Hear the Tales of Local History at the Wistariahurst Museum

History Comes Alive in Holyoke

Students and families have a great opportunity to learn about local history by taking a tour of the Wistariahurst Mansion with the last living Skinner descendant to call Wistariahurst home on Sunday, June 19th @ 4pm in Holyoke, MA.

Marjorie Latham of Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA writes:

For most people, Wistariahurst is a museum. But when Allerton Kilborne enters the home on Cabot Street, it is like entering a time machine. On Sunday, June 19th at 4pm, Allerton will return to Holyoke to offer a tour of Wistariahurst as he remembers it as a child and will share intimate stories about the family not often told. Allerton lived at Wistariahurst with his grandmother, Katharine Skinner Kilborne, and a full staff, whom he remembers in detail and with great affection.

Two years ago, the Springfield Republican wrote the following about following Kilborne on a tour of the house: “Allerton Kilborne has given tours before at Wistariahurst according to museum executive director, Melissa Boisselle, and each time, the tours have been extremely popular. Last week’s tour was no exception. More than 40 people attended the event…Kilborne began the tour by talking about the well known history of the Skinner family. . . But it was the lesser known, intimate stories about the Skinner family that seemed to keep the audience spellbound.” (The article can be read in its entirety in the 7/30/08 issue of the Springfield Republican.)

So join Allerton Kilborne in the time machine on Sunday, June 19 to tour the Mansion with a Skinner Descendant. Wistariahurst acquired its name from the flowering vine surrounding the house and the twenty-six room mansion features parquet floors, vaulted ceilings, elaborate woodwork and two marble lions that have guarded the entrance since the late nineteenth century. The estate was kept in the Skinner family until 1959 when Katharine Skinner Kilborne and her heirs gave Wistariahurst to the City of Holyoke for cultural and educational purposes. (>$)


Located at 238 Cabot Street in Holyoke, MA, the Wistariahurst Museum is dedicated to preserving Holyoke’s history and inspiring an appreciation of history and culture through educational programs, exhibits and special events. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Wistariahurst is the former home of William Skinner and his family, prominent silk manufacturers and residents of Holyoke. Wistariahurst Museum as well as the Carriage House & Gift Shop are open Sat. Sun. and Mon. from 12 to 4p.m. Historic House Tours are $7 general admission and $5 for students and seniors.  www.wistariahurst.org

(Courtesy photo)

2 Comments on “Hear the Tales of Local History at the Wistariahurst Museum

  1. The book title I commented on above is called Water’s Redemption http: // preciousbloodthedraft.blogspot.com

  2. Hi there,
    I have recently written a book that is set in historic Holyoke and have placed the blog below with links to obtain the book, learn about the research behind the plot and read sample chapters. I hope anyone who charishes Holyoke and its past will enjoy a story about the struggling millworkers of the flats.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: