Monday, May 9, 2016

Visiting Historic Deerfield, Mass.

Historic Deerfield Village is located in central Massachusetts. It is a historic location but it is not isolated from the present in any way, they live side by side. Interspersed with the historic homes in the village are private residences that are currently being lived in. 

Start your visit to Historic Deerfield at Hall's Tavern, it is the Visitor Center. Tickets are $14 for adults and a 10% discount is offered for AAA members. A bracelet is provided which allows you entrance to the houses and museums that are open at the time of your visit. However, if an event is going on, not all the houses may be open and no discount is offered. 

The homes in Historic Deerfield Village are not open to the public from the beginning of January through mid-April. The Flynt Center of Early New England Life is open Saturdays and Sunday.

Several different tours are offered daily. The introductory tour begins at 10:30 a.m. and lasts about an hour departing from the Visitors Center. Other tours are included with your entrance so be sure to check what is being offered on the day that you visit. The website offers some suggestions. 

You can get a map at the visitor center to help you decide which houses you want to visit. Some houses are open on a guided tour and you will need to time these correctly to maximize your visit to the village. 

The Stebbins were propserous farmers. Their house reflects their position in the community. The house was built in 1799 by Asa Stebbins. The Stebbins Family had already been in Deerfield for several generation at this point but the original family home like many other wooden homes of the era had burned down. This house was built of brick and was the first of its kind in Deerfield. This is a docent led tour and you will learn a lot about this family. 

A good second stop is the Sheldon House. It is offered on a self guided tour. This home housed an extended family and has two kitchens to provide a son to live in the same home as his parents with his bride. 

Ministers were important in a New England Village and the Ashley House will provide a good look at the type of home that the Puritan Church provided for their minister. This home dates to 1734. This home was rescued by the Flynts and it is offered on a guided tour which is very informative. 

I like to spend the night at the Deerfield Inn and also to dine there. It is a lovely place with plenty of charm. Don't miss the museum store either, it is chock full of goodies. 

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