79 Main Street
Deerfield, MA 01342
Located near the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts, Historic Deerfield draws visitors from across the country to the town’s original mile-long street to explore the history, culture and material world of the Valley’s diverse people. Settled in 1669, Deerfield remained the northwestern-most outpost in English North America into the 1720s when it began to flourish as a farming community protected by new settlements closer to French Canada. Today Deerfield is one of the few English towns settled along the eastern seaboard in the 17th century to retain its original scale and town plan—forty-three house lots and surrounding meadows. Beginning in the 1940s, antiques collectors Henry and Helen Flynt founded Historic Deerfield to evoke the symbolism of the New England village as a tool in fighting the Cold War. Today the museum interprets the lifestyles of the quintessential rural New England village through time and continues the preservation of the antique buildings and collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts entrusted to our care in the best documented small town in America.
Here visitors learn the stories of the men, women and children, including Natives and African Americans, who have lived here over the centuries. We use their beliefs and material culture, conflicts, economy, and technology to unlock the door to the past. Our museum collections also feature decorative arts from urban 18th- and early 19th-century America along with related English and Chinese ceramics, textiles and needlework. Exhibited in 12 museum houses, visitors also tour our exhibition building, the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, as well as conduct research in the Memorial Libraries with extensive holdings of public and private papers, ledgers and books owned by early Deerfield residents. Historic Deerfield offers dining and lodging at the newly renovated Deerfield Inn as well as the Museum Store with its well-stocked book section and period reproductions, all surrounded by active farmland and woods with breathtaking scenery.
Through the Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture collaboration, Historic Deerfield opened to the public on Saturday, September 28, 2013, the semi-permanent exhibition, Furniture Masterworks of Western Massachusetts, 1680-1830, which explored the impact of family, landscape, the consumer revolution, and advancing technology on the appearance and perceptions of furniture made in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts.