I have lived in western MA my entire life. My mother was born in Colrain, MA. Her brother lived in Greenfield. My father's brother lived in Greenfield. We used to drive through Deerfield all the time when going to visit relatives. So why have I only been to Historic Deerfield maybe three times in my life? I vaguely remember a grade school bus trip there. I bought a small brass lamb, so it was way back when I was still infatuated with lambs (prior to age 9 when I became infatuated with camels).
I remember driving through with John and Kelly years and years ago when she was maybe in fourth or fifth grade.
Today Kelly and I were in Deerfield to buy some butterscotch candies at Richardson's Candy Kitchen. I love butterscotch hard candies, but only the real deal candies, not the cheap grocery store look-alikes. I've had a passion for butterscotch candies since my trick-or-treating days when some of our neighbors would toss a handful of wrapped hard candies in our bags. I always traded for my brother and sister's butterscotch candies, but had to share them with my Mom who also liked butterscotch. Kelly didn't care for them years ago, but she recently tried one and discovered that she likes them now, so we have to make an occasional trip north on 91 and then 5 to get to the candy store.
Historic Deerfield is right across the street from the candy store. Because John thinks a road trip involves pinpointing a destination, going there, and then going home, we left him at home to do yardwork before the rain arrived. Kelly and I are more flexible about road trips- we like to explore. So today I said, Romney lives in a colonial era house in my book. let's see if there's a house alng the street in Historic Deerfield that might be a suitable match for his home. So we shot up the street alongside Deerfield Academy and turned right, driving slowly along the street studying each antique house we passed. It's an amazing street. I wished I had thought to bring my camera along, but it was a spontaneous side trip. Kelly, however, shot some pictures with her cellphone camera.
The Deerfield Museum store was open so on the way back down that side of the street we pulled in in front of the old post office building and went into the store. I found a book on early houses, and one depicting the houses in Historic Deerfield, so those came home with me. I LOVE old houses of that era right up to the Second Empire and Queen Anne era.
We then went to the Deerfield Country Store where we both bought a few things for home, and found the coveted rolls all chocolate NECCO wafers we were in search of (Andy's Variety down the street, our usual stock-up supplier, has been out of these for weeks!).
Kelly said she wished she'd gotten a picture of the old Town offices behind Deerfield Academy. Well, what are Mom's for if not granting their children's wishes no matter their age? I drove her back up the side street and stopped so she could get her pictures.
Then we drove home on route 5, taking some back roads in Northampton so we could pass by my favorite second empire mansion near Smith College. Then we drove past the site of the old Northampton State Hospital, long gone now, through Easthampton where I grew up until my family moved to Westfield in 1973 when I was fifteen years old. We hit some rain here and there on the drive home, but when we pulled into the driveway a sleet squall had just begun. Luckily we made it inside before the clouds opened up and poured sleets down from the north while the sky to the south of us remained a beautiful bright blue with fluffy white clouds!
The sleet squall lasted about fifteen minutes and was enough to begin to turn the lawn white!
I haven't cracked open the books I bought yet. I've been reading Kelly's NaNo novel about a group of paranormal investigators at a college in Halifax. I am amazed at the maturity of her writing nowadays! She's really grown-up and blossomed as an author! I'm enjoying her book!
But the point of this blog is- if you have an historical gem practically in your backyard and haven't visited it in a long, long time- please do so! We had a wonderful afternoon today exploring Historic Old Deerfield!