December 10, 2010

Friday Holyoke Fix: Wistariahurst Museum + Cans for Comments!

**For every comment left on Holyoke Home from December 7th-December 31st, we will donate one canned good or non-perishable item to local hero Kate's Kitchen*.  Don't hold back! Leave a comment!**

***ALSO? All photographs in this post - though taken by me -appear courtesy of Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, Massachusetts. Please don't reproduce them.***

This week's Friday Holyoke Fix features a local museum. I've written about Wistariahurst Museum before. Wistariahurst (no, I'm not spelling it wrong) was originally the home of a prominent mill owner in Holyoke, William Skinner.  The house includes a conservatory/breakfast room with a window that might have been designed by Tiffany.
The buildings and grounds were owned continually by the Skinner family from 1874 to 1959, when Skinner heirs gave Wistariahurst to the City of Holyoke. With no endowment. Or furniture. Or endowment. And through a lot of love and volunteer hours, the dining room ceiling still looks like this.
Wistariahurst makes our little row house look like a silly tin shack.
I took buckets of photos yesterday and skipped to my car with designs on giving you a virtual tour, but when I opened up the images today, most of them were complete crap (I edit because I care.) So - instead - a few interesting details, like the BATHROOM DOOR above.
Or this AWESOME stuffed bird display. What says 'Victorian' more than twenty stuffed birds under glass?
Third floor 'textile storage' area. Wistariahurst is lovingly referred to as 'Wisty' by those in the know.
This is the staircase to the ATTIC. That's right. The attic. And despite what these images might lead you to believe, Wisty is NOT a dull echo-y place with housekeeping ghosts banging around. Wistariahurst Museum offers amazing programs and events. This month alone, there are Nutcracker shows, Victorian Christmas craft workshops, The Boston String Quartet, a garden talk, and more.


  1. Ack! Why do I read your blog??? I'm soooo homesick right now. (I love your blog.)

    Those built-ins are awesome. I want something like that in my office. Someday.

    This was a lovely post. Thank you.

  2. Hi Sweetie,

    Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing. I would love to see more. Please give the place another try. Are you allowed to take photos in the costume hall? You and all your volunteers do great work. You might mention the plant sale in the spring... What kind of Victorian ornaments are being made?
    love, mom

  3. Sweetie, Don't you think my previous post should really count for more than one comment? love, mom

  4. Hey Mom! The costumes you saw were a temporary exhibition in the music room. The music room is currently set up for Nutcracker performances (sold out!)

    I don't know enough about lighting images when natural light isn't enough. Maybe my local community college has a class I can take :)

  5. I love the WISTY and am looking forward to the Nutcracker there this weekend. My daughter will be one of the mice. You don't have to know anyone in the show to go and enjoy the performance in this historic setting.

    Thanks again for you donation to Kate's.

  6. Gorgeous house :) I love the bathroom door, for some reason.

  7. Gorgeous place! I put it on my "January Blahs" list of things to do.

  8. I just sent in my donation to become a "Friend of Wistariahurst". We are truly blessed to have this culturally and historically significant place and its dedicated staff and volunteers here in Holyoke.


  9. Robin, what a genius idea ... to have a January Blahs list of things to do. Brilliant.

  10. Someday, I too will have a floor devoted to my textile storage.

  11. You are really gifted! I'm a flop at this stuff.

    Does this comment count? :-)


  12. Just beautiful. They don't build em' like that no more. (love the stuffed birds)

  13. The window-amazing. The bird display-wow! Doorknobs-love them! Ceiling-gorgeous but I wouldn't want to clean it...whew...The staircase...heaven. The dress? I'm glad I'm a 21st century woman! Donate for me too!

  14. Thank you for a wonderful post Holyoke Home! About the Victorian Crafts at Wistariahurst: there will be clove infused fresh orange pomanders, decorated mini hatboxes as ornaments, as well as colorful paper lanterns. I love your posts and look forward to them every week! From one of the Wisty girls

  15. YAY! It's GORGEOUS! It makes me think of a trip I took to the Winchester Mansion in San Jose. AND YAY CANS FOR COMMENTS!

  16. Thank you for the information about the Victorian ornaments. What fun! Wish I could be there to participate.

  17. So beautiful! I wish someone, anyone, would buy the lovely Victorian next door to my Hubby's Chiro belongs to his parents estate, it's on the historic register and needs loving care to bring it back to life. Unfortunately, we can't do it. Sob, Sob! I love those old homes, but they are expensive to keep, heat, cool, and redo. Have a great holiday!


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