McKinley Museum Adds, Refreshes Its Exhibits

NILES – When Belinda Weiss started as the director of the McKinley Birthplace Museum and Memorial in Niles in 2022, one of her top priorities was to increase the number of visitors.

One of the first things she did was establish new connections within the community and use connections she already had, she says.

With partners such as the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau and Henley Graphics, Weiss was able to create an advertisement that reflected the essence of the museum, an eye-catching rack card, and a new website and logo.

These enabled Weiss to expand marketing of the museum to Mahoning and Ashtabula counties.

Another goal was to revamp the exhibits and add new ones.

“There needs to be something for people to come and see,” she says. “Yes, we have the McKinley exhibits, but there needs to be new exhibits in order for the museum to continue being relevant.”

Weiss contacted local collectors to get them to show their items, and also acquired new artifacts. The museum also works with organizations such as the Trumbull County Historical Society and the adjacent McKinley Library.

The museum and library cohost the annual Halloween Party and Pumpkin Walk, the Niles Rotary Strawberry Festival, and some smaller events such as book presentations.

The museum also hosts train shows and tea parties, choir concerts featuring the Valley Senior Choir, and the annual Festival of Trees. Last year’s Festival of Trees achieved a record number of trees and visitors.

The museum can boast having visitors from all 50 states as well as international visitors from France, England, Australia, Colombia and Guam.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.