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Massachusetts Travel Blog

New Exhibitions at Memorial Hall Museum

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MAThe Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association was founded in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1870 as the very first historical society in Western Massachusetts. It is a charming three-storied building with 19 rooms of art, culture and history, all housed in the original 1798 Deerfield Academy building, acquired by antiquarian and historian George Sheldon to house the collection of Deerfield and area memorabilia he had been assiduously amassing.

Memorial Hall Museum and its gift shop are open June 1 to October 30, Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am–4:30 pm. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for youth and students 6-21.

There are some wonderful new exhibitions open for the season, and this museum with its beautiful gardens is a delightful and special sidebar visit to the museum houses of Historic Deerfield.

MUSIC ROOM   In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Memorial Hall Museum’s 1916 wing, the Music Room has been renovated and reinstalled with three centuries of musical instruments, furniture, and artwork. Franklin County’s first piano, Hadley chests, and portraits, will be featured in this special exhibition.

CHILDREN OF DEERFIELD: PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRANCES AND MARY ALLEN  Celebrated in 1901 as the “foremost women photographers in America”, Frances and Mary Allen’s photographs from 1885 to 1915 provide a unique glimpse of childhood in rural New England.  This exhibition features idyllic photographs of children on the farm, at play, or in costume in old Deerfield.

RELICS AND CURIOSITIES IN MEMORIAL HALL  Conch shells used for dinner horns? Wreaths made from human hair? Weapons made with sharks’ teeth? Out-of-the-ordinary curios and keepsakes are featured in an exhibition with an emphasis on intriguing narratives and “otherness.”  This exhibition features rarely seen relics and curiosities gathered and preserved in Memorial Hall since 1799.

Join us at Deerfield Inn and explore this historic treasure for yourself!

Flamenco Dance Troupe :: Exclusive Deerfield Performance

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

flamenco dancersOn Sunday, October 25th, while on a tour, we are lucky to have a flamenco troupe of one singer, one musician, and two dancers from the language and flamenco school Carmen de las Cuevas in the heart of the Albaícin, Granada, Spain coming to perform here at the Inn from 7-9 pm.

If you have never experienced the fire of flamenco, this is your chance. And if you know what this music and dance is like, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get that emotional, physical rush!

The price is $12 which includes the show and authentic tapas, and tickets are available now at BrownPaperTickets

(If we have space at the Inn, tickets on the night will be $20.)

Here is the word on three of the performers:

“My name is Paco Fernández. I am from Granada and I began to dance when I was very little. My people don’t like flamenco, but I wanted to dance and to tour Japan, France, Germany, and the US. Currently I dance at the flamenco caves and pubs in my city. People say that I have an aggressive dance-style. Therefore they call me ‘The Savage.'”

Born in Almería, Spain, Jorge has shared a passion for guitar since age nine. Thanks to his father’s love for music, he grew up listening to famous Andalusian guitarists such as Paco de Lucía and Manolo Sanlucar. After years of training, he began his artistic career in Granada, Spain, accompanying a diverse range of singers and dancers from all parts of Spain and from many other countries such as France, Italy, Russia, Germany and Egypt. Despite being a flamenco guitarist, throughout his career he has played several “fusion” show with musicians of Jazz, Rock and other genres. Today he works as a flamenco guitar teacher at the renowned flamenco school, Carmen de las Cuevas, in Granada.

“My name is Sandra Santiesteban. I was born in Granada. A love for flamenco was born in me when I was very young. It was difficult for me to pursue this passion for flamenco because no one in my family was a flamenco performer. I currently work at various flamenco bars and caves in Granada.”

Sandra took her first steps of flamenco dance in Algeciras, Cádiz, the town in which she was born. After several years of flamenco dance studies, she moved to Granada, passing the entrance exams for the Mario Maya International Center for Performing Arts. There she completed her training with Mario Maya and other flamenco masters including Belén Maya, Rafaela Carrasco, Manuel Liñan and Antonio Canales. Upon completing her studies she began to dance at flamenco caves and clubs in Granada, at festivals and in international tours. She currently teaches flamenco at Carmen de las Cuevas in Granada, Spain.

Fun Fall Doings at Historic Deerfield

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

And guests of the inn get $4 off each adult ticket and a discount of 10% in the gift shop! Whoop-whoop!

HD Historic Trades sm

A New Kind of Guest – Yuccies in Deerfield

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Hipster travelWe were recently cited in BedandBreakfast.com as two among a group of twenty innkeepers who have been in business twenty or more years. We have met all kinds of folk here from all over the US and the world – a fantastic mix of young and old and in-between with all sorts of different careers and interests past and present. We hear so many great stories. We have so many to tell. When we started here as innkeepers we used to be the age that more and more of our guests are now. We see so many late twenties and young thirties who are brilliant helping me with some of the more baffling aspects of Pinterest and Instagram. I thought these young people were uniformly called millennials, but within that group of twenty-somethings I am learning of sub-groups that are proud to hashtag themselves as yuccies.

