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Massachusetts Travel Blog

Deerfield Inn Brochure from the Mid-1920s

A lovely gift from a friend of the Deerfield Inn who found this brochure in one of the boxes his grandmother had stored in her attic.  You can’t see the car on the front very well, but peering through a jeweler’s loupe, a car guy we know dated it to the early 1920s. It shows the  influence of the art deco period,  he said, when cars had become  accepted as a normal part of everyday life. “This beautiful piece of machinery probably belonged to someone who could afford a bit more than the basics, and for whom it meant not only the adventure and anticipation of  travel, but was also an endorsement of the   influence of the exciting new themes sweeping art and design.”

A room back then could cost  $6  ‘with bath or with running water,’ which is rather mysterious wording, and a dinner in the Old Prints Dining Room cost $1!

Still “Truly a delightful, friendly place to visit…” with rooms that are “quite charming and comfortable!”

1920's Brochure



March is Massachusetts Maple Syrup Month

We have had the perfect season so far for swiftly-flowing sap for Massachusetts maple syrup.  There are many sugar houses in our neighborhood, including Williams Farm of Deerfield just along the street. Folks line up for their pancake breakfasts in the Williams’ handsome wooden barn filled with that unmistakable and delicious aroma of boiling sap.  Look for more local maple syrup in our menus and small white pitchers of it with pancakes and waffles at breakfast and brunch!

Oysters are a Kiss from the Ocean – How to Shuck an Oyster

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, an avocado or a turnip?

Oysters you immediately say. But why? Maybe it’s the zinc in the oysters, maybe it’s the mythology that has become accepted as gospel, maybe it’s wishful thinking.

Increasingly, fishmongers play up the equivalent of a wine terrior.  Apparently the waters where the oysters are grown and the species all make a difference to the taste. Our fishmonger makes a point of letting us know the exact location of where our oysters are gathered and he recognizes their very distinct flavors from an almost melon-like sweetness, to a minerally brine.

Fishmonger MJ Gimbar describes oysters  as creamy and velvety. “It’s like a kiss from the ocean.”

Our oysters are fresh off the boat at $2.00 each on the half shell with a wonderful mignardise. If oysters aren’t for you, it seems that turnips are up for the challenge of inciting amorous tendencies! So if a half dozen oysters aren’t in the budget, you can get that aphrodisiac effect from a humble root vegetable.

Here’s how to shuck an oyster:


  • ·  Step 1

How to shuck an oyster step 1

Wiggle (don’t jab) the knife in from the hinge of the shell. Turn it like a key. Once you have leverage, you can pop off the top shell. Make sure the cup-side of the shell is on the bottom.

  • ·  Step 2

How to shuck an oyster step 2

Slide the knife along the top to severe the abductor, which is the muscle attached to the shell.

  • ·  Step 3

How to shuck an oyster step 3

Then slice along bottom, make sure you hold steady to preserve the liquor inside. Your oyster will now slide right off.

Come enjoy oysters at our beautiful Deerfield bed and breakfast located near Greenfield.

Wine and Canvas – a Couple’s Night for Valentine’s!

Wine and Canvas was a west coast fun night phenomenon that has now come to western Massachusetts and the Deerfield Inn, amongst other venues.  It is a painting class with cocktails! Last night a professional artist led a group of couples in painting a canvas that joined up to make one large picture when they were done.

Some arrived dubious with their date, saying they had no talent, no idea how to hold a brush, had never painted anything, but Keely, Wine and Canvas art entertainer,  reassuringly gave them their canvas, brushes, and palette blobbed with paint and set them up at their easel. We offered a drink from the bar and a bite to eat, and the nailbiters began to be less anxious. Within minutes of making the first strokes they all began to relax and have fun! It was marvelous to see how the blank canvas turned into something you could hang with pride, and the date night couple’s picture was a wonderful idea. Look out for the next event near you by going to

Wedding Fair Season 2014 : Deerfield Inn is Ready to Host Massachusetts Weddings Once Again

This past Saturday, January 25th, Alicia Graves who is in charge of private dinners and special events attended a bridal show with Poliane Paniago to get the word out that we are back open and that the Deerfield Inn is a fabulous place for elopements, intimate Massachusetts weddings, rehearsal dinners, re-commitment ceremonies, and even larger weddings in fine weather in the Terrace that leads out onto a patio. We have a tent lawn in the gardens, and the Beehive Parlor is a favorite spot for smaller ceremonies with a Justice of the Peace or other officiate.

The Terrace has its own bar and restrooms, and French doors open onto the patio which can also be tented and is a sweet spot for couples wanting a more informal gathering – maybe a barbecue or a clam bake. Children can hurtle all around the gardens and keep happy!

Poliane was wearing one of her own jewelry creations, and Alicia wore a pearl pendant that she commissioned Poliane to make for her when she was married last year.  (Everybody is always so much more than they seem and everybody here has such interesting stories about who they are and what they do in their other lives away from working at our Deerfield, Massachusetts bed and breakfast.  It is part of their engaging charm.)

