Greystone, the magnificent 1905 Arts & Crafts-style residence of Wilford and Olive F. A. Arms, is preserved a century later as the Arms Family Museum of Local History. The first floor of this historical home features original period rooms that highlight the Arms’ love of handicraft, medieval architecture and the natural environment.
The lower level and second floor showcase a complete history of life in the Mahoning Valley, from the earliest evidence of human habitation in Mahoning County to yesterday’s fads. The museum is maintained and operated by the Mahoning Valley Historical Society (MVHS).
The Arms Family Museum is more than just the house that once belonged to Olive and Wilford P. Arms; there are seven different exhibits to visit.
Arts & Crafts Design at Greystone
The Story of My House: Arts & Crafts Design at Greystone shows off the design process of this magnificent property, from its initial concept to its actualization. Featuring sketches crafted by Olive F. A. Arms herself, photographs depicting the original room designs, furniture and decorative items, the display vividly illustrates the influences that shaped the Arms family's residence.
Youngstown Illustrated, published in 1889, represents Youngstown's remarkable transformation between 1868 and 1896 when the city experienced a rapid population surge. This nine-part pictorial showcases local industry, the bustling central business district, our city’s scenic beauty, essential institutions, infrastructure and the area’s incredible residences while capturing this pivotal point in the city’s history. See how Youngstown became a true metropolis.
19th Century Heirlooms
The Tod Family was notably one of the first families to settle in Youngstown, Ohio. George Tod was a state lawmaker in Ohio from 1804 to 1806 and soon after served on the Ohio Supreme Court. Years later, his son, David Tod, would follow in his footsteps and become the 25th Governor of Ohio. The Tod Family is revered as one of the founding families of Youngstown.
Tod Family Treasures: 19th Century Heirlooms is an exhibit that delves into the Tod family's heritage, focusing on their decorative arts collection. It features family portraits, china, silver and more. Notably, this exhibit features the Tod bedroom suite, consisting of an intricately carved walnut bed and a marble-topped dressing table. The Tods originally acquired this suite from A. S. Herenden Co., a furniture maker in Cleveland, during the 1870s-1880s.
Local Clothing and Accessories
Located in the Jeanne D. Tyler Costume Exhibit Gallery, Tailor Made: Local Clothing and Accessories showcases clothing and accessories that highlight the skill of the local community. Items were either tailored for upscale clients, sold in downtown Youngstown's shops or lovingly hand-sewn. See fashion trends of various eras, including the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection ranges from modest cotton bonnets to embellished evening gowns.
Mid-Century Modern in the Mahoning Valley
Located in the Anne Kilcawley Christman Decorative Arts Gallery, Mid-Century Modern in the Mahoning Valley displays the design era of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, when bold colors and sleek lines were the norm. Notably, the exhibit features the iconic 1948 Youngstown Kitchens set, along with a selection of items from the Plakie Toy company and other significant artifacts from this era.
The Benjamin Franklin Wirt Collection
Avid traveler Benjamin Franklin Wirt, a local lawyer and Ohio state senator in the late 1800s, curated a collection of rare, ancient artifacts and fine artwork. Those pieces are now entrusted to the care of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. The exhibit’s visitors get a first-hand look at this diverse array of items, including renowned autographs, artifacts from the War of 1812 and much more.
Hands-On History Room
The Hands-On History Room allows visitors of all ages to interact with the history of the Mahoning Valley on a more personal level. This exhibit features games, crafts and interactive activities for engaged learning. The Hands-On History room often adapts to the time of the year for special events. During the holiday season, the Hands-On History Room transforms into an engaging North Pole adventure.
Memories of Christmas Past
Don't miss the annual holiday display, Memories of Christmas Past! Visit the Arms Family Museum during the holiday season for this very special event! Each year, the exhibit opens the Saturday before Thanksgiving and runs through December. During this time, the museum transforms into a holiday wonderland, taking visitors back in time from the 1800s through the 1960s with beautiful vignettes and vintage Christmas decorations. Memories of Christmas Past rivals well-renowned holiday-themed celebrations in New York, Boston or Chicago.
Field trips at the Arms Family Museum in Youngstown, Ohio include a guided tour with hands-on activities, demonstrations and educational programs. Appropriate for groups of up to 60, the Arms Family Museum offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history of the Mahoning Valley. To schedule, email [email protected]