New Tyler History Center exhibit traces Valley back to Native American times

At the Youngstown history center, you'll be able to follow the Valley's history from Native Americans to modern times

At downtown Youngstown's Tyler History Center, you'll soon be able to follow the Mahoning Valley's history from Native Americans to modern times, as a new permanent exhibit is being built.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – At downtown Youngstown’s Tyler History Center, you’ll soon be able to follow the Mahoning Valley’s history from Native Americans to modern times, as a new permanent exhibit is being built.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the Tyler History Center’s new permanent exhibit is the Greater Boardman Plaza sign that once hung on Route 224.

“But they contacted us and said they would like this sign lens and we said sure that’s an interesting artifact,” said Bill Lawson of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society has designed the Tyler’s new permanent exhibit titled “The People of the Mahoning Valley: Stories of Identity and Innovation.”

For five years, the historical society has been planning and raising money.

“We’re going to talk about Native American pre-history, we’re going to talk about our early settlers,” Lawson said. “The mid 19th century civil war period, industrialist and entrepreneurs.”

The exhibit is under construction — they were painting on Friday. But you can already get idea of what it’s going to look like.

A lot of pictures are being used — one of the largest ones is the early days of WKBN-TV. There’s also one of the old Youngstown Opera House.

“It was built in the late 1860s and it was really Youngstown’s first auditorium,” Lawson said.

But there are also artifacts.

There’s an old plow from 1815 and the Bates family of Hartford. Then there’s a water wheel hub dug from Struthers’ Hopewell Furnace.

There’s also a spinning wheel, one of Idora Park’s Wildcat cars and seats from the old Warner Theater.

“The themes are permanent, the case work and wall partitions are permanent,” Lawson said. “But we’ve designed it in a way so that in future years, we can change out some of the stories.”

If you’d like to see the exhibit, it will be open to the public for the first time on Saturday, November 4th from noon-4 p.m. Admission on that day will be free.


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