THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Chapin Mansion
Henry and Ruby Chapin started construction on their mansion in 1882. They hired well-known architects from Chicago who designed the Victorian house using elements from the “Aesthetic Movement.” The movement was highly influenced by nature and Japanese art and architecture.
They moved into the mansion in 1884 when Henry was 71, and Ruby was 69.
Henry Chapin was a store clerk in Akron, Ohio, and then later became a business owner in Niles. After Chapin ran into business issues, he and his son Charles added a loan business to their insurance company.
Chapin also owned two paper mills on the St. Joseph River in Niles and was a stockholder in I&M Electric.
In 1884, Charles was the last surviving child and inherited the house.
In 1932, the children of Charles and his wife, Emily Chapin, sold the house to the City of Niles.
The Chapin Mansion served as City Hall until 2012, and in May of 2013, the building opened as a house museum.
Today, it is known as the Niles History Center. It consists of both the Chapin Mansion and Fort. St. Joseph Museum. Rooms on the second floor of the mansion were decorated for the holiday by Rebecca Dewey of Daughters of the American Revolution (bottom), Sentiments Bridal and Special Occasions (bottom middle), and Gateway Services (bottom right).
BERRIEN COUNTY — St. Joseph resident Mark Krager built his home by hand and has lived there for 23 years.... read more