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Talk on the USA Barbour family of Paterson, New Jersey

Col Barbour family - photo

Col. William Barbour and family of the USA, c. 1910 (image credit: Adirondack Experience)

We’ve got a very exciting talk on Wednesday 15 May 2024. You don’t want to miss this!

It is free and in person, and takes place in the museum’s historic Assembly Room. Booking is required. Doors open at 6.30pm for tea and coffee on arrival, and talks start promptly at 7pm. Please note there is no allocated seating for this event.


Richard Polton photo15/05/2024 – ‘The Barbour family and Senator W. Warren Barbour’, by Richard Polton

The Barbour name is of legend in Lisburn, but there is more to the story. The Barbours played a crucial role in the development of industrial America and family members were essential to the success of the first planned industrial city in the USA – Paterson, New Jersey.

The story begins in the mid-nineteenth century when two brothers – Robert and Thomas, sons of William Barbour who established Hilden Mill – settled in America to expand the family business. Within a few decades, the Barbour Linen Thread Co. was a dominant force in the American linen industry and instrumental in transforming Paterson, NJ, into a major industrial city. Over the coming decades, Barbour family members had noteworthy and consequential careers that impacted many aspects of American life.

This talk gives an overview of the US branch of the Barbours and highlights the career of third-generation member of the American family, W. Warren Barbour – US Senator, businessman, and champion boxer!

Richard Polton is a native of Paterson, New Jersey, USA, and an expert on local history. He has been actively engaged in research and public history projects on the Paterson story, delivering many lectures on the city’s development. A published author of books like ‘Paterson’s Industrial Age’ (2023), he also gives walking tours and has been involved with the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson, the friends group of the Great Falls National Historical Park (part of the National Park system).

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