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Historic Deerfield, Wreaths
December 6, 2022 - January 1, 2023
Enjoy the beautiful handmade wreaths on the houses of Old Deerfield!
If you are visiting Historic Deerfield in December and the beginning of January, we encourage you to take the Deerfield Wreath Walk! Each year, we create a guide to all of the wreaths on each house, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the Street and learn about the wreath, the unique materials, and the volunteers who made them.
This year’s Wreath Walk guide includes a special map that makes it easy for visitors to find and identify the wreaths they want to see.
New This Year: A Scavenger Hunt!
Each door has a “mystery item” that corresponds to an item on the scavenger hunt list included with the pamphlet. The items on the list may appear as the mystery item on more than one wreaths. We encourage to seek the items. When you find 15 or more items, turn your sheet into the Museum Store for a discount until December 21.
Guides can be picked up at the Old Deerfield Post Office, The Deerfield Inn, the Historic Deerfield Museum Gift Shop & Bookstore, and the Flynt Center of Early New England Life. You can also download your copy before you visit.
Download our wreath walk guide before your visit.
The Witness Stones Project
As part of Historic Deerfield’s ongoing commitment to broadening visitor knowledge and experience, the Museum has partnered with the Witness Stones Project, Inc., a Connecticut-based organization with a unique approach to memorializing enslaved individuals. Inspired by the Stolpersteine project in Germany commemorating victims of the Nazis, the Witness Stones Project works to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities.
Over a third of the households on Deerfield’s mile-long street included at least one enslaved person by the mid-18th century. Much of the surviving archival evidence is housed at the Memorial Libraries in Deerfield and was shared as early as 1893 in an article written by Deerfield’s 19th-century town historian George Sheldon. This evidence has enabled staff of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Historic Deerfield, and other dedicated researchers to recover and share information about the presence and lives of Deerfield’s enslaved residents. While we currently know less about some individuals than others, our efforts to learn and share as much as we can about their lives and stories are ongoing. In all cases, we seek to acknowledge each person, and to recognize their many contributions in building Deerfield into the thriving town that it is today.
A Witness Stones memorial is a 4” x 4” bronze plaque identifying the enslaved person. The installation of Witness Stones memorials on sites currently owned by Historic Deerfield where enslaved men, women and children lived and worked is an essential element in the Museum’s ongoing initiative to share this history with visitors and local residents alike. The memorials are installed close to the sidewalks, ensuring that people walking there will be able see them and be inspired to want to learn more about the individuals whose presence they commemorate.
View or download the map of Witness Stones at Historic Deerfield.