Deerfield is located along the Connecticut River and Deerfield River Valleys. It is 33.57 square miles with a population of approximately 5,000. It is contiguous to the towns of Conway, Montague, Shelburne, Sunderland, Whately, and by the city of Greenfield. I-91 passes from south to north through the central part of town. North Sugarloaf Mountain rises above the Connecticut in the southeast corner, providing a panoramic view of the valley and the town center.
Historic Deerfield, in Old Deerfield, is open daily March 28 through November 29 (except Thanksgiving Day) from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. There are 12 period houses furnished with antiques. There are guided museum house tours. They offer a year-round schedule of programs including workshops, lectures and special events. The Flynt Center of Early New England Life offers changing exhibitions and The Museum's Attic, with 2,500 choice antiques from the Historic Deerfield collection. There are guided and self-guided museum house tours and walking tours of Main Street, in good weather. Call (413) 775-7214 for further information.
Yankee Candle Village, Discover an unbeievable mix of shopping, entertainment and dining. Every visit is an exciting adventure because there's always something new to do. Yankee Candle is located on Routes 5 & 10 in South Deerfield. Call 413-665-8306 for further information.
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens, tour the butterfly garden inside a 4,000 square foot glass conservatory with over 300 native and tropical butterflies from North America. Learn about butterfly life-cycles, migration, food sources and more. Call 413-665-2805 for more information.
Memorial Hall Museum, on Memorial Street in Old Deerfield, has three floors and 19 exhibition rooms of 17th-18th-and 19th century collections from the area, including the famous "Old Indian House Door" which survived the French and Indian attack of 1704 in Old Deerfield. The library contains local historical and genealogical resources. Museum opens daily from May 1 to October 31 from 11 am. to 5 pm. Library open year-round (9 am to 5 pm). Memorial Hall also hosts plays, concerts and lecture series. Call 413-774-7476 for further information.
Old Deerfield Craft Show is held one weekend in September in Old Deerfield. The shows feature more than 250 selected exhibitors. Call (413) 774-7476.
Joseph Verner Reed Fine Arts Center, on the campus of Deerfield Academy in Old Deerfield, includes the Russell Gallery, which has three art shows per year: the academy's permanent collection, a faculty show and one other. Hilson Gallery offers changing exhibitions throughout the year. Music, theater and dance productions are open to the public. Call (413) 772-0241 for further information.
Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation is located at the top of Mount Sugarloaf off Sugarloaf Street in South Deerfield. The view of the Connecticut Valley is one of the most famous in the state. There are picnic tables, hiking trails and a viewing shelter on top of the mountain. Open Thursday through Monday. (413) 586-8706 x12
The land that would become Deerfield was acquired in 1666, when John Pynchon purchased 8,000 acres from the Pocumtuck Indians, who had nearly been anninilated in a fierce war against the Mohawk Indians from the Hudson River Valley. Pynchon was an agent for the town of Dedham, and the land was to be used to reimburse residents od Dedham whose lands had been taken for John Eliot's Missionary Indians.
Among the famous attacks were the Bloody Brook Massacre in 1675, when Indians attacked a wagon train loaded with grainthat was being shipped from Deerfield to Hadley during King Philip's War. Most of the adult males of Deerfield were killed. After a raid in 1704 by French soldiers and their Indian allies, 112 captives were taken to Canada. Among the captives were the town's minister, Rev. John Williams and his family. Some 20 of the captives, including William's wife Eunice, either starved to death or were killed during the 300-mile trek to Canada.
When peace finally came the the valley, the town turned its attention to agriculture and education. Deerfield Academy, one of the most prestigious college preparatory schools, for students up to grade 9, that were established are Eaglebrook School and Bement School.
The area of the original village is known as Old Deerfield, and it has become a popular historical village that attracts many tourists. Both Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association offers musuems and events. The section of town called South Deerfield was named during the 1930s.