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Sarah Skinner Kilborne
Silk manufacturing was one of the most important industries to emerge out of the Connecticut River Valley in the 19th century. William Skinner was, perhaps, the most influential of the textile magnates. He lived the American Dream: a poor immigrant, he used grit and skill to build an industrial behemoth– and then lost everything in a catastrophic flood. But he rose like a phoenix, rebuilding his mill on the mighty Connecticut River and thereby putting Holyoke, Massachusetts on the world map.
Francesca Rheannon talks with his great granddaughter, Sarah S. Kilborne, about her book, American Phoenix, The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, a Man Who Turned Disaster Into Destiny, to learn more about the forces that shaped his life and the economy of the Connecticut River Valley.