Deerfield, Massachusetts, wasn’t always this tranquil… a mile- long stretch of tree-lined, shaded streets and bucolic countryside.
Deerfield in 1671 was all about working the land and cooking on open hearth fires using the best produce this fertile valley produced. But the historic houses here have stories to tell, especially the one about the 1704 raid by French and Indian allies.
Lives were lost.
Settlers were taken captive. And many never returned, preferring perhaps the freer life of the native tribes.
And it’s tempting to think the Native Americans were justified in their “war” to reclaim this land from the settlers.
The old Memorial Hall Museum tells the story best, and the Deerfield Inn anchors the historic town, its white pillars and bright flowers are a small town’s icons
Butterflies drift in a nearby Butterfly farm, and stately Deerfield academy welcomes the sons and daughters of the rich and famous.
The Deerfield Inn, opened in 1884, sits at the center of the village, and as a good, old inn should, serves afternoon tea, and has a resident ghost.
Apparently original owner, Cora Carlisle, knocks on doors but refuses to be photographed.
We were there in the blush of Spring, but whenever you go, bring your curiosity and find out what’s still cooking on the open hearth of history. As a popular poem on the region says, “All of America has lived here.”