Bedecked in original leather wall coverings and boasting ornate woodwork, vaulted ceilings and parquet floors, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, Mass., presents an engaging lesson in the history and culture of the area and the home’s former inhabitants. First built by prominent silk manufacturer William Skinner in 1868, the Second Empire-style home was dismantled and rebuilt at its present location in 1874 following a major flood. The 26-room mansion and garden estate remained in the Skinner family until 1959, when Katharine Skinner Kilborne, the youngest child of William and Sarah Skinner, gave Wistariahurst to the City of Holyoke.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Wistariahurst takes its name from the wisteria vine planted along the house by Sarah Skinner in the 1880s. Today, the expansive gardens have been brought back to life and the house museum offers an array of exhibits on the Skinner family, Holyoke history and the textile and papermaking industries. The house is open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12-4 p.m. for guided tours at a cost of $7. The gardens and grounds are open daily until dusk.
For more information, call 413-322-5660 or visit www.wistariahurst.org