Tour of Historic Deerfield – Prepare to be Blown Away



Hey Guys,

Many of you know that my mid-week post usually comes out in the wee hours of Wednesday. But, this is a special post and so it took me much longer than I anticipated.

It almost always does. haha.


Two days ago, my darling professional musician-son, Cale Israel, treated me to a trip to Historic Deerfield Village.


The HDVillage website is here.


As usual, I did no research. And, thus, had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that there would be some “old houses.”


And, actually, I’m glad that I did not do any investigating before going. Most of the photos I’ve come across doing research don’t do this place justice. I hope that I’m able to capture the glorious feeling I had walking around this amazing residential area.

Wait until you see! (no fair peeking) Plus, each house is also built on an exquisite piece of property featuring trees as old as the houses. (over 200 years old!) You’re going to see those too!

Old house + old trees = heaven for Laurel, and hopefully, you too!


So, before we feast our eyes on much of what I experienced, in Historic Deerfield, let’s go over a little geography, just to give you a sense of place.


Please note that all photos are mine, unless noted. Please feel to help yourself to a couple linking back to this post. And, as always please pin to your Pinterest boards for reference.


Northampton, MA - Historic Deerfield, MA

Above is a map of Massachusetts. It also includes all of Connecticut and Rhode Island. And, in the bottom left-hand corner, you can see New York City. Boston is the far right.


About 16 miles below Historic Deerfield is the town of Northampton, MA, where I’m currently living.


map of inhabited pars of New England 1776 via historic-deerfield

I also found a map of inhabited pars of New England in 1776 via the  HDVillage website.

It looks like they kind of squished Connecticut and expanded Rhode Island. However, I love these charming old maps. Actually, I love all maps.


Historic Deerfield

Historic Deerfield is in the northern area of the town of Deerfield, MA, and nestled between the Deerfield and Connecticut Rivers.


Originally, it was a vibrant agricultural region known to be devoid of rocks and, thus, highly prized.


The English wanted the land, but so did the French and the Native American Indians. Hence, a lot of fighting.

And, now for a map of our self-tour.

LBInteriors - route historic deerfield old main st. _deerfield academy

Our tour was mainly on the north/south Old Main Street. The path on the right covers more homes as well as a gorgeous private prep school, Deerfield Academy. We went there too.


I let Cale drive Quatti (my 17.5-year-old Audi A-4). We rounded the bend from Main St. to Old Main Street. (if you look at the top of the map) And, Cale parked on the road.


There were very few cars. Of course, that’s because aside from the residents, everything is closed.

And, that’s just the way I like it. Oh, it’s not that I don’t want to see what’s inside, but I usually lack patience for guided tours, unless the inside is AMAZING. We’ll get to that in a sec.


Main St. Historic Deerfield

Our first home is welcoming us to Historic Deerfield.

I think I’m gonna like it here!


*As a quick aside, (and skip ahead if you’re not interested) before we get into our Historic Deerfield candy; two days ago, my MD prescribed a 3-week course of prednisone.

And, already, my burning hand itch/swelling is beginning to calm down a lot. I’ve never had anything like this before. I had resorted to holding an icepack most of the day and night. Thank you for your recommendations!

Interestingly, my hands didn’t bother me once during our tour on Monday. But, the air temp was in the low 60s, just cool enough to feel refreshing. But, not cool enough to feel cold with a sweater, scarf, and hat.



*The rest of the homes, museums, and buildings of interest will not be in perfect order.


Some buildings have one or two images and some many more. There are a lot more images than usual. This is vastly edited down, however. I just wanted to give a good feel for the homes and properties in the village.


Please enjoy the exquisite beauty, history, and magnificence of this slice of heaven in north-western Massachusetts.


Old Main Street - Historic Deerfield June 1, 2020 - photo: LBInteriors

Cale and I began our self-tour down Old Main Street, where most of the buildings are located. Historic Deerfield owns about 50 of the houses. The rest are private residences. And, of course, there are churches, a US post office, a hotel, and community centers.


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. orange rhododendronMonday was THE day to go to Historic Deerfield. Both the rhododendrons and lilacs were in peak bloom. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rhododendron this persimmon color. And yes, it is this vibrant.


The sky was perfect, mostly cloudy, but a few breaks of not super-strong sun for interest.


