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Images of Belle Skinner as a young woman

In 1887 Ruth Isabelle “Belle” Skinner graduated from Vassar as Class President. That summer at the age of 21, she embarked on her Grand Tour of Europe as was the tradition of educated upper classes.  Belle kept a journal of her travels and  part of it was donated to Wistariahurst by Elizabeth (Betsy) Kilborne Hudnut,  Belle’s niece.  The pages are housed in the archives at Wistariahurst in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Reading someone else’s handwriting is a great challenge, one that the staff at Wistariahurst has not had the time to tackle.  But now, in the Spring of 2020, and with the help of the community and interested scholars these journal pages have been transcribed so that they can be read by all. Special Thanks to Jeff Skinner, Sandra Krein, Dennis and Joanne Picard who have done the lion’s share of transcribing.

Below are links to images of each daily entry and its transcription. Some entries are a single paragrah and others are several pages long.  We have included contextual links to informational websites about people, places and events that Belle mentions in her Journal.

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the life of young Belle Skinner.

Journal Entry Dates

Sunday, August 28
Monday, August 29
Tuesday, August 30
Wednesday, August 31
Thursday, September 1
Friday, September 2
Saturday, September 3
Sunday, September 4
Monday, September 5
Tuesday, September 6
Wednesday, September 7
Thursday, September 8
Friday, September 9
Saturday, September 10
Sunday, September 11
Monday, September 12
Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14
Thursday, September 15
Friday, September 16
Saturday, September 17
Sunday, September 18
Monday, September 19
Tuesday, September 20
Wednesday, September 21
Thursday, September 22
Friday, September 23
Saturday, September 24
Sunday, September 25
Monday, September 26
Tuesday, September 27
Wednesday, September 28

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