11, dozens of objects will be on exhibit in Hidden Gems: Unique Objects from Our Collection at the Tyler History Center. The exhibit will remain open until the Tyler galleries close this fall for our full-scale local history exhibit installation.


Aug 2: Hands On History Open House

2017 Hands on History Open Houses

Join us on these Wednesday afternoons for free interactive programs this summer!


August 2

1:00 – 3:00 pm, Tyler History Center

Wednesday, August 2 – 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The Progress of the Mahoning Valley Learn about how the Mahoning Valley has changed – through the bad and the good and into the future. Make your own medicine, try historic tools, learn about those who helped to make our area a better place, and much more!

2017 HoH Open Houses Flyer

Each week will feature a different local history theme. Hands-On activities will include immersive programs, arts and crafts, games, toys, artifacts, dress-up clothing, and more!

Historic Preservation Award Winners 2017

The Historic Preservation Committee of the MVHS Board of Directors is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Historic Preservation Awards.  These awards honor those in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties who take an active role in preserving historic buildings, sites, and districts.  The categories and winners are as follows:


Community Revitalization Awards

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica – Youngstown, Ohio

The construction of the church building began in 1908 and was completed in 1913.  The project included repairs and refinishing of the original exterior wood, brick, limestone, granite and terracotta to allow for the building to stand for another 100 years. The basilica has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.




Lewis House – Poland Preservation Society

In 1996 the Poland branch of Home Savings and Loan wanted to demolish a small vacant house on College Street. A concerned group of citizens worked together to save the 1860’s home, keeping it part of the historic fabric of the Village.  The citizens group formed the Poland Preservation Society and undertook a renovation of the home which included a new roof, replacement of exterior siding with historically accurate hardy board, and removal of a modern east side porch returning its doorway to a window for the dining room.  Interior work included new plumbing, upgraded wiring, a new furnace, plaster repair and painting.  Rental of the home paid off the construction project loan, and the Preservation Society continues periodic maintenance of the house.


Mark Peyko, one of the panel judges remarked: “The project was/is important because it illustrates how grass-roots concern and initiative can change an outcome. It also shows that preservation can be achieved through education and dialogue. Moving a powerful entity (with site control) from demolition to preservation is no small feat. The house is a small, but significant, example of successful grass-roots preservation.”


St. Patrick Church – Youngstown  Stained Glass Windows

Beginning in 2008 St. Patrick’s Church undertook an eight-year project to repair and restore the stained glass windows of the church building which was built in 1924. The project included all of the windows from the small one foot by three foot side windows to the large window over the front door which covers half of the façade.  The windows were removed and taken to Studio Arts & Glass in North Canton, Ohio for repair and re-leading. While the windows were out, all of the frames were re-painted and any rotted wood was replaced.  After the restored windows were re-set, new protective coverings with vents were installed to equalize the temperature between the storm windows and the glass, enhancing and lengthening the life of the windows.



Commercial Revitalization Award

Peter Allen Inn – Kinsman, Ohio

Built by Willis Smith, a significant architect in the Connecticut Western Reserve, the Peter Allen House was completed in 1821. The three year restoration project included leveling the building, replacing the sill-beam and re-laying the exposed foundation stones above ground.  The original 12 over 12 pane windows were restored; all fireplaces were rebuilt to current code; the interior and exterior woodwork was stripped of paint and refinished; and the interior plaster was removed to allow for re-wiring, installation of a geo thermal HVAC system, fire suppression system, and foam insulation. The sub roof was dry-rotted and was rebuilt and re-shingled using historically accurate slate-like material. The front façade of the home is the architectural prize, and care was taken to restore the wood trim and architectural details. All modern conveniences for the event space are located outside the original home’s footprint, and every effort was made to blend new spaces with the old.


Dr. Tom Leary, a Associate Professor of History at YSU and a member of the judging panel, remarked that this was an innovative and sensitive repurposing of a property that posed a number of significant restoration challenges.  It is also, in his opinion, one of the most important buildings in the Western Reserve, and probably the most significant project that has ever received a Historic Preservation award.


The winners will be honored at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society’s 142nd Annual Meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 20th from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center, 325 West Federal Street in downtown Youngstown.  The public is invited to attend the dinner, cost is $28 for MVHS members and $32 for guests.