Niles History Center to host holiday open house Dec. 16

Published 12:18 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023


NILES — The last chance for visitors to see the Historic Chapin Mansion decorated for the holidays will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. 

The Niles History Center will host a special Evening Open House. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the Fort St. Joseph Museum and Chapin Mansion all dressed up for the holidays decorated by various community groups and businesses in its theme: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

New this year, live music will be playing at the Mansion for visitors to enjoy while they take in all the sights. History Center Director Christina Arseneau notes, “Our community decorators really had fun with the Rudolph theme. There’s lots of red, antique Rudolph books, handmade ornaments, and nostalgic decorations!” Why Rudolph? Rudolph has a historical connection to Niles. The character was created by Robert May for the Montgomery Ward’s Department Store. Niles is the childhood home of A. Montgomery Ward, the store’s founder.

Next door, the Fort St. Joseph Museum features exhibits of Père Noel and the Flying Canoe, French Colonial Christmas traditions as well as Rudolph historical memorabilia. The Museum’s gift store will be open, offering a unique selection of historical books, toys and locally created art. Fort St. Joseph in Pictures, a new publication celebrating 25 years of archaeology, makes a great gift for history buffs.

Admission to the Holiday Evening Open House is free and all are invited. The Niles History Center is located at 508 E. Main Street, Niles, MI. Please check the Niles History Center’s website,, for more information or call (269) 845-4054.