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Daniel Stebbins House

Joseph Allen Skinner

Skinner is the thirteenth owner of record of the Daniel Stebbins House. He was born May 23, 1862. He earned a Bachelors of Philosophy of Science from Yale Scientific School in 1883. Returning to Holyoke, he joined his brother William in the silk factory, known as the Skinner Manufacturing Co. He eventually served as vice president and treasurer of Skinner Mills, as well as service on the boards of the Hadley Falls Trust Company of Holyoke, and the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company.

In 1916 he acquired the Mountain House and surrounding land on Mount Holyoke and in 1940 donated the property to make a state park. During the early 1920s he acquired most of the properties on both sides of Woodbridge Street. In 1923 he and his brother William and sister Elizabeth, purchased the Daniel Stebbins House. Under the directions of the architect Allen N. Cox, the back ell was extensively remodeled to allow for interior modernization. No fundamental changes were made to the original square Federal building and much of the original woodwork including the mantels on all the upstairs fireplaces were left intact.

Skinner had an extensive relationship with Mount Holyoke College, serving on the Board of Trustees from 1905 to 1931. He and his brother William donated the funds for Skinner Hall at Mount Holyoke, constructed in 1915. At his death in 1946, Skinner left The Orchards golf course, the Skinner Museum, and a life insurance policy of $50,000 to the college.

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