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Deerfield Spring Sampler Craft Fair :: March into Spring

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!

The Great Snow :: New England Winters

New England Historical SocietyWe think it is absolutely freezing and the worst ever, but almost 300 years ago, in 1717, so much snow fell in New England that for generations afterwards people would talk of events as before or after the Great Snow.

According to The New England Historical Society, drifts were as high as 25 feet so houses were entirely covered with just a wisp of smoke showing their location.

The deer population was decimated, and much livestock perished, but many farm animals survived under the snow. It seems that hens could live a week, turkeys for almost three weeks, and cows were also dug out and incredibly restored to health.

Being a fan of pigs, it was good to know that it was recorded that a couple of pigs lived together under a snowbank for 27 days, munching away on tansy, a herb grown to repel insects, delay spoilage when rubbed into meat, and as a dye of golden-yellow. (In Europe we still put tansy out on windowsills to keep ants and flies away.) Go pigs!

People made tunnels and paths through the snow from house to house, and according to the abolitionist Joshua Coffin in The History of Ancient Newbury, Abraham Adams walked three miles to visit his new bride Abigail who had had to hole up with her family to wait out the storm. He was able to clump right in through the window on the second story, and guess what – their first child was born just about nine months later.

So really the snow in Deerfield is not so bad in comparison. Come on over for a while and Date Your Mate!

Hospitality at the Deerfield Inn is a Relationship….

Greenfield Hotel

Debbie in the Harry Potter room!

…not a transaction.

We were recently at a conference in a hotel. They did a fantastic job with food and service, but I have some thoughts about why you might like to choose an inn such as ours over a hotel venue if you are planning a small retreat.

We have those dispensers of product in the bathrooms, too, but we also have more than one bar of soap, as well as eco-friendly cornstarch bottles of body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, baggies of Q-tips, makeup remover pads – all free.

Our fresh filtered well water in the room thermoses is free, not $9 a bottle. The cream for your Keurig wake-up coffee is not powder in a packet, but real and local. Our towels are also soft – but bath sheet-sized. The fridge is free for your insulin, baby formula, or packs of local cheese you might have bought, not $10 a day.

Wifi is free, parking is safe and free – no $13 a day surcharge. The cozy robes and the umbrella in the closet are free for your use. The candies and cookies in your room are for you to enjoy at no additional cost.

Free: the loan of cufflinks and ties, or boots and sweaters if you have forgotten something or are taken by surprise by the whacky New England weather. We draw maps to show you how to get to a local farm stand or apple orchard, we sew on your buttons if you don’t know how, we put plasters on your boo-boos, take photos for you so nobody is left out of the snap. The DVDs in the cabinet are yours to borrow, the books are yours to take if you haven’t finished what you started. Skype is loaded on the guest computer so you can call home.

All this and our tremendous appreciation of you as our guest in our beautiful Greenfield area bed and breakfast.

Call Alicia at 413-774-5587 or email her at agraves@deerfieldinn.com if you have a meeting in mind. You get what you can get at a hotel, but you also get so much more!

Staying at the Deerfield Inn is Good for Your Health!

Fireplace + relaxation = lowered blood pressure and good for your health! The soothing, soporific effects of sitting by an open fire during the depths of winter have long been established. Now it seems the very idea of a log fire helps to lower blood pressure.

A study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, says: “Findings confirm that hearth and campfires induce relaxation as part of a multi-sensory, absorptive, and social experience.”

In the research, 226 adults were shown a video of a fire along with sound effects. The subjects’ blood pressure was taken before and after viewing the fire for different periods of time. Scientists said the results “indicated consistent blood pressure decreases” across the participants. They appeared to become more relaxed the longer they watched the Relaxing getawayfootage.

The lead researcher, Christopher Lynn, who is an anthropologist at the University of Alabama, believes that the modern-day calming effect is evolutionary and may be traced back to the Stone Age. Early humans relied on fire for heat, safety, illumination, and cooking.

When we were designing Champney’s, here at the Deerfield Inn, after the flood we read in books on restaurant psychology that one of the things that causes guests an uneasy feeling, although they are not sure why, is having darkness outside while there is brightness within, leaving them exposed in some atavistic memory to the circle of predators beyond the camp fire. Solution: café curtains we can pull across on brass rings as dusk falls! Huh! Who would have thought it?

Dogs, on the other hand – we all know that they are four-footed therapy and beneficial to blood pressure! Real fire, real dog, real food. It’s all here for you through the cold months ahead! Check out our specials for some real deals and give us a call at 413-774-5587.

Give Thanks Before Thanksgiving

fire tedThanks to guests who have booked rooms to the left and right for a couple of days, but not in the middle, we have rooms orphaned betwixt and between and anxious to accommodate you! With rates as low as $133 from 16-25 November, we offer friendly quiet, cozy comfort, afternoon tea and cookies by the wood fire, a breakfast you can feel good about enjoying with eggs from happy chickens, hormone-free milk, nitrite-free bacon, fair trade coffee air-roasted locally, our own yoghourt and granola, and breakfast pastries from Kathleen.

You can feel good about an impulse getaway with the one you love – free Wi-fi, free admission to the museum houses, free to kick back and have the delightful down time you deserve. Call us at 413-774-5587, or reserve on line

Between Horse and Car

Deerfield, MAAs you perhaps know, the inn opened its doors in July 1884 with all sorts of drama in the Valley – a plague of locusts, a drought, but visitors came and stayed nevertheless. It seems that business was so promising that George Arms, a local builder, was invited the next year to extend the property to the north. Old photos on the walls in Champney’s show there was a porch that ran all around that side. Another photo we found that showed the original placement of the front desk meant we could return it to where it has always been. We call it the Harry Potter room because it is a small space and under the stairs!

Recently we discovered that the stables and carriage house were built a year before the inn was opened. It makes sense, really – that there had to be somewhere for the horses to be stabled and the carriages to be stowed away.

Rather charmingly, the names of horses are on a long support beam that runs above where the stalls used to be. These might have been the horses that worked the fields around here, or perhaps one or two of them would be harnessed up to make the run to the train station to pick up guests and their luggage.

Their names were Fanny, Bonnie, Patsy, Donald, Frank, Harry, Pilot, Tom, Kate, and, fancifully compared to the others – Dinamint.

One of my favorite photographs in Champney’s is hanging to the left of the fireplace. It shows the transition between motorized and horse-drawn conveyance. Two cars are out on the street in front of the inn, and two are down to its south side on the driveway. Seated guests are looking out from the front porch, but at the back of inn, behind the rather splendid cars, you can see an unharnessed horse being groomed just by the stables and the carriage house. Lovely.

Join us at Deerfield Inn and see the amazing history of our property!

Deerfield’s Civil War Soldier

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 Read the rest of this entry »

It’s All About the Stories in Historic Deerfield!

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!

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, Read the rest of this entry »

Free Fun Friday!

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 Read the rest of this entry »