Old Deerfield had its start in the mid-1600s when it was strictly a farming community. Agriculture is still big throughout the entire Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts. But, most of these homes were built in the mid to late 1700s in the Federal or sometimes called Colonial style. Many are in the saltbox style.


Salt boxes are characterized by a symmetrical and unadorned front, for the most part. And, then a distinctive deeply sloping roof in the back.


You will see just how closely these styles mirror their English cousin’s Georgian style.


After-all, the people building these homes were from England. And, you’re going to see why they call it “New England.”


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St - with Cale Israel

Mostly, Cale. He was as patient as possible while I snapped some 180 photos.

The Historic Deerfield Village has a designated website with much more information than I can provide here. If interested, you can check it out here.

If you miss it now, there are more links to it.


Moors House - c. 1848 - Gothic Revival - Historic Deerfield-photo:LBInteriors

We came across this gem early on our tour, and both Cale and I loved it. It is known as the Moors House. And, built c. 1848 in the Gothic Revival Style.


Twelve of the houses are used as museums of various kinds that hold tours.


You will see images of most of them. They depict different period rooms as well as how the artisans worked in the 18th and 19th centuries.

It is interesting to note that not all of the homes were first built on their current land. I’ll be pointing some of that out as we go along.


Most of the homes are clapboard and are painted in authentic colors and stains of the day.


While I certainly expected a lot of painted homes and most of them are. There are probably a dozen or so homes that are stained a deep brown. Or, gray-brown. And many of the houses are quite weathered. Apparently, that is appreciated in this historic designation.


Sheldon House - built 1754-57 - photo - unknown-Moors House - c. 1848 - Gothic Revival - Historic Deerfield

The Sheldon House, built 1754-57, is an excellent example of one of the stained brown homes. This is not my photo, and I don’t know who took it.


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. Sheldon House - front doorHowever, the close-up of the front door is my image. Some of these photos almost look like paintings.  As you can see, this house, is an example of a lot of weathering. It is a far newer photo than the one above it.


Sheldon House - 1754-57 - side view - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St.

This is also my image of the Sheldon House taken from a side view.

By the way, Old Main Street is about a mile long. Therefore, Cale and I walked well over three miles.


Dwight House - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built c 1754

The Dwight House built c 1754. This is one of the homes that was moved. Can you imagine what a job that was?

It was originally built in Springfield, MA, but when they were threatening to demolish it, in 1950, it was moved piece by piece to Historic Deerfield.

Thank God!


Dwight House - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built c 1754 - front door - house moved from Springfield to Deerfield in 1950

Beautiful colors and a rich pediment are striking over the entrance door.


Joseph Stebbins House- built c. 1772 - Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

The Joseph Stebbins House built circa 1772


Joseph Stebbins House- built c. 1772 front door Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors


A close-up view of the gorgeous front door area.


I also love the onion sconce. Here’s a similar one on Sorry, I don’t know where the one on the Stebbins House is from. Maybe do a Google search if you’re curious.

But, another great source for all kinds of lighting of this period that’s in Laurel’s Rolodex is Authentic Designs.

And, they can do a beautiful verdigris finish. I’ve ordered from them dozens of times since 1999. And, they’ve always produced a superior product. Plus, they’re super nice. Oh, and they’re about 90 miles away in West Rupert, VT.


But, look at this gem I unearthed.


photo Joseph Stebbins Home taken 1888 - Old Main Street - historic Deerfield - photo public domain

A photo of Joseph Stebbins Home taken in 1888 – on old Main Street with a dirt road!

This photo public domain


Ashley House Front Door - Historic Deerfield-photo-LB Interiors

The Ashley House Front Door – is another one of the Historic Deerfield houses.


The Allen House in Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts. Built in 1734, and renovated in 1945, the Allen House served as the residence of Historic Deerfield’s founders, Henry and Helen Flynt. They purchased numerous houses along The Street between 1942 and 1962. The interiors of this house have been left as they were when the Flynts lived here with their outstanding collections of American antiques.

The Allen House is also one of Historic Deerfield’s designated homes.

It was built in 1734 and renovated in 1945. The Allen House served as the residence of Historic Deerfield’s founders, Henry and Helen Flynt. The Flynts purchased numerous houses along The Street between 1942 and 1962. The interiors of this house have been left as they were when the Flynts lived here. And, along with their outstanding collections of American antiques.

