Old Houses: Summer Projects and Craft Shops
That one August day in 1926 an estimated 5,000 tourists walked through Deerfield's historic houses. The open house raised, through the efforts of its costumed hostesses, several thousand dollars for the Village Improvement Society. There was, of course, payment due for all of this success. Early on in the growth of the town's popularity, a reporter had observed that, "the crafts, quite as much as the quaint old Colonial houses and the Indian massacre traditions, are responsible" for the disruptions that a "tourist centre" places at the feet of local residents. "Six thousand visitors will register at the museum in 1907, and many more than that have visited Deerfield unrecorded," the author went on to recall that, "upon a tree in front of a historic home was erected at the time of the July crafts exhibit this sign:
Nothing on exhibition
Nothing on sale
This is not a commercial house
...an avenging craftswoman tore down the notice, only to see it erected out of reach by aid of a ladder, where it remained all summer."1
- "Arts and Crafts for Women," House Beautiful Feb. 1908, Vol. XXIII, no. 3, 28.
In Their Words
© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Visitors wait to enter Frary House, Open House
Unknown Photographer, 1926.
- Acanthus Leaf Bag
- Polly Wright's parrot
- Pomegranate Head cloth
- Seaweed and Dragonflies
- George Sheldon