Why Deerfield?

A Colonial Revival Vision

Period Rooms

From the start, the PVMA membership planned to assemble its Memorial Hall collections in period room displays. The PVMA Proceedings for 1878 reports, "...the committee thought it well to set apart one room for the display of Indian relics, including of course the 'old Indian door;' another in which to exhibit an old family kitchen; one for an old parlor; one for an ancient bed-room; one in which shall be shown all the apparatus for making linen cloth as our grandmothers did it; one for farming utensils of 'ye olden time;' and others as may be deemed necessary."1 Their plans, which focus on the town's early history and on artifacts of its domestic life from 'ye olden time,' accorded well with the nation's current Colonial Revival interests. Further, their exhibition plans aligned with the kind of displays that Americans had seen during the Philadelphia International Centennial Exhibition in 1876. In particular, the Centennial Exhibition made famous the concept of the colonial kitchen display with its centralized massive hearth and focus on all manner of devices once used in that room.

  1. History and Proceedings of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, 1870-1879 Volume I, (Deerfield, MA), 1890, 442.

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© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Memorial Hall Kitchen

Frances and Mary Allen, platinum print, before 1891.

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