Alliance 1900

The Alliance Historical Society was founded for the promotion of historical studies of the City of Alliance and its surrounding areas. Members of the Society collect, preserve, and organize historical materials and work with area schools and community organizations to present historical programs.

The home of the Alliance Historical Society is the Mabel Hartzell Historical Home and Alliance History Mini Museum. It is open for tours during Carnation Week in August and at other times by appointment. Contact us at if you’d like to view our beautiful Victorian home, grounds, and our mini museum of Alliance historical objects.

With a long history and colorful heritage, Alliance is home to other historical properties which are owned and operated by their own organizations. Visit our page on Alliance’s Heritage for information about Haines House, Glamorgan Castle, and Alliance Historic Preservation Commission.

Exhibits of historical materials are supplied by the Society for display at local businesses and public buildings. Members of the Society are also available for talks and slide shows at area clubs and meetings.

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25 Top Historic Events in Alliance
#8. Gertrude Kay and Brinton Turkle Delight Children with Their Illustrations

Gertrude Kay produced covers and story illustrations for Ladies' Home Journal and other magazines from around 1908 through the 1920s. During this time she illustrated children's books as well, including The Illustrated Alice in Wonderland. Her popularity as an illustrator increased with her foreign travels as she demonstrated her ability to accurately portray family life and, in particular, children. She was also known for her paper dolls.

Brinton Turkle spent much time learning from Gertrude Kay and went on to be a highly regarded illustrator in his own right. His book Thy Friend Obadiah was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1970. He wrote and/or illustrated over 50 books for children.
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25 Top Historical Events in Alliance
#7. Brick Industry "Shapes" Alliance

Brickmaking began in Alliance during the 1860s with Josiah Rosenberry who took his clay from the ponds that are now on the Glamorgan estate. As early as 1907, James Wilcox’s Alliance Clay Products Company was turning out 18,000 brick a day from a single plant at 1500 South Mahoning Avenue. By 1924, Wilcox had three plants in operation at the same location and was capable of producing 275,000 bricks a day, or about 50,000,000 a year. For about seventy years, the clay products industry was of considerable economic importance to Alliance. Production subsided during the 1950s and 1960s until Alliance Clay Products sold out to Whitacre-Greer. (Condensed from
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25 Top Historical Events in Alliance
#6. The Opera House Collapse

The Alliance Opera House was built in 1867-68 at a cost of $75,000. There were doubts to its safety and arrangements were in progress to put it in a secure condition when it was inspected by J. T. Weybrecht the morning of June 2, 1886. He warned all inhabitants to vacate the premises. At approximately 4:30 p.m., the building collapsed. The cause was from defective bricks used for its construction. There was some speculation that vibrations from closely passing railroad trains contributed to the shifting of the bricks. No one was hurt in the collapse. Remnants of the building were still extant until the final demolition in the 1970s after Chuck's Inn collapsed during renovation.
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