So on our website we have a proud multi-color flag at the bottom because we mean it. Also on our website we can enable a really cool feature that allows us to see where visitors to our site are going. That flag gets clicked so often it is a bright red blob on the heat mapping program, but clicking the flag has not led anywhere until now. I put it there because for us it is a symbol of absolute and unconditional acceptance, as natural as breathing in and breathing out. I put it there because, distressingly, guests have felt the need to call us up to ask if they would be welcomed here. (more…)
Massachusetts Travel Blog
We are always interested in oral history of the Inn’s past. We have heard stories of historic Deerfield from a woman on a coach group trip from a senior center who told us of the summer months when she was a little girl visiting her grandmother, the cook at the adjacent Stebbins House. Another guest told us that when he was just a lad, he remembers cages of songbirds in the fireplace lobby!
Recently we met Joan Harlow whose parents were innkeepers here for fourteen years from 1950. She grew up in Deerfield until she went to Emma Willard, and the home her parents built is the current administrative offices of Historic Deerfield behind the firehouse. When they first arrived they lived in the Pratt House just to the south of the inn, which was once where brooms were made and is now the Museum Store.
Joan remembered when Eleanor Roosevelt arrived very humbly by taxi – no limo for her with flags fluttering. Jack Harlow was a staunch Republican, but he was charmed by Mrs. Roosevelt’s passion to preserve Deerfield as a gateway to the past.
The restaurant menu was the same for an entire week, and until Joan’s mother Ruth could persuade the Flynts to let them eat in their own small private dining space, they would have a choice of baked ham, broiled chicken, tinned Sexton’s vegetables, and a relish tray with cottage cheese, pickles, and spiced crabapples day in, day out, in what was a very formal dining room until the flood of Irene gave us the opportunity to change all that. On Sunday it was roast beef for all, and on Monday the weekly menu would be in place again.
There was no elevator then, and no keys to the rooms, which unnerved metropolitan guests. The Deerfield Inn was the call center for fires, and Joan was filled with trepidation every time that red phone rang.
When Samuel Chamberlain came to take photographs for Historic Deerfield: Houses and Interiors by Henry N Flynt, Joan was allowed to watch him at his work and hold up the camera lights.
Joan also had a memory of being asked to run, run like the wind, back to the inn to “get the Ballantine’s out of the fridge.” She brought back a bottle of ale, not knowing it had to be chilled scotch for a certain somebody I shall not name!
How what we eat has changed. How odd to open tinned vegetables when this valley is bursting with produce! Anybody else have any recollections of Deerfield that I can add to my memory bank? I would love to hear your stories…
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 footage.
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.
Thanks 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
As 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!
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…)
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 (more…)
“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘What’s the first thing you say to yourself?’
“‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’
“‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.
“Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”
A country breakfast is part of your stay at our Deerfield bed and breakfast– 7:30-10:00 – so no need to jump out of bed at crack of dawn. Sit, sip, relax, enjoy…
Check out our summer midweek special rate and the 130th birthday rate in July!
A writer for Harper’s Magazine came to visit Deerfield and wrote, “Old Deerfield …is one of the most beautiful rural towns in New England…Its spacious street stretches along the terrace and a bowery aisle of magnificent elms, under which the houses stand, separate, with gardens and grassy banks, in neighborly seclusion…Back of the town rises the Deerfield mountain, and on all the other sides are the unfenced fertile meadows far beyond which lie gracefully rounded hills of various outline, waving along the horizon, and rich with the verdure of oaks and maples, beeches and chestnuts. The scenery has a friendly and gentle character, not too bold, or harsh, or inaccessible, but amenable everywhere to human culture and habitation. It has a fullness and tenderness and finish that must often have recalled to the early settlers much of the landscape of Mother England who had driven them away.”
The bit about the elms and Mother England gives it away, but this was written in 1875, and could be describing this village pretty much as a visitor can experience it in 2014.
This was written just seven years before the inn’s carriage house and stables were built, and nine years before the inn, restaurant, and guest rooms followed with a quiet opening in July.
We can’t offer “a double room with running water – $3.00” as promised in a brochure from the 20’s, but we can offer a good number of rooms starting at $130 – midweek or weekend – during the month of July to celebrate our 130th birthday.
Make sure to mention JULY when you call to get this special price.
Afternoon tea and cookies, a country inn breakfast, and three-month membership to the museum houses and exhibition center of Historic Deerfield will all be included in your stay.
Make your plans now to avoid disappointment! The Deerfield Inn will be 130 years old this summer, so we have some rooms available in July as a gift to you for just $130! Afternoon tea and cookies, a full country inn breakfast, and free passes to the museum houses of Historic Deerfield are all part of your stay.
Summers in Deerfield are a delight. The days can be filled with hiking, biking, antiquing, reading and chatting outside on an Adirondack chair or in a cozy air conditioned nook inside. The iced tea pitcher is bottomless, we have bikes you can rent for a spin, we have rooms for families, rooms for dogs, and a Relaxing Room for a soothing massage. Call us at 413-774-5587 and ask if we have a birthday room open to you. (PS Not available with any other discount deals.)