Holyoke MA

Wistariahurst Museum Hosts Black Holyoke

On Saturday, February 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wistariahurst will host an Archival Leads Collection Session as part of Black Holyoke Uncovered. With initial funding from Mass Humanities, Wistariahurst has embarked upon a community history project in conjunction with scholar Erika Slocumb titled Black Holyoke: Uncovering the History of the Black Community in the Paper City. The purpose of this project is to uncover the stories of the black community in Holyoke, from the time the area was settled in 18th Century to the present, and to uncover the problems, the joys, the pain, and the struggles black people in Holyoke faced in their daily lives.

As Wistariahurst secures a better understanding of the material which already exists in local repositories, they are now embarking upon a call to community members to add their own knowledge and material to that historical record. Wistariahurst is interested in any leads on names of individuals, collections of materials, documents, photographs, letters, diaries and personal memories. On this day staff, scholar Erika Slocumb, and volunteers will be present at Wistariahurst to take notes, scan documents, and listen to ideas and memories.

At this first collection day, Wistariahurst is particularly interested in documents, records, memories, and photographs pertaining to the following: specific families or notable individuals in Holyoke, Black-owned businesses in Holyoke, housing/neighborhoods (including information pertaining to what parts of Holyoke were significant to the Black communities here), education (especially information related to elementary and middle schools), health, labor (unions and other worker organizations), community organizations (the Monarch Club, NAACP, Urban League, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, etc.), and community and school sports teams (boxing, baseball leagues, etc).

Those planning to attend the session and those with archival leads, documents, or memories pertaining to the black community in Holyoke are invited to fill out an interest form at www.Wistariahurst.org.

Wistariahurst Museum
238 Cabot Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 322-5660

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. Hours for Archive Research: Mon. 9a.m. -7p.m. & Thur. 9a.m. - 1p.m. For more information or a schedule of other upcoming events, please visit our website at www.wistariahurst.org.


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