This image was taken from the Historic Deerfield website, and here’s why. (you can see the houses here.)


photo: LBInteriors - Allen House - Old Main St - Historic Deerfield

The Allen House is going through a little reno. And, no doubt put on hold due to the pandemic. This is my photo.


colonial:Federal home late 18th century - photo: LBInteriors

At 99 Old Main Street is a classic Federal home. I’m not sure of the exact dates because I could not find any information on this house.


99 Main St.Front Door- Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

99 Main St.Front Door- Historic Deerfield – photo: LBInteriors


Next up, is the Historic Deerfield Inn.


Deerfield Inn -double porch - Historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriorsI took many photos of this iconic hotel.


Deerfield Inn - pink lilacs -photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St

Couldn’t resist a close up of the pink lilacs.


Me, down on my knees - Historic Deerfield - June 1, 2020 - photo: Cale Israel

And, Cale couldn’t resist taking a pic of his Mama hard at work on her knees. NOW, I know why they were sore the next day! But, do I look like a tourist or what? And, yes, I’m still carrying my England Michael Kors bag everywhere I go!

I did not go inside the Inn. I imagine that it’s closed, anyway. But, I did find an image on Trip Advisor of the lobby.


deerfield-inn - ersatz 18th c lobby

So, what do I think?

I think you guys know me well-enough by now to know what I think.  It’s American bastardization of Georgian styling, AKA: FUDDYDUDDY.

It’s not that it’s hideous. It’s just not right. I know my English friends are laugh snorting their tea right now. Please, I know. We suck.

First of all, no way in hell should there be wall-to-wall carpeting. There should be a wide-plank reclaimed (if not original) chestnut, walnut, or pine hardwood floor with a waxed finish. Pick one. And one or two beautiful Oriental rugs in rich reds, blues, gold, cream. The Heriz style will do.

Remember the exquisite Heckman Place hotel I was slobbering all over?


No, it does not have to be like that. Although if it was, I’d be staying there the next time I come up here. haha.

But, please no matchy, matchy, ditsy brocades.


And, for God’s sake, what are those giant office-chair-type casters and trite damask fabric?

The window treatments were NEVER done like that in the 17th-19th century. NEVER. We went over that in great detail in this post.


The wallpaper is okay, but it wouldn’t be my first or 100th choice.


I would paint all of the trim, including the crown, moulding, and wainscoting. And, please do not wallpaper the pilasters! One is, and one isn’t. And, please do the wainscoting in a creamy white.

I would add sconces with mirrored backs.


Those types of sconces (with candles, back then, of course) were typical for this period.


The other lamps need to go.

I would put up some gorgeous blue and white Chinoiserie table lamps.

Below is a mini widget with some ideas.

And a Chinoiserie coffee table in black. It could have a faint gold design, or not.


We need to remove the hideous office casters.


Then I would slipcover EVERYTHING in white cotton duck ala JK Place Capri. Or fine. It could be a performance fabric. But, slipcovers.

Yank those just plain wrong valances down. I know that some of you will like them. That’s fine. You can like them, but they don’t belong in this historic hotel.

I would probably do nothing. There’s a porch. Light control shouldn’t be an issue.

Okay. We need to move on with more of Historic Deerfield.


Post office - photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St.

Shortly after that, we happened on the Historic Deerfield Village post office. It looks more like a small chapel to me with those lovely leaded glass windows. Maybe it once was!


Then, I saw it. What was it? You’re going to have to wait. That’s because we had to take a side road that went to Deerfield Academy.


Deerfield Academy Entrance

Can I go here?


photo: LBInteriors - Dorm - Deerfield Academy - Historic Deerfield - trim siding all one color

We passed a young gentleman who was pushing his young child in a cart. He pointed out that this was one of the dorms. And, here is a wonderful example of the period of a building and trim painted the same color. We talked about that in this post about exterior paint colors.


Williams House - Historic Deerfield-photo:LBInteriors

One of the many gorgeous buildings that make up Deerfield Academy, an elite prep school located in Historic Deerfield. It began in 1797. At that time, it was only a local school. But now it is both local and boarding.


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Deerfield Academy campus

At the end of the road is this lovely area. This so much reminded me of England. Below are the playing fields, and to the left is a cemetery. I believe that’s purely coincidental. ;]


You must be getting tired by now.


Trees - Adirondack chairs

Here, let’s take a rest, okay?


No worries. I’ve saved some of the most beautiful properties for the end.


