When the Deerfield Inn was opened in July 1884 by two brothers whose earlier inn on the village common had been destroyed by fire, a plague of grasshoppers was devouring its way across a drought-stricken Franklin County. Not surprisingly there is nothing written about the actual opening date, but in the Gazette and Courier, July 14, 1884 a reporter noted that “Mr. J.M. Bradley has a good business at the new hotel.”
A week later the papers reported that the grasshoppers continued to devour all crops and that ravaged farmers were slaughtering their cattle for lack of water. The inn’s summer visitors apparently stayed on, despite the heat and the voracious locusts. On September 1, 1884 a Deerfield reporter writes that, “the summer boarders are folding their tents and stealing away, browner and better for their stay.”
During the first 15 years of its operation, guests arrived by stagecoach, carriages, and on horseback. Later a trolley line ran through the village, stopping right in front of the inn as an old photograph hanging in the inn shows, and by the turn of the century automobiles began to appear.
Within a year the inn was enlarged by George Arms, a local builder, and a brochure from 1885 describes the Deerfield Inn as “in all appointments far ahead of the average country hotel.”
The grasshoppers had long gone, but the guests stayed on and kept coming for—as a brochure from the 1920s promises—”the atmosphere and charm of early days, with modern comfort and convenience.” Breakfast started at 30¢, dinner could be had for $1.00, and a double room with running water was priced at $3.00.
A postcard we found on Ebay, signed by ‘Carl’, posted for one penny, and written in July 1923 to his friends the Fabriques, declares the Deerfield Inn “a very, very nice place indeed.”
We are still a full-service inn in its original site on Old Main Street in a village listed as a National Historic Landmark, still with working farms and beautiful open countryside. This little part of Franklin County known as the Happy Valley is a paradise on earth with its bountiful produce, tranquil farmland beauty, and friendly folk. Guests can also enjoy nearby boating, fly fishing, skiing and golfing, ziplining, and summertime swimming in the gentle river.
Our 24 bright and airy guest rooms of distinct size and shape embody the heritage of Deerfield, and a feeling of comfort and home prevail. With its convivial tavern, two pretty living rooms and porch, the inn is filled with friendly nooks and alcoves where you can read, relax, eat, drink, socialize with friends, or take a snooze.
Your room is ready, with or without ghosts, and we look forward to welcoming you here.