This is a hipster/yuppie crossbreed – the Labradoodle of social stereotypes, who apparently aspire to be successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. They are fluent in emoji, and pleased to be recognized by BuzzFeed as people who FaceTime their pets, and selfie stick like mad even from places as un-hip-happening as Deerfield. They care about well-being and are delighted with the eat local philosophy of Champney’s, because they place emphasis on food and how you are what you eat. They seem to be all about food, fitness, and fashion. They are quirky and cute, and tell me I just have to watch Game of Thrones and Aziz Ansari. The time has gone by so fast!

Exciting Summer Activities in Deerfield, MA!

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
Summer activities in Deerfield, MA

A ravishing jacket by Marlene Housner

Plan ahead for your summer! We have family-friendly rooms, but call well ahead as these rooms sell fast.

For artisan arts and crafts lovers, there is the spectacular Berkshires Arts Festival, now in its 14th year in Great Barrington on July 3-6. An hour and a bit from us, but a pretty and an easy ride, and so worth it! Jewelry, glass, mixed media, sculpture, wood, wearable art, leather, ceramics, fiber, photography… They have food, music, workshops and demos. The festival starts at 10am, and it is truly a beauty.

We have tickets here for $2 off admission, and the first four to make a reservation to stay with us will get complimentary tickets for the Festival! Call us at 413-774-5587, or make a reservation online, putting Arts Festival into the comments line.

Into horses? June 25-27 brings the Arabian Horse Show of New England to The Big E, with the Championship Arabian Horse Show on July 8-11, the Appaloosa Horse Show on July 24-26, the Summer Classic Horse Show on July 30-August 8, and Friesian Championships on August 27-30. Erin, who is one of our team leaders, can make her horse smile on command! FaceBook!

Being the most rural region of Massachusetts, we celebrate farming and farmers around here. July brings sheep shows to West Springfield in July, and there are kennel club dog shows aplenty in July and August.

Check out www.TheBigE.com for the listing of events and discount advance tickets. An easy shot from the inn down I-91 to exit 13B, one mile farther on rte 147.

See you this summer at the Deerfield Inn!

Spring Activities :: Hampshire County, MA

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Massachusetts Pottery Studios

With thanks to visithampshirecounty.com, this blog is to let you know about a couple of activities that you and your family might find fun in Hampshire County this spring. We have family-friendly connecting rooms, and there is still space available on crisp April nights before the May Commencement and Parent Weekends.

Bees, Butterflies, and Bugs: Starting April 7, you can explore The Art of Eric Carle: Bees, Butterflies, and Other Bugs at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (April 7 through August 30). As a child, Carle became very interested in small animals, a curiosity sparked by his father, who would take him on walks in the woods and fields, exploring the tiny creatures that lived there. Carle says “I remember the excitement of lifting stones or peeling back the bark of dead trees to discover the living things that crawled, crept and scurried about there.” The exhibition celebrates the wings, stings, and crawling things that have appeared throughout Carle’s work, ranging from allergy tab advertisements he created in the late 1960’s to perennial picture book favorites including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug.
Bowls: Nine western Massachusetts pottery studios open their doors to visitors on Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26, for the 11th Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. This free, self-guided springtime event showcases both the work and the work spaces of a group of nationally-known local potters, along with 12 guest potters from around New England and as far away as Oregon State. In barns, reclaimed factory buildings, and even a converted Airstream trailer, visitors will find much more than bowls along the trail: tableware, garden sculpture, architectural tile, and decorative pieces in a range of styles and prices. All nine studios will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with work for sale, and several of the studios will offer demonstrations during the weekend. This is one of the most gorgeous and interesting trails ever.

Deerfield Spring Sampler Craft Fair :: March into Spring

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

tools to create jewelryThink ahead beyond this snow to the promise of spring. The Old Deerfield Spring Sampler Craft Fair is held in West Springfield at the Big E on March 7 and 8. Extraordinary crafters, free demos for DIY ideas, music, good eats, and the chance to win $50 shopping certificates. If you have ever been to the Craft Fairs held here in Old Deerfield, you will know that these fairs organized by PVMA are juried, and considered by Yankee magazine to the be among the best in New England. Four free passes to the first four to book a room on this weekend!

BUT WAIT – there is more! You can check out The Jurassic Roadshow on March 28 and 29 at the Clarion Conference Center in Northampton. The Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry and Fossil Show will be there as well. This is your chance to come and stay with us at the Deerfield Inn and bring your small fossil or dinosaur fans with you. (We have family-friendly guest rooms.) You can check out the gems, rocks, and jewelry, and little ones can see local fossil dinosaur footprints, insect trails, and more. And you can bring your own fossils to have them identified by a professional geologist or paleontologist! Cool!

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 (more…)

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, (more…)