Williams House - Historic Deerfield-photo:LBInteriors

Williams House – Historic Deerfield

Originally constructed in 1730, the Hinsdale and Anna Williams House was extensively renovated to its present appearance in 1816.


photo: LB Interiors - Old Main St. rhododendronMore Beauty.



Visitor’s Center – Hall Tavern – It was built in 1760 in Charlemont, Massachusetts and moved here (I don’t know when) And, it is classic Federal Architecture. I think this one if my favorite. I adore the purity of form and color.


photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield

Here’s another one. Obviously, I LOVED this home AND Property because I took many photos of it. And, it was only today that I realized that they were all the same home.


photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield - historic treeIt’s THAT tree. I guess that someone has spent a fortune keeping that amazing specimen alive. Who cares that it’s perilously close to the house?


Historic Deerfield old treeBut all of it. The other trees, landscaping. That fence.


photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St. - Love them old trees

I couldn’t decide which one, so I did both. :] Actually, I wasn’t looking at the house at 64 Old Main Street this time, just the magnificent colors. And, THAT tree!!!


beautiful late spring colors - photo:LBInteriors - 64 Old Main St.


House - historic Deerfield - photo: LBInteriors

And, this one at 72 Old Main Street. Classic Georgian/Colonial. I don’t have any further information about this beauty. So, it must be a private home.


But, here’s what I saw in the distance before we turned to see Deerfield Academy and those houses.


I was captivated from about 400 feet away with this extraordinary shade of blue in another of the designated Historic Deerfield houses, known as the Wells-Thorn House.


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House


 Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House - family walking

When we came upon it, there was a young family strolling, and I couldn’t resist snapping them. There were very few people. Social distancing was not a problem in the slightest.


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House Front Door

Yes, everything is that crooked. It looks like it’s time for a new paint job.


photo: LB Interiors - Old Main St. Wells-Thorn House-side view-cellar door

Interesting. I think that’s the exterior cellar door? I should know that. But, it’s not anything I’ve ever actually seen in person.


Wells photo - Historic Deerfield website - Old Main St

One of the parlors in the Thorn-Wells house. I’ve no doubt the color is historically accurate. It’s not my favorite. But, again, notice how everything is painted ONE color. Easy. However, also please note the perfect classical architectural proportions.

And the equally wonderful fireplace mantel.


Historic Deerfield vista - two bicycles

At some point, we saw this view with the bikes, and I thought it made a great photo.


photo: LBInteriors - Gorgeous property old main Street

This is the property from the last house before we turned around. I know, I know!


Dwight House - photo: LB Interiors - Old Main Street - 6

This was about the time that Cale had, had enough. But, we still found things we both loved.

Plus, he was happy that I was happy. How lucky am I!

And don’t you love his bright blue sweater against the sea of green?


When I look at this photo, I see God.


Old Deerfield 1630 - Historic district - Cale Israel

Cale’s been such a doll. We’ve spent more time together than we ever have and it’s been wonderful. We go grocery shopping, on walks. And, he’s cooked for me many times. Oh my. After living alone for seven years, it’s the most amazing thing ever.




Cale is an elementary school music teacher. And, while he still has a job, he’s working about a quarter of the time he was– from home, of course.


photo: LBInteriors - yellow house - Federal period - Historic Deerfield

How lovely is this, in Historic Deerfield? I hope the cones are because they just seeded the grass.


As you can imagine, in the warm months and when the kids are in school, this place is teeming with PEOPLE.


So, if you live here, you have to get used to living in a fishbowl of sorts.


photo: LBInteriors - white house - bay windows

This place is in such good condition that I’m wondering if they just rebuilt most of it?


White House - Grillwork - Federal style home
Cale noticed the gorgeous grillwork high up. I guess those are vents? Does anyone know?

It was about this time that so steeped in history, I fully expected Paul Revere himself to come galloping by on his horse.


nypl.digitalcollections- midnight ride of Paul Revere


Paul Revere’s Ride on April 19, 1775 – Charles G. Bus


But instead…


photo: LB Interiors - Dude on Tractor eating apple

I got a dude on a tractor with an apple in his mouth.


Main St. Historic Deerfield

This house is actually near the house with the gorgeous property we saw without seeing the house. I know that because of the sign. Dangerous intersection. It made me laugh because I think I saw a dozen cars on the road the entire time we were there. But, I love how this image turned out. The house is reverberating on my laptop!


