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!