You certainly would not go wrong with Alicia’s perceptive and sensitive guidance and knowledge if you are looking for a special and beautiful place to celebrate a special day! Call her at 413-774-5587, ext 173, or email


Renovating Two Guestrooms

Our 24 rooms at our bed and breakfast near Greenfield, MA are all named after folks connected with Deerfield’s history, and we have a calendar for constantly refreshing them  so they look bright and clean and inviting. This winter it is the turn of room 144 and 146, with 141 and 145 slated for later in the year.

Room 144 is named after Consider Dickinson. He was born in 1761 and for much of his life this colorful man owned the reputation of the “town character”. Uncle Sid was apparently the supplier of endless humorous anecdotes and songs. He was revered as a man of industry, good judgment, and sound economy in a small village where everyone knew everyone else. Consider Dickinson’s house stood on the site of the present Deerfield Academy main building on the town common. His large family filled it to the rafters during their frequent and noisy gatherings.

Room 146 in our bed and breakfast near Greenfield, MA is named after Samson Frary, who was a “professional” pioneer and as such, became the first settler in Deerfield. George Sheldon’s History of Deerfield  lists Samson as being in Deerfield as early as 1669. He lived in a small shelter of some sort at the north end of the village and most certainly sustained himself by tilling and planting a small piece of land. Sheldon records that Samson Frary built a house on Lot 29 across from the town common some time around 1683. This is the site of the present Frary House/Barnard Tavern and archaeological exploration there is helping to reconstruct the life and surroundings of this early Deerfield resident. Samson met his death on that terrible night on the 29 February 1704 during the French and Indian attack on Deerfield.

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Be sure to drop by our bed and breakfast near Greenfield, MA and take a peek at all the activity!

Deerfield’s Snowy Owl

feathered friend at our Deerfield, MA lodging

Meet our feathered friend!

Our Deerfield, MA lodging has its own #snowy owl for the time being! These beautiful birds have been coming far south of their boreal range and delighting the gang of ornithologists who are wrapped up in scarves and tea cozy hats with their powerful lenses aimed at this young owl.

One bird watcher told me these owls were heading south because the plethora of lemmings meant more birds had survived and young ones were heading out of spaces too crowded to let each owl have its own territory, and another said, “Nonsense!” It was because there was a dearth of lemmings, meaning they had to roam farther afield, so I left them to it.

This snowy owl crossed the corner of my vision as I was walking the dogs at dusk in the meadows near our Deerfield, MA lodging and made my heart skip a beat – it was so silent and sudden and surprisingly large. I watched it swoop low and then ride up in a long, slow, smooth loop like someone on a roller coaster before it headed back to the old tobacco barn by the field where our inn cattle are raised. I felt so privileged!

If you’ve chosen our inn as your Deerfield, MA lodging, make sure to ask one of us about it. We’ll try to help you find our feathered guest!

Happy New Year from our Family to You and Yours

Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast brunch!

New Year, New Benedicts!

Something to look forward to in the new year is the return of jazz brunch at our Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast starting on Sunday, January 12, from 11:00-2:00. We have some wonderful new add-ons such as an Eggs Benedict Trio with three  different toppings, fluffy omelettes with eggs from happy chickens, and waffles and pancakes.

Especially excellent is that the bar can be open as brunch begins, so you can enjoy a sparkly mimosa with fresh oj, or a brunch beverage of Chambord, elderflower, and prosecco.

See you in 2014 at our Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast!

Wine & Canvas comes to Massachusetts!

Now on the east coast as the craze for artsy fun has swept over from California – painting your own masterpiece in less than three hours! We had one of these fun painting parties here recently at our Deerfield, MA inn. People anxious to try their hand at creating a picture reserved their easel ahead of time, and gathered with a talented team of instructors who took them step by step through each phase to complete the painting. Everyone worked on the same picture – a kind of Japanese bonsai red-leaved tree, bending in the wind.  The group seemed delighted with the end piece. Maybe the glasses of wine made their stokes free and uninhibited, but the paintings were terrific, and most of the artists had never even picked up a brush before. We thought we would host a couple more of these in December at our Deerfield, MA inn – a great idea for a personalized holiday gift.  Stay tuned for the next arty party dates!

Shoe Tree!

deerfield ma bed and breakfast charity donation


The dear and lovely Beth and Alexis had the wonderful idea of helping us all feel warm by doing something warming and special for others. One of our trees at our Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast is designated as the collection tree, and the gifts beneath it will be  shoes and boots of all sizes – new or gently worn – to be taken to the Northampton Survival Center to be distributed to those in need, or sold at their consignment center to raise funds. Pass this message on to those you know in the neighborhood and let’s pile that footwear high!

Our Deerfield, MA bed and breakfast is located at 81 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA, and our phone number is 413-774-5587