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Deerfield’s Civil War Soldier

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Deerfield MA historyHere’s another story about the history that is Deerfield: We have on the village green by the well one of the first Civil War monuments in the state. The beautifully carved 6’ statue of brown freestone cost the then tremendous sum of $4,000 and was dedicated on September 4th, 1867. The Mass Department of Veterans Services put up half of the cost of the monument’s restoration which will amount to $8,000, plus the donation of in-kind work.

The soldier is up on an 8’ pedestal and has lost his rifle. He stands so thoughtfully with one foot forward, the butt of the rifled musket between his feet, his hands left over right around the missing muzzle, accoutrements and bayonet suspended from his waist belt, and the coat’s hood falling over the shoulders as a cape. The soldier’s sleeves are slightly billowed, he has beard and whiskers, and a uniform hat like a floppy kepi.

I have been told that this infantryman follows the classic Antietam design of that time. Wish I could scramble up there to get a better look!

The front of the monument has the following inscription:

IN GRATEFUL APPRECIATION
OF THE PATRIOTISM AND SELF SACRIFICE
OF HER LAMENTED SONS AND SOLDIERS
WHO FOR THEIR COUNTRY AND FOR FREEDOM
LAID DOWN THEIRS LIVES IN THE WAR
OF THE GREAT REBELLION

DEERFIELD
ERECTS THIS MONUMENT
A. D. 1867

THEIR PRECIOUS DUST IS SCATTERED
ON MANY BATTLEFIELDS, OR WAS HASTILY
BURIED NEAR SOME LOATHSOME PRISON PEN:
BUT THEIR NAMES ARE HERE PERPETUATED.
AND THE MEMORY OF THEIR BRAVE DEEDS
AND WILLING SACRIFICES SHALL BE CHERISHED IN
OUR HEART OF HEARTS SACREDLY AND FOREVER.

The left and right sides of the monument list the names of those who served and died.

The Deerfield, MA history is fascinating, making our Deerfield, Massachusetts bed and breakfast the perfect getaway for for history buffs!

It’s All About the Stories in Historic Deerfield!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
The Stebbins tall clock - Deerfield Inn

The Stebbins tall clock, made by Aaron Willard (1757–1844), Boston.

This village of Old Deerfield is really a special place, imbued and breathing its past into our present. In 1799, Asa Stebbins built the first brick house in Franklin County, and kept careful record of what he bought and where it was placed when he furnished his new home. The museum of Historic Deerfield owns the Stebbins House for visitors to view, and knew that the tall eight-day clock was made by Aaron Willard, cost Stebbins the huge sum of $100, and was situated in the north parlor. The clock left its family home a long time ago, and then popped  up for auction at the end of January. Thanks to contributions from supporters, the sum was raised to get the clock back to its rightful place. The moving and extraordinary part of the story is that when the clock was placed back where it had stood, the original means of fastening it to the wall for stability was still there in exact alignment behind the plaster and paper!

Another story we cherish here at Deerfield Inn is the story of a powder horn owned by militia soldier Jonathan Smead also surfaced recently. Smead lived in the Deerfield Meadows where in 1742 he was paid a bounty for killing a wolf. The intricately carved French and Indian War-era powder horn had been in PVMA’s Memorial Hall Museum since 1880, but was stolen in 1949 when the museum was closed during WWII. The piece was found in the 50s at the town dump in Longmeadow  when he was a child, by now retired anthropology professor James Richardson. When he learned by chance of its origin, he brought it from PA to be displayed alongside Smead’s bone-headed cane in the Military Room.

Historic Deerfield has one of the finest assemblages in a current exhibition of this indigenous and unique American art form, so if stories of the past and intriguing artifacts such as powder horns are things you like, then Deerfield is the place to pay a visit!

Visit Deerfield’s Arts & Crafts Movement!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Old Deerfield Painting Group

 

Did you know that the Arts & Crafts Movement was really significant in Deerfield and its history? From the last quarter of the nineteenth century in particular, women in Deerfield, both permanent residents and summer visitors, were drawn into the arts and crafts movement, many of them looking for a way to express themselves in paint, silks, copper, silver, and clay. You can see an exhibition all about that when you visit.

Also open for viewing at the Flynt Center of Historic Deerfield is an exhibition of  gorgeous craftwork pieces from their extensive collections.

As an addition to the  metalware, jewelry-making, ceramics, and embroidery, there was the Deerfield Valley Arts group headed up by Stephen Maniatty.  The Old Deerfield Painting Group continues that tradition of recording the beauty and variety of this village and its surrounds, and their 25th annual exhibition will be at the Deerfield Community Center from August 23rd-August 31st, 12-5pm.

The opening reception starts at 2pm on Sunday, August 24th. It is a wonderful opportunity to view and perhaps own a memory of Deerfield for your wall. Book your stay at our historic Deerfield Inn.

Free Fun Friday!

