“Our History: Deerfield at 350”
In 2023, Deerfield, Massachusetts will commemorate and celebrate the 350th
anniversary of our founding. Anniversaries are an opportunity to reflect, as an individual, family members, or community at large, on where Deerfield has been, who we are today, and where Deerfield’s future may lie. During this historic occasion, we will remember past town commemorations, while encouraging towns folk to be involved in shaping this approaching year of festivities. Our town deserves no less from us.
Commemoration offers us the opportunity to reflect on our triumphs and our
failures and the chance to highlight new stories that better reflect our present. You may remember Deerfield’s 300th Commemoration in 1973, which included horse shows, polka festivals, and theatrical performances. While some of these traditional events will be replicated for the 350th, new activities will be added to highlight Deerfield’s growing diversity and commitment to inclusive community stories. Deerfield has changed immensely since its English settlement in 1673. It has transformed since its 100th anniversary in 1773, its 250th anniversary in 1923, and especially since its 300th anniversary in 1973. While we remember and cherish Deerfield’s commemorative history, we are excited to explore how even this may be reinterpreted and broadened by incorporating the multi-cultural contributions of more recent centuries.
Deerfield is much more than its colonial roots and has blossomed into a diverse
and complex community. During this decade, Deerfield is one of many towns
commemorating its birth, and contributes to a greater national story, alongside historic towns like Jamestown and Plymouth. Deerfield is remembered for its role in King Philip's War, but also for its dynamic identity as a New England town throughout centuries of social and cultural change. Explore Deerfield’s contributions during the American Revolution, the Consumer Revolution, and the Industrial Revolution. Witness activities performed by everyday Deerfield residents throughout the centuries, and experience it all
with family and friends.
Deerfield has much to celebrate. Throughout 2023, events and activities for
young and old will help us recall histories of resilience and adaptiveness, whether connected to families who have lived in this community for multiple generations or who have only recently arrived. This diverse town and its wealth of complex stories is the one we seek to remember during this anniversary year.
Join us in commemorating Deerfield at 350.
BE A PART OF HISTORY.
Will Conard-Malley, Marguerite DiGiorgio, Allison Smith, and Emily Whitted