About Us

About the YHCIL

Our mission

To collect, preserve, and interpret industrial and labor history of the Mahoning Valley, the region, and the state of Ohio.

Our vision

Keeping history alive, relevant, and interesting.

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, known locally as the "Steel Museum," documents the rise and fall of the steel industry in Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. By 1920, the Valley was second only to Pittsburgh in domestic steel production, but in 1980, the prevalence of steel in the area's economy was a thing of the past.

Our exhibits combine artifacts, videotaped interviews and full-scale recreations of the places where steelworkers lived and worked, in a tribute to the men and women who forged a way of life from iron and steel for almost two centuries.

The museum features hundreds of photographs representing labor, immigration and urban history. Objects on display range from workers’ tools and clothing to hundreds of photographs, some more than 30 feet long. Life-sized scenes—including a mill’s locker room, part of a company-built house, and a blooming mill, where steel ingots were shaped for further processing—help visitors understand steelmaking and the lives of steelworkers.

The building's Postmodern architecture is worth the visit alone. Noted architect Michael Graves, in association with Raymond J. Jaminet and Partners, designed the Youngstown Historical Center, dedicated in 1992.

The Youngstown Historical Center is operated by Ohio History Connection, a nonprofit organization that serves to preserve and interpret Ohio's history, archaeology, and natural history.

The Youngstown Historical Center is managed locally by the History Program at Youngstown State University.