Founded in 1952, Historic Deerfield relates the story of this picturesque New England town that was established in 1669. This outdoor museum is made up of various homes and buildings built between 1730 and 1850, eleven of which are on their original sites. Visitors are invited to wander through the village and visit the historical buildings, each of which tells a different tale, from the native Pocumtucks of the pre-English era through that of later immigrants, such as the Polish. The historic holdings of Historic Deerfield are in excess of 27,000 items and the village also includes a research library, visitor center, gift and book shop and the Flynt Center for Early New England Life. The village is open daily from mid-April through late December.
Backstory and Context
Created by Henry and Helen Flynt, Historic Deerfield interprets 300 years of the past and conveys the long tale of the diverse history of the town that includes the English, French, and enslaved and free African-Americans. Its buildings include the Deerfield Inn, a working inn built in 1884 with 24 guest rooms and Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern. The village also includes the Channing Blake Footpath that wanders through he local farmland and takes visitors past a working farm and along the Deerfield River.
Homes and buildings of note include the Ashley House, built in 1734 and home to Deerfield’s second minister; the Wright house, c.1824, which is now a historical furniture gallery; and the Silver and Metalware Collection, housed in a c.1814 building that now displays antique silver and pewter.
Other buildings to visit would be the Allen House, built in 1734 and the home of Henry and Helen Flynt which now displays their collection of American decorative art; the Apprentice’s Workshop at Dwight House, built in the 1750s and now a hands-on activity center; and the Wells-Thorn House, built in 1747 which is now furnished to reflect the changes that occurred in the village from 1725-1850.