** The Niles History Center remains closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please continue to check our website for updates.**
Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Virtual Summer Camp Program
With Covid-19 safety plans in place, Fort St. Joseph Curatorial Fellow and Field Director, Erika Hartley, will lead a group of Western Michigan University field school students in excavations at the site this summer!
The 2021 Fort St. Joseph Archaeology Summer Camp Program will be entirely virtual. Click the links below to apply online.
Cost: $100; Need-based scholarships available
2021 Fort St. Joseph Virtual Archaeology Camp dates:
Middle School Camp (students entering grades 6-8): July 19-23
High School Camp (students entering grades 9-12): July 26 – 30
Lifelong Learners and Educators Camp: August 2-6
Students at Niles' Eastside Connections School created a Black History Museum. Check it out here:
Check out our virtual tours!
Chapin Mansion Virtual Tour
Silverbrook Cemetery Virtual Tour
The Niles History Center is located at 508 E. Main Street in historic downtown Niles. The Niles History Center includes the Fort St. Joseph Museum and the Chapin Mansion.
Join the Friends of the Niles District Library and Niles History Center! Membership Form
Fort St. Joseph Museum
Located in the former carriage house of the beautiful Victorian period Chapin Mansion, the museum tells the story of Niles from the prehistoric era to the present.
If you’re missing your daily dose of local history or looking for a local place to visit virtually, the Niles History Center has something for you! While the Fort St. Joseph Museum is closed to the public, the staff is working to carry out its mission remotely. Check out our virtual field trips!
Check out the Niles History Center's new interactive digital tour of the Historic Chapin Mansion!
Virtual visitors can “tour” the house at their own pace. The technology is user-friendly, accessible for anyone with a computer and internet access. The Niles History Center recommends using a computer rather than a smartphone for the best experience. **If using an Android phone we recommend pasting the link in your internet browser.**
Chapin Mansion Virtual Tour
About the Historic Chapin Mansion
Henry and Ruby Chapin constructed their magnificent home in 1882. Donated to the City of Niles in 1933, it served as City Hall and is now administered by the Niles History Center.
The Mansion is now ADA accessible thanks to the completion of our North Porch Project. Funding was provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan-based crowdfunding platform, Patronicity, and a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Public Spaces Community Places program.
Renovations are ongoing at the Chapin Mansion!
Future projects include:
Update of heating system
Exterior painting of window frames
You can help be a part of history! Contact Christina Arseneau, Niles History Center to make your donation today.
Have You Visited the Museum Lately?
If you haven't, we would encourage you to do so. Niles has a wonderful, wide ranging history that we can all be proud of. What other town can you think of that has a fort, the Underground Railroad, pictographs by Chief Sitting Bull and a railroad classification yard in its history? Not to mention Rudolph and a two-headed lamb. You'll find these stories and lots more at the museum.