Or, maybe my eyes are going? Hang in there.


photo: LBInteriors - 108 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield, MA

108 Old Main St. Historic Deerfield – looked up this quintessential old saltbox and actually found a real estate listing that appears to be current!


Well, some remuddling with the kitchen and bathrooms. And the heating system is not right. But most of the home is blessedly intact. Oh, haha! They say that the average price in the area is $234,900. What??? Sure.


photo: LBInteriors - 108 Old Main St.- rhododendron


What you see here is $234,900. haha


I know that because the historic Deerfield museum paid $2 million to acquire this house and land from the Creelman family, which had owned it from 1984 until Monday back in December 2018. They say that there’s an apartment in the back. I wonder if it’s still available?


mystery flowers

Cale wanted to know what these flowers are. I told him that if I put it on the blog, at least five people will chime in with the answer.


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built 1827 - blue addition - c

Shortly before we parked, we saw this home built in 1827


photo: LB Interiors - Historic Deerfield - built 1827 - Asa Stebbins

The Wright House. Can you read the sign? There’s more information there.

And folks. We’ve reached the end.


I hope you enjoyed this and feel as transformed as I do for being there.



Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES. And, also, the new Father’s Day Shop.


  • Kami - June 10, 2020 - 5:05 PM

    What is it about the color fucshia up against a deep and dirty red background that makes my heart want to absolutely explode like when you hold your baby and just want to squeeeeeeze it from all the love?! I rarely find this color combo, but when I do, I always start trying to figure out how to incorporate it into my home…I’ve never figured it out. Anyway, thanks for the lovely tour and perpetual design enlightenment. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • DIANE FISK - June 8, 2020 - 1:10 PM


    • Laurel Bern - June 11, 2020 - 1:43 AM

      Hi Diane,

      The “redecorating” of the Deerfield Inn is only in my head. Sorry, if I didn’t make that clear.ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi Duncan - June 7, 2020 - 5:33 PM

    Laurel, what a lovely armchair travel respite from all the sadness our world has been enduring. I have been to Old Deerfield several times…love it!!!! The picture, where you added ” I see God when I look at this”, could pass for a street I once lived on as a child, in a village in NJ named Rancocas Village. Most of the homes are from the 1700s through 1800s. It’s wonderful that you and Cale are getting to spend such fun times together…sure wish our sons didn’t didn’t live so far away. Hope the week ahead brings you good days.ReplyCancel

  • Michi - June 7, 2020 - 11:36 AM

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this much needed foray into a world that looks so lovely and peaceful (except for the Indoor Deerfield Inn photo). I don’t know how you do it, but you have a way of bringing things to life with your images and discourse. I really needed that.

  • Hudson Valley Caryn - June 6, 2020 - 7:55 PM

    Ok, the attic windows got me crazy so I pulled McAlester’s “A Field Guide to American Houses” out. Along with Greek Revival, these can be found on Beaux Arts, Italian Renaissance style, and New Traditional homes. I will be looking for these everywhere now.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 11, 2020 - 1:55 AM

      I’ve been seeing them now on old houses here in Northampton, MA! So, I’m thinking that they are possibly a regional thing.ReplyCancel

  • Sheree L - June 6, 2020 - 6:53 PM

    Laurel, you have become quite the photographer! These photos are amazing. They all draw me in and make me want to be there. Thank you for sharing your trip with us. The best part is that you’re sharing it with your son. What a blessing that is! We haven’t seen our 26-yr-old son since Christmas (because of COVID), and I can’t wait to see him and hug the stuffing out of him 🙂 Luckily, our younger son came home from college (because of COVID), so we get to hang out with him!ReplyCancel

  • ADN - June 6, 2020 - 10:54 AM

    Yes, the flowers are Lantana. Love the sun, spreading, drought tolerant and come in other colors. Here in Houston you can find them everywhere.ReplyCancel

  • Susan McCalman - June 6, 2020 - 8:06 AM

    Laurel, Thank you for the wonderful tour of Deerfield , MA – I have always wanted to visit Boston and the area. I love trees too – and being from Louisiana, we have some very large, super old trees everywhere! Take a look at Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches, LA.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 6, 2020 - 12:08 PM

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for the link. It is very large and I need to put all links in a new tab. When I tried to do that, it stopped working, so I had to delete it. Sorry.ReplyCancel

  • Hudson Valley Caryn - June 5, 2020 - 11:02 PM

    Thank you for this beautiful treat! The green is so vibrant this year, at least we have that!

