McKinley House in Riverside Park

Half of the McKinley Birthplace house was moved to a park just a few miles south of Niles, called Riverside Park. This card, another in the series donated by Eva Doyle, shows the half of the house after it fell into disrepair. According to the Niles Historical Society (http://www.nileshistoricalsociety.org/rpark.htm)
“In 1890 the land upon which McKinley’s house stood on Main Street, was needed as a site for the City National Bank (later McKinley bank) It was not known who undertook and financed the project, but McKinley’s house was cut in two and the part in which McKinley had been born was moved to Riverside Park, some time after the park began operating, possibly as a museum attraction. The second half of the house was moved to Franklin alley and used as a shop where the Harris rotary offset presses were made.

In 1894 the Riverside Park Co. constructed a dam across the Meander Creek so as to enlarge the boating area. They stocked the water with fish in the hopes of attracting the serious anglers

.Because the automobile was developed and more affordable, people traveled to other locations for their entertainment. By 1901 the Riverside Park proved to be unprofitable and the owners, William Allison, Clement Souder, Frances Thomas, E. A. Hartzell, Maggie Hartzell, S. S. Holeton, and Selina Holeton, sold the property to Buckeye Leather Company for $1,700.

With the demise of the amusement park, the McKinley house was occupied by tenants until 1908. In 1909 Lulu Mackey, first female member of the Trumbull County bar, decided to buy the house and restore it as nearly as possible. Miss Mackey had it moved by Frank Kramer to her property at McKinley Heights. She purchased the other section and had it moved as well, then proceeded to create a privately-owned museum which she operated until her death in 1934.

The museum was located where the McKinley Heights Plaza is today. After falling into disrepair, vandals burned the structure and it was destroyed.”

The back of this card is also interesting. The text reads, “If you use postal cards, help maintain McKINLEY’S BIRTHPLACE Memorial and Historical Museum, by sending $1.50 for 150 views of life of McKinley.” Once again, the cards were to be used as souvenirs and fundraisers for the maintenance of the house.

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