The Skinner Coffee House served the Holyoke Community for over 100 years. Established by Belle and Katharine Skinner in 1902 in honor of their father William Skinner, the Coffee House was originally used by women employed at the William Skinner & Sons Silk Mill for educational, social, and service activities. The Coffee House was one of many instiutions established throughout the country around the turn of the 20th century to serve the needs of recent immigrants who worked in mills and factories.
Since 1902, the location and control of the Coffee House has changed, but it remained a place to create and sustain community.
1902 – 1918 Skinner Coffee House at
480 Main Street, Owned by the Skinner Family
1916 – 1942 Skinner Coffee House at
402 Main Street. Owned by the Skinner Family
1942 – 1989 Skinner Community Center
Owned and operated by the City of Holyoke
1989 – 2005 Nueva Esperanza Offices
operated out of the building
2005 Building was torn down
Organizations at the Coffee House : “I have enjoyed every hour·” There were over 20 clubs and organizations associated with the Skinner Coffee House. Along with providing entertainment through pageants and musical revues, organizations created a community through regularly scheduled meetings and luncheons. Many girls joined the same clubs years after their mothers· involvement.
Organizations at the Skinner Coffee House
French-American ClubAssociation for the Blind
Italian Women·s Club
Negro Women·s Club
Polish Women·s Club
Children·s Dramatic Club
Junior Reading Group
Polish Folk Dance Group
Children·s Glee Club
Ukrainian Women·s ClubBusiness Girls Club
Revelers ClubOld Timers Club
Corrective Posture Group