Historic Deerfield Inc., founded in 1952, is an outdoor history museum that focuses on the history and culture of the Connecticut River Valley and early New England. It has a dual mission of educating the public about the lifestyles of the diverse people who lived here long ago and of preserving antique buildings and collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts. First settled in 1669, Deerfield is one of the few towns settled by English colonists along the eastern seaboard that retains its original scale and town plan. Visitors are offered guided and self-guided tours of 12 antique houses ranging in age from 1730 to 1850. Eleven of these houses are on their original sites.
The village has been on the National Register of Historic Landmarks since 1962. We interpret more than 300 years of stories that reflect the rich and diverse social, cultural and economic history of Deerfield and the region. The Pocumtucks, English, French, enslaved and free Africans, as well as later immigrant groups such as the Polish frame the stories Historic Deerfield tells. These stories, along with more than 27,000 objects in the collection, make Historic Deerfield a center for education for thousands of annual visitors and scholarship supported by our research library with the most comprehensive collection of materials relating to the history and material culture of Deerfield and the Connecticut River Valley, including the 21,000 volumes of the Henry N. Flynt Library of Historic Deerfield (reference works, microfilm and newspapers), and the Flynt Center for Early New England Life, a state-of-the-art museum facility featuring exhibitions and a visible storage area modeled on those at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Historic Deerfield also offers lodging and dining at the 19th century Deerfield Inn and Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern, and distinctive shopping at the Museum Gift Shop and Bookstore, offering a wide variety of American crafts, jewelry, and reproductions as well as souvenirs, books, and old-fashioned toys. Visitors are guaranteed views of farmland with breathtaking scenery on the Channing Blake Footpath, which takes visitors past a working farm and through meadows to the Deerfield River. Interpretive panels along the one-third mile walk describe local geology, natural history, and Native and European presence. Guests can also explore to The Cooks’ Garden, which serves as a source of fresh ingredients for the museum’s open hearth cooking demonstrations and classes, contains an assortment of useful plants commonly found in New England during the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Historic Deerfield is located in the village of Old Deerfield, at the crossroads of the Deerfield and Connecticut rivers in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.