    I believe the small grilles are over frieze-band windows, small windows set right under the cornice in Greek Revival houses. I’m going to investigate if they were used in other Classical styles.

    What a great visit with a clearly top-quality son. Bless him and his work.ReplyCancel

  • Cynthia Christensen - June 5, 2020 - 10:47 PM

    I messed up on an earlier message. Sorry. After enjoying your lovely trip to Deerfield with your most wonderful son, I happened on an Instagram site named House Stories. I thought you might enjoy reading about the historical stories of some the houses you visited. IMHO I believe might find it enjoyable, and worth your time. It offers some additional background of interesting history.ReplyCancel

  • Pam Singer - June 5, 2020 - 9:35 PM

    What a wonderful virtuL vacation I just had! Thank you The beautiful ,strong ,simple architecture has surely held the test of time. I totally am with you regarding the interior (of the hotel I think) The outside simplicity would never have something as fluffy and overdone as what you pictured. Love paring it down simple-more humble an so on. . Thanks again.Glad you are having a good get away.ReplyCancel

  • Julie S - June 5, 2020 - 7:48 PM

    These are gorgeous! I have a soft spot for austere New England saltboxes and the like. I’m a split of Midwest and Californian but my mom grew up in MA/CT and we went back to visit my grandmother a few times in my tween years. I still geek out over these beauties and eat them up when I come across them. Love that you got to see it with no crowds!ReplyCancel

  • Ariel - June 5, 2020 - 7:48 PM

    It seems landscaping is pretty minimal for most of these homes. I like that. The historic homes and trees are enough on their own.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Rose - June 5, 2020 - 6:48 PM

    Thank you Laurel for the excellent and oh so enjoyable post!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Anne - June 5, 2020 - 11:55 AM

    Back in the 1970 my parents took us to Historic Deerfield. Thus began my love of old homes and history. I’ve been back 2x since , the last time being 3 years ago. It was just as delightful as I remembered. Thanks you for sharing this stunning post !!
    Enjoy 😉ReplyCancel

  • Mary Narlock - June 5, 2020 - 11:52 AM

    What a treat for those of us still housebound due to coronavirus! I feel as though I just went on vacation.
    Thank you Laurel. You are always my day’s highlight.ReplyCancel

  • Missy - June 5, 2020 - 11:26 AM

    One of the things that caught my eye were all of the huge, flat stone thresholds! Amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Judy Winn Graves - June 5, 2020 - 8:34 AM

    Glad you had a great time in Old Deerfield.
    Check your local library for a book “Family & Landscape” Deerfield houselots from 1671 by Susan McGowan and Amelia F. Miller published in 1996. This book will answer many of your questions.
    Happy Research,JWGReplyCancel

  • Jackie Foster - June 5, 2020 - 1:20 AM

    Hi Laurel!
    I found your site while researching paint colors to remodel my parent’s home. I am so glad that I subscribed! I love the Deerfield tour. I must tell you that I really wanted to paint the trim a different color on the mono-color homes! I wanted it to stand out instead of blend in with the house color! I retired from teaching music two years ago. Please tell Cale that a fellow music teacher from South Carolina appreciates what he does! Music teachers rock!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 11, 2020 - 1:58 AM

      There’s nothing wrong with contrast trim. It was done both ways 200 years ago. And, I’ll tell Cale. I’m very proud of him!ReplyCancel

  • Shelley - June 4, 2020 - 11:54 PM

    Laurel I have been to Deerfield in the 90’s and found it to be one of the highlights of my life. Lunch at the Deerfield Inn was a delight and Pumpkin Soup was involved. Yum! I agree about the interior and suspect it was decorated around 1990. Bastardized my word exactly!!! I believe the Onion Sconce was made by a company called Period Lighting. At one time they had the Deerfield reproduction license. I am a designer too and have had the opportunity to use Period Lighting. They also do custom. In the town of Sturbridge near Sturbridge Village and not far from Deerfield there was a wonderful restaurant called Cedar Creek. You should check it out I’ll bet it’s still there. My sister and I have a top 10 dining experiences from all over the country. It on that list.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 11, 2020 - 1:59 AM

      Thanks for the rec. Things are starting to open back up around here.ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen Dembsey - June 4, 2020 - 10:46 PM

    My heart aches looking at the beauty of this community and these houses. I am in awe. Thank you so much for this sharing of history. Maybe one day…ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - June 4, 2020 - 10:14 PM

    Lovely post – thank you.

