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New Exhibitions at Memorial Hall Museum

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!

Practical Housekeeping :: Tips from 1883

Here are some rather charming housekeeping hints from a book called Practical Housekeeping, Buckeye Publishing Co., 1883 that I picked up at one of the super secondhand bookshops around here. These hints seem as good now in 2016 as they were in the year before our Deerfield bed and breakfast was built.

And read on down the best way to preserve a husband and children. Very dear!

Practical Housekeeping Hints

  • To prevent cupboard door hinges from creaking, rub with a feather dipped in oil.
  • A copper tea kettle may be kept looking bright and new by washing in sour milk followed by clear water.
  • To clean a coffee pot: put a mixture of wood ashes and water in pot bring to gradual boil and let stand till water cools. Then scrub in hot water and soap, then scald 2 or 3 times. When wood ashes are lacking substitute baking soda. Rub bad stains with sand or brick dust.
  • To toughen new glassware, place in cold water, bringing it gradually to a boil and boil for 4 hours. Allow to cool slowly in the water. Hot water will never subsequently crack it.
  • To remove old tea and coffee stains, wet spot with cold water; cover with glycerine and let stand.
  • Pieces of gum camphor placed near books on shelves will protect them from mice.
  • To brighten silk hose, when washing add a tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse water.
  • To prevent rust on garden tools, wipe off with a rag soaked in coal oil.
  • To remove iron rust from delicate fabrics, cover the spot thickly with cream of tartar, then twist the cloth to keep cream of tartar over the spot. Place in a saucepan of cold water and heat the water to boiling point.
  • To clean pie tins and remove rust scour with raw potato dipped in cleanser.
  • Silverware, when set away, keeps best wrapped in blue tissue paper.
  • Brick tiles can be cleaned with a vegetable or small paint brush dipped in white vinegar then sponged off.

How to preserve a husband
Be careful in your selections. Do not choose one too young and take only such varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere. When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever settled and give your entire thoughts to preparation for domestic care.

Some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting them in hot water. Even poor varieties may be sweet, tender and good by garnishing them with patience, well-sweetened with smiles, and flavored with kisses to taste. Wrap well in a mantle of charity. Keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream. When thus prepared they will keep for years!

How to preserve children
Take 1 large grassy field, 1/2 dozen children, 2 or 3 small dogs, a rippling brook and some pebbles. Mix the children and dogs well together and put them in a field, stirring constantly. Pour the brook over the pebbles and sprinkle the field with a variety of flowers. Spread over all a deep blue sky and bake in the hot sun. When golden brown remove and set away to cool in a bath tub.

Bring Something to the Table :: A Community Support Initiative

Support local nonprofits in Massachusetts and be entered into our raffle

The Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern are bringing back the Bring Something to the Table initiative that we rolled out in December to invite guests who come here to enjoy a meal to leave a donation of any amount in an envelope for members of our community who are in need of our kindness. Obviously folks do not just need help during a single fund-raiser and on high days and holidays, so through the spring and summer, starting in May, we will be supporting four different and extraordinarily valuable organizations that do so much good for those who need our help.

Come by Champney’s on a Sunday in May to August, gather with friends; with family; bring a date; and slip something in the envelope in the check holder. Every single dollar helps, and if you can bring more than that to the table, then good for you!

At the end of every month we will draw out a donor name and give someone an overnight stay at our Massachusetts bed and breakfast along with a $50 VIP card to spend in Champney’s when you come for your sleepover. Afternoon tea and Kathleen’s cookies, a full country breakfast, free Wi-fi, $4 off each adult museum ticket, and 10% off in the store as well.

You can come by as often as you want on any Sunday you please, leave some more for those in need of a hand up, and enter the raffle again.

May – New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, NELCWIT, to assist the safe house ad its carers, and protect, feed, clothe, and help the residents through their transitions. Women and children find a haven here where they can be given safe passage, warmth, kindness, and a respite from aggression and fear while they rebuild their life.

JuneFranklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter run by the upbeat Deputy Colucci and her compassionate staff and volunteers. Unwanted dogs, lost dogs, the shelter cares for them all with medical care, good food, walks, and strokes of love. Sheriff Donelan’s office can provide only a stipend, and this shelter is kept going by the hard work and endeavors of the Friends, and more aid is always needed. We need to keep this shelter here because so many people finding a lost dog are reluctant to go all those miles down to the shelter in Springfield, and many dogs will not find the safe and fostering way station they need until they are found or adopted.

July – The Franklin County Community Meals Program. We think you agree that it is just not right that people in our neighborhood do not have enough to fill their tummies. It is especially not right that many children go to bed hungry. FCCMP serves over 20,000 meals a year and they need our continued help to keep this level of sustenance and support going.

AugustThe Literacy Project – with its commitment and outreach to teach adults and young people, 16 and up, to read, to grow existing skills, to gain a GED, in safe, non-judgmental, caring classes with the knowledge that being literate and having the basic building blocks of education, give one the empowerment to engage in society, to find employment, to gain inner confidence and to find a positive voice.

So please share the bounty with the county and help spread the joy of a good meal, a safe haven, a more positive future, and a forever home. We appreciate you and we look forward to you being the one who might get a gift (beyond the gift of giving) and will win the monthly raffle.

Things To Do with Kids in MA :: Family Friendly Deerfield Inn

Things to do with Kids in MA

We have family-friendly rooms at the Deerfield Inn, and a kid’s menu for the under 11 – “healthy (groan) but good” as Abby said. Sometimes you want to leave the children with mom and get away for some time for yourselves, and we can do that too, but there are some delightful children activities in our neighborhood, even in the winter.

 

Consider Magic Wings just down the road from us – a warm and inviting ecosphere of flowers and flutterbies that will charm you all. You might spot a bright parrot or two, and watch out for hitchhikers when you leave! Those butterflies seem to choose the brightest clothes to settle on…

Just beyond is the self-named ‘Scenter of the Universe’, the huge and spectacular headquarters of the famous Yankee Candle. Check out all the wacky and wonderful candles like the Boyfriend – hmm, what does that one smell like – jealousy and despair or chocolates and flowers? Or Wet Lab? Marketing Manager Jack Dog likes that one. Children enjoy the Bavarian Village where a train and carriages rush around, the Nutcracker King has his castle, and it is always winter.

And drive on a bit more and you come to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. You don’t even have to have a child in your life to know The Very Hungry Caterpillar with its beautiful design for small hands and sweet message, The Mixed-Up Chameleon to learn about color, or The Very Quiet Cricket with its laugh out loud surprise at the end.

Eric Carle is a local author and illustrator. His dream was to create a center for picture book art to promote and encourage literacy. There are thousands of picture books from all over the world, reading time, plays, recitals, author visits, performances, hands-on learning activities, ever-changing galleries and exhibitions. In fact this part of northwestern Massachusetts is awash in talented illustrators and children’s book authors. Natasha Lowe lives right here in Deerfield! You can buy autographed copies of her books in the gift shop!

The calendar of events at the Eric Carle Museum for 2016 is full of incredibly fun things to see and do throughout the year.

Come and stay, with or without children to share these pleasures with! You might just want to bring out the kid in you and enjoy these magical places by yourselves!

 

Fly Fishing the Deerfield River

Fly Fishing on the Deerfield RiverSome of the finest fly fishing for trout found in the northeast is right outside our back door. Flowing from Vermont, and with bottom releases from hydropower dams, the Deerfield is perfectly cool even in the summer months. In addition to the resident fish population, Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game stocks rainbow and brown trout throughout the river. This gently flowing, tree-lined river is one of the most charming and scenic in the region. Along with our traditional 1884 inn and farm-to-fork tavern, it makes for the perfect setting for the fly fishing enthusiast or those traveling with one.

If you have always wanted the chance to learn how to fly fish on one of the most beautiful and perfect rivers, your time has come! We have two packages for you from April to August. Get 20% off your room of choice and add on a 4-hour afternoon fly fishing trip with all you need to get started. You will come back knowing how to roll cast and overhead cast and how to get your fish in the net. If you are an intermediate angler, you can enhance your skill knowledge.