Friday, August 8th, 2014

hd free friday

The Highland Street Foundation has enabled 67 museums and cultural venues to be visited with no admission charge on every Friday throughout the summer. Under their generous auspices, Historic Deerfield and Memorial Hall museums will be open absolutely free to all-comers on Friday, August 15th!

 From 9:30-4:30, visitors will have the opportunity to experience everything from period re-enactors, the first floor of the museum houses, historic trades and handicrafts, and artifacts and objects delineating this village’s history.

There will be lunch served at Champney’s starting at 11:30, but you can always bring a picnic, bring the dog, bring the children, and enjoy the visual experience of this National Historic Landmark Village laid out in 1671 and still lined with 18th- and 19th-century houses on their original sites. Wear comfy shoes if you don’t want ‘museum feet’ by the end of the day!

Summer Fairs & Fun in Western Massachusetts

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

After the seemingly endless, brutal winter, we and our visitors are more ready for summer shorts and Chacos than ever before.

Luckily there are loads of fun summer events around here in Western Massachusetts, from various town fairs to the Eastern States Exposition. Thank you to masslive.com for the useful listing below.

There is a lot to do with horses in our neck of the woods, as well as arts and crafts and music. We are 20 minutes north of Northampton, and close to the I-91 corridor, so the Deerfield Inn is a good middle spot to stay. Not only family-friendly, but dog-friendly, too! Please call ahead to see if one of our dog rooms is available for you. The walks around here in our state forests are a marvel of streams, lakes, interesting geology and rare flora and fauna. All good stuff for dogs and dogparents.

Glasgow Scottish Festival: Celebration of Scottish and Celtic Culture; Look Park, Northampton; July 19; $16. (413) 862-8095

Northampton Sidewalk Sale Days: Downtown Northampton, July 24-27 (413) 582-0723

Western Massachusetts Apaloosa Horse Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; July 25-27. Free. (413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

Connecticut Summer Classic Horse Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; July 31-Aug 2. 413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; Aug. 8-10. (413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival: Aug. 9, Court Square, Springfield springfieldjazzfest.com

Massachusetts Morgan Horse Show: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; Aug. 12-16. (413) 737-2443 thebige.com/ese

Westfield Fair: Russellville Road, Westfield, Aug. 15-17.

Dog Shows: Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield; Aug. 20-24. Free. (413) 737-2443thebige.com/ese

Cummington Fair: 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, Aug. 21-24.
Springfield Indie Soul, Books, and Art Festival – Riverfront Park, Aug. 22-24; (413) 200-8870

Northampton Arts Council Transperformance: All-day rock concert to benefit Northampton Schools. Pines Theatre, Look Park, Northampton. 4-9:30 p.m., Aug. 26; (413) 587-1269

Three County Fair: Three County Fairgrounds, Northampton, Aug. 29-Sept. 1; (413) 584-2237 www.threecountyfair.com

Summer Fairs in Massachusetts

 

Another Reason to Visit Deerfield – Memorial Hall Museum

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The oldest museum association in the country is opening again for the season. Located right here in Deerfield on Memorial Street, this three-story building, founded in 1870, in the original 1798 Deerfield Academy building, is filled with remarkable objects relating directly to Deerfield and its immediate environs. The native Pocumtuck people, Eastern European immigrants, and the African American experience are interpreted and presented here. Deerfield’s Arts & Crafts Movement, quilts, Hadley chests, paintings, photographs, tombstones, the famous 1704 hatchet-scarred door from the Sheldon house, as well as Bangwell Putt, the oldest-known rag doll in America who survived for so long partly because she was handled very gently by the little blind Clarissa Field who owned her, are just some of the things here to tell their stories. The impact of the continuum of history is very real and engaging in this special place which so lovingly preserves and documents Deerfield’s past. We invite you to stay with us at the Deerfield Inn when you visit this remarkable piece of history.

Open Tuesdays through Sundays, June through October (closed Mondays).

Hours: 11:00 am – 4:30 pm

Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for ages 6-21, and the little museum shop has some special pieces by area artisans.

And of course set aside plenty of time to visit Historic Deerfield and its absorbing exhibitions in the Flynt Center.

Memorial Hall Museum

Yankee Editors’ Pick

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

yankeeCover

Unexpected and a very delightful surprise! Here is the press release: Historic Deerfield, MA – Newly re-opened for just over a year, the Deerfield Inn has bounced back from an 18-month renovation after a five-foot wall of water took out much of the first floor during Hurricane Irene. So astounding was the come-back that the editors of Yankee Magazine, the only magazine devoted to New England travel, home, food and feature stories, have named the Deerfield Inn a 2014 Best of New England Editors’ Choice, designating it as the “Best 19th Century Inn.” Deerfield Inn is in good company in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide (on newsstands now) which features more than 300 Best of New England Editors’ Choice winners.