    Lantana’s hardiness must depend on where you are. My great-grandmother’s that were planted over 100 years ago are still around with absolutely no care paid to them at all. In central Texas the drought-tolerant part is important.

    I’m so glad you have found some relief for your hands.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Jones - June 4, 2020 - 5:56 PM

    What a beautiful and interesting post! Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn H Ball - June 4, 2020 - 3:33 PM

    I have had the pleasure of visiting and touring Historic Deerfield and there is little I can add to your beautiful post. But I had the opportunity to meet with some of the people who work for and support the preservation of the history, the beauty, the artifacts and the buildings of HD. Kudos and many thanks to them!ReplyCancel

  • mary pinheiro - June 4, 2020 - 3:21 PM

    Sou do BRASIL e sempre acompanho seu site.
    Somos muitos arquitetos na familia e adorei todo esse casario historico.
    Voce tem muito bom gosto em tudo que posta.

  • cathie Berlin - June 4, 2020 - 2:57 PM

    Thank you so much for this post. I love historical homes, as a Realtor in southern California we don’t have many, so this is such a treat. If only the walls & trees could talk, would love to hear what they have to say.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa D. - June 4, 2020 - 12:15 PM

    Beautiful architecture. I love old homes. I especially love the yellow and white one. But what makes everything so lovely is the old growth trees and vegetation that gives everything that pastoral feeling.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy West - June 4, 2020 - 11:29 AM

    Luv, luv , luv this post as well as your other architectural posts. Deerfield so reminds me of Litchfield and Woodbury close to where I grew up in Connecticut. I howled at your comments concerning the inappropriate furnishings and window treatments at the Deerfield Inn. My thoughts, exactly!
    Thank you, Laurel, for posting this and showing correct architectural elements – you are a blessing to the design community. (And wish my legs were as shapely as Cale’s.)ReplyCancel

  • Diane - June 4, 2020 - 11:28 AM

    lantana is the yellow and pink- heat and drought tolerant, lots of colors available

    bacopa- white and pink around the lantana,
    center looks like a “prince tut” papyrus,
    looks like a salvia around thatReplyCancel

  • Damon Morris - June 4, 2020 - 10:43 AM

    I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of historic Deerfield, and your interesting and fun commentary. It’s now on our bucket list. Thank you, Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - June 4, 2020 - 9:49 AM

    Well, now I’ll just have to hop a flight from Denver to Historic Dearfield, MA! oh, what a beautiful village! Thanks for the tour. I’m so glad your hands are better. I’ve often been prescribed prednisone for my hand problems, and it seems to do the trick for me, too.ReplyCancel

  • Lindy - June 4, 2020 - 9:39 AM

    My Great, great, x7 Grandmother was one of the 112 captured by Native Americans and marched to Quebec, Canada during the Deerfield Massacre of 1704. It is an amazing story- so I know Historic Deerfield well. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Ellen O’Brien - June 4, 2020 - 9:24 AM

    Thank you for this beautiful post. May I suggest going to Jake’s restaurant in Northampton? It has just reopened and is terrific!ReplyCancel

  • Frances - June 4, 2020 - 9:21 AM

    Truly lovely eye candy. Thank you for such a beautiful post.ReplyCancel

  • Denise Manno - June 4, 2020 - 8:28 AM

    The rainbow sherbet colored flowers are lantana. They thrive in full sun and smell delightful. Always one of my favorites and need to be planted annually.ReplyCancel

  • Ivis - June 4, 2020 - 8:23 AM

    Thank you for this beautiful post! Just when it’s getting hot in NC, so nice to see the beautiful cool greens of “new” England! I’m just imagining what you could do with that saltbox! Lovely that you’re enjoying such a wonderful time with your son. I didn’t realize you were in pain, hope the prednisone gives you permanent relief!ReplyCancel

  • Mary E - June 4, 2020 - 8:07 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    That was fun! I enjoy going on house tours. But especially tours of historic homes.
    Glad to know that the steroids are giving you some relief. I wonder if all the work/typing you do is what caused your inflammation.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - June 11, 2020 - 2:02 AM

      Well, it probably doesn’t help. The itching subsided substantially within 24 hours and now I’m tapering down to get off the prednisone.ReplyCancel

  • Connie Fowler - June 4, 2020 - 8:04 AM

    Laurel, this is one of my favorite posts of yours. I have always loved this architecture, and I always wanted to live in a place like that. It was not to be, but Deerfield is now on my list of places to visit. That red saltbox at the end of the post is my absolute favorite! I’ve always loved that silhouette.

