Why Deerfield?

A Colonial Revival Vision

The Door

Central to the rebirth of Deerfield was the survival of the Old Indian House door. A relic of the famous French and Indian raid which occurred during the final day of February 1704, the door was tangible evidence of Deerfield's important place in the colonial history of the United States, at a time when the nation, now over 100 years old, was particularly interested in its history. Out of the memory of 1704, Deerfield built a historical society and an increasingly well-visited museum in which "The Door" would hold the place of honor. Memorial Hall's steadily increasing annual visitation reached over 10,000 by 1930. These successes would inspire others: the restoration of old houses, an Arts and Crafts movement, a Thomas Edison film featuring an Indian raid, crowds of tourists at Deerfield's historical pageants, books, cookie cutters and paper dolls. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Old Indian House Door became the threshold across which many thousands of tourists accessed the Deerfield experience.

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© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Old Indian House Door on Exhibit

Frances and Mary Allen, Silver Print from neg. 33012, before 1886.

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