The Editors’ Choice Award singles out a select group of choice lodging, dining, shopping, attractions destinations and events throughout New England each year. “Reading the special Travel Guide section of Yankee and the Editors’ Choice winners is as close to sitting down with a Yankee editor and getting us to spill our favorite places as one can get,” shared Yankee Editor, Mel Allen. Freelance travel writers, David Lyons and Patricia Harris, contributed to the decision making, sharing their personal nominations for Editors’ Choices from Massachusetts.

“Just into the second year after our renovation, we couldn’t be more delighted to receive a Yankee 2014 Best of New England Editors’ Choice Award,” commented Jane Howard, co-innkeeper with her husband Karl Sabo, at the Deerfield Inn. “The affirmation of excellence from Yankee editors and freelance travel writers is a great gift, and testimony to the historic significance of the Deerfield Inn,” finished Howard.

Located in historic Deerfield, the Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern re-opened in April, 2013 after a post-Hurricane Irene total transformation. Offering 24 versatile guest rooms, with handicapped accessible, pet-friendly and family-friendly options, the historic theme of the Deerfield Inn has been beautifully captured with period wallpapers and paint. Yet, the modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, complimentary wi-fi, a guest computer work-station, and a decidedly eco-friendly approach are very much there for today’s plugged in traveler. Additionally the “new” Champney’s takes a nano-local approach to cuisine. Foods are butchered, baked, kneaded, sliced and diced in-house. The restaurant stalwartly supports local growers, foragers, and producers. Good and fresh food is prepared with respect and creativity. Innovative renditions of classic favorites, comfort foods, and some eclecticism take advantage of what the farmers bring to the kitchen door. A wide selection of craft beers and creative and fun cocktails round out the mix. Open seven days a week, year round for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll gather at a fine New England table when you visit Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern and the Deerfield Inn.

Yankee Magazine is based in Dublin, NH. Founded in 1935, Yankee is the preeminent magazine devoted to travel, home, food and feature stories exclusively focused on New England.

For more information or to book a reservation at New England’s “Best 19th Century Inn,” please visit www.DeerfieldInn.com or call 413-774-5587.

Cheers for the Holidays Ahead!

Monday, October 28th, 2013
Classic Cars Deerfield MA Inn

Classic Frazer Nash cars at the Inn.

Such fun seeing a slew of adorable little 1930s Frazer Nash cars at our Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast on an autumn afternoon! They call a cruise around a “raid” which is very different to the raid we all know about in Deerfield.

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Cars Deerfield MA Inn

More cars, more fun!

 

 

Halloween fun in Deerfield MA

Spooktacular fun!

Meanwhile, although the frost is not on the pumpkin, we are looking beyond Hallowe’en with some spooktacular Deerfield, MA specials to add to the dinner menu, beyond Thanksgiving (where we are offering turkey-to-go for the first time), to holiday parties! Please see the menu choices on champneysrestaurant.com.

We lost all our wreaths, garlands, indoor trees, grapevine deer, giant wooden nutcracker soldiers, all baubles and other bits and bobs in the great flood, so I will be trawling for more. We have people who are here at our Deerfield, MA inn with us who are mad for festivity, decorating, and holidays, so Hallowe’en will be a blast, and just wait for December!

Christmas lodging Deerfield, MA

The Inn at Christmas.

 

Old Deerfield Fall Crafts Fair

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

cfpcThis weekend, September 21 and 22, the Old Deerfield Crafts Fair will be in the grounds of Memorial Hall on Memorial Street.  Called one of the most beautiful crafts fairs and chosen by Yankee Magazine as one of the Top 20 Events in Massachusetts, this is a sweet event right here in town.

There is a wide array of juried crafts, but not so many you feel absolutely overwhelmed: theorems, jewelry, quilts, baskets, woodwork, pottery, soaps, music, dolls, bird feeders, teddy bears, purses, clothes… It is a feast for the eyes and Champney’s is open from 12 noon on for a bite to eat and to rest your fairgoer feet.

You can park at one of Channing Bete’s car parks on 5&10 and get a free shuttle in. The price of admission is only $6 and if you go to www.deerfield-craft.org you can download and print out a discount on admission.

Hours are 10-5 on Saturday, 10-4 on Sunday, and much of the cost of the admission ticket goes towards funding the Deerfield Teachers’ Center educational programs and Memorial Hall Museum, the oldest museum association in the country.

Hot Car Flash Mob

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Cruise nights are a fun event in this neck of the woods. The summer nights bring out all kinds of cars: vintage, unusual, fun, rare, silly; all cherished and shiny, and some park with the bonnet up so you can see an engine so pristine you could eat off it.

We went to one in near  the New England Air Museum the other night. The evening air was redolent with petrol fumes, revving, tooting, and – rather delightfully – a whole field of snickering mules and horses leaning over their fence on the other side of the action.

We thought a cruise night and Old Deerfield would be a great match. We are definitely at least four of those adjectives above! I think we will shoot for Saturday, September 14th, 5-8.