Niles History Center
The Chapin House is a great example of Queen Anne architecture. Guided tours inside are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 1pm.
The Fort St. Joseph Museum explores the rich history of Niles. It is located in the mansion's carriage house.
Backstory and Context
It was mining where he acquired the bulk of his fortune. Chapin bought land in the Upper Peninsula in 1865 and a very large deposit of iron ore was found there in 1878. Within a few years, the Chapin Mine was a large operation, employing 900 miners and selling 220,000 tons of ore each year. Chapin did not, in fact, own or operate the mine but instead collected royalties ($100,000-300,000 per year). He used this money to invest in real estate and business stocks. He would come to own large interests in paper mills, electric power plants, and real estate in Niles and Chicago.
The mansion was donated to the city in 1933 and became City Hall. The museum moved into the mansion in 2013.
Niles History Center. Accessed December 6, 2018. http://www.nilesmi.org/departments_and_divisions/niles_history_center/index.php.
Photos: Niles History Center