And another fun way to experience the river is by a float trip. Cast out a line and let the drifting do some of the work! Bring in rainbows, browns, and brookies to the net.

The Deerfield River is one of the most productive trout rivers in New England, and these packages offer an excellent opportunity for the novice or the more advanced angler to learn the many miles of heavily populated trout water using the strategies and correct imitative flies that fish are keying in on during the spring and summer.
Pristine waters, bubbling plunge pools, narrow runs and riffles make for a conveyor belt of beautiful trout hungry for the hatching insects floating within the edge of the seam!

Your expert guides – Mike and Jonathan, have been on the rivers around here as soon as they could walk. They know the pocket water, rapids, riffles, and deep pools, every bend, every eddy. They know what fish are out and about and when. They have patience and sharp eyes. Being out on the river is one of the happiest and most serene places they know. From beginner to expert – if you have a question about their domain, they will have the answer.

They also tie flies, nymphs, and streamers for luring the right fish; flies with delightful names like woolly bugger, crickhopper, and hothead. There is even a specific Deerfield fly that you can see on the wall in a frame as you enter Champney’s, tied for us by a local angler – but that’s another story!

For these packages, you will need a 2016 MA fishing license, and don’t forget to bring in your suitcase when you come to stay at Deerfield Inn:

  • extra set warm clothing
  • waterproof jacket
  • hat
  • polarized sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • water
  • snacks
  • camera

10 Recommitment Celebration Ideas :: Unique Event Venue MA

Celebrate with Us in 2016

Did you know that 70 percent of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day? There has to be a stat for elopements and recommitments, too, but I don’t know them. What I do know is that we get calls and emails from folk looking to celebrate a happy time from birthdays to rehearsal dinners, showers to adoption parties, family reunions to runaway romance. Maybe in this Year of the Monkey we are all returning to togetherness, family, and fun. We at the inn all love to be a part of the joy and lightness that the celebrations we hold here bring. We all feel so much a part of them because, starting with Alicia as your first contact, we plan all the details with you one-on-one.

 

We have several great banquet halls for celebrations, with the Beehive Parlor being a favorite for elopements and recommitments. We are not a cookie-cutter place. We are not a party mill. We are 132 years old, and have aged in place along with the trees that line Old Main Street. We slope and dip a bit, we take unexpected turns, the glass in our windows is hand blown and wavy, but the years have given us a warmth and energy and knowledge that are imbued in the wooden clapboards of this original historic country inn.

We have the names of people who have been with us for decades – cake-makers, florists, photographers, jewelry designers… We can share all of this with you and be with you every step of the way so your celebration day, whatever it might be for, is smooth, seamless, joyful, and fun. We have a 10-year recommitment coming up very soon. That made us think – do you need some recommitment ceremony ideas?  Here are 10 Recommitment Celebration Ideas to make your anniversary extra special:

  1. Offer a scrapbook in which your guests are invited to share a memory of something they did with both of you as a couple.
  2. Ask guests to light a candle for every year you’ve been together and take a picture of it with them. Your love is a like a shining light, illuminating the people and places around you!
  3. Have a calendar done up, filled with 12 months of pictures of the years you have spent with your friends and family. These make memorable gifts that will be cherished, and you can buy them affordably through Vista Print or another print-on-demand service.
  4. Ask other couples in the room to silently renew their own vows, while you are saying yours. This will help to reaffirm the connections within other couples when they attend your recommitment ceremony.
  5. Create a cool, vintage theme. Your love has withstood the test of time! You can find lots of ideas for vintage décor by scouting through Pinterest, Etsy and other idea places.
  6. Make up a game where guests have to “guess” things about you two. It could be presented in the form of a game show or simply a prize whenever someone gets the right answer.
  7. Is now the time to upgrade your wedding rings? Make a trip to your favorite jeweler, or ask designer Poliane Paniago whose unique pieces are in a showcase right here at the inn.
  8. Have a quilt made with meaningful fabrics. Perhaps one of the t-shirts you were wearing when you met in college, a piece of the tie your husband wore on your wedding day, and the baby blanket from your first born child. These ideas will become a charming reminder of all the years you have shared!
  9. If making a calendar seems like too much to do, you can opt to have prints made of your family and put them in small, stylish picture frames. Try something different, like recycled paper or dried floral arrangements to use as frame embellishments.
  10. Find props from your original wedding ceremony. The cake topper, dress, or whatever things you can dig out of the hope chest. Reuse as many of these details as you can find to truly recreate a recommitment ceremony that will set the tone for the next decades of love you can share together.