    Thank you for this uplifting post–reminding us that there is still so much beauty and calm out there. In these times, this offering is like medicine. Thank you so much for taking the time to create it.

    I’m so happy for you, that you are spending so much time with your darling son. Take care.


  • Joni - June 4, 2020 - 8:03 AM

    You’ve made me want to visit Historic Deerfield! Beautiful buildings, beautiful scenery. I lived in Concord, MA, briefly. This reminds me of the historic old houses there. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Joey Mettley - June 4, 2020 - 8:01 AM

    One of my favorite places on earth. Spent a pleasant time working there while my hubby was in grad school. It is a wonderful historical place with all the perplexing questions of having anHistoric district that was restored originally in the 1800s with a long respect for decorative arts. Do you change it to the original or keep the earlier historical interpretation? Historic Deerfield walked that line wonderfully. So don’t be so harsh on the Deerfield Inn it was remodeled after it flooded from Hurricane Irene (?). And so the interior is their interpretation of what a modern traveler would want to think.ReplyCancel

  • Susan - June 4, 2020 - 7:31 AM

    All azaleas are rhododendrons
    But not all rhododendrons are azaleasReplyCancel

  • Susan - June 4, 2020 - 7:27 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    Great post, beautiful historic town. Best enjoyed without so many people around.
    So glad you and Cale are having a great time together.
    Haha, yes the plants
    Lantana absolutely, also Victoria blue salvia or some call it mealy cup sage, and also the little white and pink are Bacopa. The little green one with umbels I don’t know the botanical name, I’ve heard umbrella plant.
    Hope that helpsReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - June 4, 2020 - 6:54 AM

    Hello Laurel, I loved every minute of this tour. You can see why I would rather live in an old house than in a new one. The Historic Deerfield people have done a great job in maintaining the old-time atmosphere. Considering the number of attacks and massacres that took place there, it is impressive the number of old Deerfield structures that do remain.

  • Shari - June 4, 2020 - 6:32 AM

    Was just going to add that the orange is a Flame azalea!
    Very popular in Tennessee!ReplyCancel

  • Jenny Golay - June 4, 2020 - 6:31 AM


    I live nearby in Haydenville and walk at Historic Deerfield. Be sure to visit in the fall when some homes have these amazing displays of pumpkins. And, of course, the fall colors are beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - June 4, 2020 - 4:05 AM

    Thank you for the tour down memory lane! My daughter went to The Bement School and Deerfield Academy, so I spent many years in Historic Deerfield. The town will always have a special place in my heartReplyCancel

  • GL - June 4, 2020 - 3:27 AM

    Yes, a delightful tour, Laurel, and your photos are excellent. A great pleasure to see so many beautiful houses, kept as simple as possible.
    I agree with everything you said about that travesty of a hotel interior. One of the nicest things about this post is that your happiness shines through, and for that I think all your readers will be happy too!
    As other commenters have said, the flowers Cale wanted the name of are lantana — but I wouldn’t describe them as hardy. The orange rhododendron is orange because it’s an azalea.
    Pleased to hear that your painful hand is doing better. A word of caution: if what you’re taking is the same as prednisolone in France (a cortico-steroid), you must be extra-vigilant about Covid-19, as it works by suppressing the immune reaction. Take care and keep happy.ReplyCancel

  • Sonja Rienderhoff - June 4, 2020 - 2:23 AM

    Lovely post, enjoyed that thank you.
    Now as for the flowers in the planter; the yellow and pink clustered blooms is Lantana and you see it a lot here where I live (Algarve, south of Portugal). I even have it in my own garden but in purple. Very hardy.ReplyCancel

  • Chris - June 4, 2020 - 2:05 AM

    Lantana of the verbena family,
    Growing up in Hawaii, they were wild all over the place. The smell of them takes me right back there.
    Great Post!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - June 4, 2020 - 1:46 AM

    I’ll take the Williams House! Oh my gosh Laurel, I wish you lived near me! If you ever want to visit Franklin, TN where I grew up, please let me know! You would find the houses here very lovely in history and design. I loved this post, thank you!ReplyCancel