Located in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, Historic Deerfield, Inc. is nestled in the centuries-old, quintessential rural New England village of Deerfield with authentic, historic buildings that date as far back as 1714. Here, visitors learn the real stories of generations of real people whose beliefs, belongings, lifestyles, conflicts, economy, and technology unlock the door to the past and help us to better understand today.
When visiting, you'll want to stay at the The Deerfield Inn with its restaurant and tavern orignally built in 1884. It is a top rated inn with 24 unique rooms in a historic setting in Deerfield. When not cycling in and around Deerfield, take time to visit 12 historic buildings built between 1730 and 1850. They all make up a unique outdoor museum giving guests an opportunity to explore early U.S. history in a beautiful setting. This is a popular road bike and mountain bike destination with organized road bike rides on beautifiul rural country roads.
If you plan to visit and cycle, make sure to consider coming from 8/12 - 8/17 so you can ride in the Deerfield Bicycle Tour: The River Rolls Through It. You'll enjoy 5 days of cycling throughout the valley ending up back at the Deerfield Inn every night - NO PACKING! Click here to learn more.
Historic Deerfield’s significance rests in the preservation of original, authentic, centuries-old buildings and nationally significant collections of household goods—28,000 artifacts both rare and common. These include furniture, metalwares, textiles, needlework, ceramics, and more—some created here and nearby, some in urban centers that set the bar for taste, some brought here as part of the trade with England and China. All of these authentic objects document the stories and founding years of our nation as well as the currents that run through them.
Take an even deeper dive into history by visiting the exhibition building, the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, and by conducting research in the Memorial Libraries where extensive holdings of private and public papers from early Deerfield residents are preserved. These include diaries, account books, sermons and many other materials. Historic Deerfield also offers great shopping at the Museum Store, which features a large selection of crafts and gifts made in the USA as well as an extensive book selection sure to please casual readers and historians alike.
Located near the Deerfield, Green, and Connecticut rivers in Massachusetts, Deerfield’s fertile soil and natural topography attracted English colonists searching for agricultural land. The first settlers, Samuel Hinsdale and Samson Frary, arrived in 1669, and the village and surrounding meadows were divided among 43 proprietors. The natural topography of Deerfield provided an ideal site for a familiar English open-field village in which settlers could live in close proximity to one another, surrounded by vast, open meadowland. The town plan was remarkably effective and remains well preserved.
The English colonists were hardly the first inhabitants, however. Native Americans have lived in this beautiful valley for at least 8,000 years. Early explorers first encountered the Pocumtucks, a prosperous and powerful group who had farmed, fished, and hunted in the area for generations.
As a frontier settlement, Deerfield regularly suffered from attack. The village was abandoned during King Philip's War after the 1675 attack at Bloody Brook (South Deerfield). Deerfield was resettled in 1682, only to face several more raids in the 1690s, and the devastating raid of February 29, 1704, when 50 were killed and 112 marched off to captivity in Canada.
Today, the 18th and 19th-century houses of the village center, many on their original site and filled with antique furnishings, reveal the lifestyles of Deerfielders from the time of the first English settlement to the Arts and Crafts Movement in the early 20th century. The village has been on the National Register of Historic Landmarks since 1962.