Call The Deerfield Inn and ask for Alicia to start planning your celebration at our unique  MA event venue. We are here for you at 413-774-5587. Special group room rates, too!

Inn Guests Give Back and Enjoy Living Nativity

Deerfield Inn Gives Back
Thank you to the kind and generous guests in Champney’s (our on-site restaurant) who brought something to the table and shared the bounty with the county. They donated to others and helped spread the joy of a good meal while they had one themselves.

Deerfield Live nativity

On Christmas Eve we collected money to help buy food to feed the hungry. The village held its 39th living manger in the stables behind the inn, and after viewing the tableau folks came in to the Terrace where we gave them local mulled cider and festive cookies.

We received more cash donations and filled a box with non-perishables. It was wonderful of you all, and we thank you on behalf of those in need for the hand up you have given.

Cyber Monday Special :: Luxury Deerfield B&B

cyber MondayBook a stay at the Deerfield Inn between December 1, 2015 and April 15, 2016 by calling us between 10 am – 9 pm EST on Cyber Monday, and get 25% off one or two nights, or 35% off a 3-night stay! All guests who book on Cyber Monday will find a VIP card for Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern with their key card. You could get from $5-15.

Afternoon tea and cookies and a full country breakfast will be part of your stay.

The magic word for this marvelous Cyber Monday special is THANKS.

Call us at 413-774-5587 between 10-9 on Monday, November 30 and remember to say THANKS!

(Not valid on existing reservations, and no other discount, promotion, or gift card may be used when booking your stay.)

And see what is on offer from our fellow inns in the Distinctive Inns of New England line-up! Get their deals here

Franklin County Community Meals :: Deerfield, MA Charity

food bank in Deerfield, MAWe have two ways to give a hand up this year.

First, the Deerfield Inn and Champney’s will be collecting non-perishable food items to go beneath the tree, starting on December 1st. Every time you come by to enjoy a plateful of something delicious here, please bring something that can go towards a plateful of food for someone else in Franklin County.f

There is a second way to help. Pop a dollar or whatever you can spare in the envelope in the check holder, and this will go to the Franklin County Community Meals program. 1 in 5 children in Western Mass is “food insecure” meaning they miss meals or do not have enough to eat. That is something I know we all want to do something about.

We are surrounded in this most rural part of western Massachusetts with fields and rivers, producers and growers, foragers and farmers. We have orchards, acres of bounty, and yet there was the need to provide nourishing meals to more than 20,000 last year. 247,000 pounds of food was distributed at food pantries. Twelve percent of our residents are on the poverty line; people both young and old.

Share the bounty with the county, and help us spread the joy of a good meal! Thank you!

Come and Meet the Mighty Squirrel!

Naveen and Henry

Naveen and Henry

One day recently I saw three people in matching t-shirts in the living room when I emerged from my workspace behind the fireplace. The T-shirt was very cool with a white squirrel on the move. Got to talking and it turned out they are new brewers from Boston with a European style lager with 5 grams of protein! Mighty Squirrel Original is complex with bready, caramel, and citrus notes, plus a hint of honey. Mighty Squirrel Light is clean and crisp with citrus and honey notes and only 109 calories!

On Saturday, November 14th, the Mighty Squirrel team will be here at Champney’s at about 4:00 pm for you to sample their brew and tell their story. We are the only bar in western Massachusetts carrying their product, so come on by to be among the first to try the latest microbrew in our line-up.

This is what will be in store:

• A free Mighty Squirrel pint glass to every customer that orders Mighty Squirrel beer.
• The taste profile of Mighty Squirrel beer described – its brewing process, and its history to any customers who is interested in learning about it.
• 2oz tasting samples of Mighty Squirrel to customers who want to try Mighty Squirrel before ordering.