Niles: A Historic District Still Making Things
As you will hear in any retail industry presentation worth its salt, authenticity is crucial for main streets to stay relevant. So, it is with a sense of pride and optimism that our City and community business appreciation team highlights new attractions in the Niles District that signal an appreciation for the past paired with a healthy dose of vibrancy.
The historic district of Niles has always been a creative place. In the early 1900s, silent movies (mostly westerns) were filmed in the hills where “NILES” lettering now sits Hollywood-style — a visible homage to its cinematic roots. Additionally, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum continues to bring silent movie history to life with signature events such as the Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival and Charlie Chaplin Days showcasing movies filmed in Niles.
At the Fremont Art Association (FAA), artists share collaborative spaces to create and showcase their masterpieces. The FAA also offers a wide variety of public classes using media from paint to fiber. And high tech meets the creative arts in the Electric Greeting Cards workshop, where participants learn how to make a greeting card with paint and an electronic circuit!
With the Niles Depot and train museum on one side of Niles Boulevard and historic buildings dotted with antique stores on the other, visitors feel the presence of the district’s rich history. This vintage spirit is mixed with new maker-oriented businesses such as a family-owned venture Nature’s Microcreamery producing delicious handcrafted natural ice cream, and a business that restores and repurposes antique furniture. These hands-on enterprises embody the spirit of the Niles community.
Summer is a great time to stop by for an afternoon of shopping, dining, and soaking in the history of Niles. For more information about upcoming events, visit www.niles.org.