What is there to see at Memorial Hall Museum?
The museum exhibits everything from fine art to military artifacts to decorative arts to textiles. Whatever your interest is, you’re almost certain to find it in the museum’s 19 galleries.
Why is it called “Memorial Hall”?
One of the intentions of the founders of Memorial Hall Museum, and of Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, was to memorialize those who had come before. To the founders, this included both colonial-era settlers as well as the native Pocumtucks, whom they wrongly believed to have “vanished from the land.” The memorials included placing physical monuments throughout the region, inviting people to inscribe family plaques, and accepting objects donated in memory of their ancestors (forming the basis of the collection).
What is the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association?
Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, or PVMA, is one of the oldest historical societies in America. PVMA founded Memorial Hall Museum in 1880 to display its growing collection. It continues to oversee the museum today. PVMA also runs the Deerfield Teacher’s Center, the Old Deerfield Craft Fairs, the PVMA Library, and the Indian House Memorial on Main Street.
What was Memorial Hall before becoming a museum?
Before becoming a museum, Memorial Hall was the home of Deerfield Academy. The building was designed by Asher Benjamin and opened in 1799. The rear portion of the building was added by the Academy in 1813. Deerfield Academy continued to operate in the building until constructing a new facility on the Deerfield Common in the 1870s. At that time PVMA purchased the building and converted it into a museum.
What is the difference between Old Deerfield and Historic Deerfield?
The village of Deerfield is often referred to as “Old Deerfield.” This is not an official designation, but it is an apt description. Memorial Hall Museum is located in the heart of Old Deerfield. Historic Deerfield, Inc. is a nonprofit history organization which owns many of the buildings in Old Deerfield. Memorial Hall Museum and Historic Deerfield, Inc. collaborate frequently, but are separate entities.
Why is there a dinosaur in front of Memorial Hall Museum?
The dinosaur sculpture was made by local artist for an exhibit on Edward and Orra Hitchcock, scientists who pioneered the study of dinosaur fossils. Our dinosaur’s name is Rusty. He’s on Instagram @rustythedinosaur
We were driving through Old Deerfield enjoying a beautiful fall day and saw the Museum was open - with free admission no less. So of course we pulled over to visit and three (3!) hours later we walked out having learned so much about the history of this town. Fascinating collection, welcoming staff, and we liked the way they have rephrased some of the displays to put the raid in context of what was happening at the time. Kudos, Museum! Five stars and four thumbs up.
I loved it. So much to see from quilts to dino fossils. So much history pre- sented in an interesting way. The exhibits are lovely. The staff is lovely. The memorial room really captured my imagination. 5 stars
I spent two hours there.. that should say it all.