Born in England in 1824, William Skinner was a tradesman who, at 19, immigrated to the United States. Skinner turned his skill and resourcefulness into a tremendous success. He first went to work in Northampton and eventually opened the Unquomonk Silk Mills in nearby Haydenville. Skinner would have remained there had a flood not destroyed his business. He built a new mill along the canals in Holyoke, one of America's first planned industrial cities, and moved his family home, Wistariahurst, to the city by dismantling it piece by piece. Residing in Holyoke for eight decades, the Skinner family contributed greatly to the community. Holyoke: The Skinner Family and Wistariahurst contains a rich legacy of photographs, letters, journals, and oral histories that provide an amazing view into life at Wistariahurst and the adventures of the family and their servants.
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