11 Autumn Highlights at Historic Deerfield

Visit Historic Deerfield this Fall for Fun Seasonal Activities with Your Family

Apprentice’s workshop open daily. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Historic Deerfield is a lovely place to visit any time of the year – but the fall is definitely a most special time. In addition to visiting historic homes and collections, visitors on weekends will enjoy involvement in hands-on activities on a variety of topics.

Open Hearth Cooking and Historic Trade demonstrations are featured on Saturdays, Sept-Nov, 2012.

Highlights this fall for families include Stencil Art offered September and October weekends 12–4:30pm. Learn about the work of stencil artists who traveled from town to town taking commissions to decorate building interiors. Explore the art of stenciling and make a beautiful and unique stenciled artwork to take home. Also visit Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture to see painted and stenciled furniture for inspiration!

Participate in a Family Scarecrow-Making Workshop held on September 29 at 10am or 2pm. Once a familiar sight as a guardian of crops in the rural landscape, scarecrows are now more often seen as symbols of harvest time and Halloween. Try your hand at making a scarecrow, and learn about the fascinating history of scarecrows in New England, and around the world. Space is limited; pre- registration is required. Contact Faith Deering at 413-775-7116 or fdeering@historic-deerfield.org. Activity available with museum admission plus a $5 materials fee.

Studded with cloves and fragranced with cinnamon, an apple pomander historically served as a festive and decorative air freshener. (Courtesy photo)

Taking our cues from the seasonal changes around us,  the museum will feature a program about apples on November weekends, 12-4:30pmFrom Apples to Ornaments teaches about uses of apples and spices as you make an apple pomander to take home with you. From cider to pies to sauce, the bounty of fall apples has many uses. One way to use an apple is to preserve its fragrance and shape in the form of a pomander. Studded with cloves and fragranced with cinnamon, an apple pomander historically served as a festive and decorative air freshener.

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend learn about both Native and English histories. Friday, November 23 meet Narragansett descendant Jennifer Lee will talk about Native history and culture while demonstrating traditional bark-basket-making technology in a program called Native Traditions Past and Present. On Saturday November 24 we welcome Season of Thanks: Society of the 17th Century, a group of re-enactors who will bring our historic Hall Tavern building to life with an incredible array of period arts, crafts and trades. See redware pottery, spinning, lace making, herbal lore, quill pen writing, wood carving, basket making, and arms and armor.

Hearth Cooking demonstrations this season will focus both on recipes for fresh foods of the harvest, as well as some techniques for preservation (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Capture the holiday spirit this December by joining our cooks, guides, educators, and craftspeople in a month-long series of traditional festive activities. Starting Saturday, December 1, visitors can see daily “Sugar & Spice” open hearth cooking demonstrations, participate in hands-on “Giftmaking” activities, and enjoy seasonal decorations hung throughout the historic Hall Tavern (except December 24-25). Experience the warmth of the hearth and take in the aroma of sweet, savory, and spiced foods prepared in the open hearth. Make one of three gifts by hand to take home and give to someone special.

Weekends will offer additional activities including horse-drawn wagon rides, and a special “Silhouettes” event. Bundle up and tour the village aboard a wagon drawn by the beautiful horses of Karas Farm December 1–2, 8–9, and 15–16. Don’t miss artist Lauren Muney demonstrating the historic art of cutting likenesses from paper with just a pair of scissors on December 8–9.

For more information about Historic Deerfield visit www.historic-deerfield.org for a full calendar of events and visitor information, or call 413-775-7214.


Amanda Rivera LopezAmanda Rivera Lopez

Amanda is the Director of Museum Education at Historic Deerfield. She lives in Amherst with her family which includes an 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son.

One Comment on “11 Autumn Highlights at Historic Deerfield

  1. Historic Deerfield’s programs this fall highlight the handmade. At Historic Deerfield visitors can appreciate seeing the food grown and preserved right from the museum’s own Cooks’ Garden; pottery made by an artisan working with historic methods; or a stenciled artwork made by a museum visitor with the help of an educator. By learning about making things by hand in the past, visitors might also find inspiration in the present.

    Open Hearth Cooking: Foods of the Harvest
    Coordinator of the Open Hearth Cooking Program Claire Carlson described the focus on harvest: “Each year early New England families planned carefully to ensure that harvest time produced a balance of vegetables, herbs, and fruit to eat, preserve, and exchange.” During the demonstration visitors will learn about recipes for fresh foods of the harvest, as well as some techniques for preservation. September 29; Fridays and Saturdays October 5 through October 27; Sunday October 7 and Monday October 8. All demonstrations are 10am to 4pm and are included with general admission.

    Historic Trade Demonstrations
    Visitors will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work at close range. For example, see a joiner use a series of tools to square, shape and join separate pieces of wood into a single, strong window sash. Working with the heat of fiery coals, the blacksmith deftly transforms hard shapeless metal into a graceful, functional object. Check the calendar for a schedule of specific demonstrations which occur on Saturdays September 29 through Saturday November 3; and Sundays October 7 & 14. Demonstrations are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are included with general admission.

    Stencil Art
    “Stenciling provided a relatively affordable way to embellish interiors and objects, so we’ll be talking about that with museum visitors. Stenciling is also really satisfying to do, and produces images that are crisp and vivid,” explained Faith Deering, Museum Educator. Visitors will learn about the work of stencil artists who traveled from town to town taking commissions to decorate building interiors. Participants will be guided to make a beautiful and unique stenciled artwork to take home. Saturdays and Sundays September 29 through October 28, drop in any time between noon to 4:30 p.m.; included with General Admission.


    Historic Trade Demonstrations
    Saturdays 9/29/12 through 11/3/12, 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.;
    included with Historic Deerfield General Admission
    Saturday October 29: Redware Pottery, Stephen Earp (Apprentice’s Workshop)
    Saturday October 6:

    Tinsmithing, Bill McMillen (Hall Tavern)
    18th c. Cabinetmaking, Craig Farrow (Apprentice’s Workshop)

    Sunday October 7:

    Hatmaking, Bill Wigham
    Blacksmithing, Rick Martin (Stebbins house lawn)

    Saturday October 13:

    English ceramics, Don Carpentier; Architectural woodworking,
    Ted Ingraham (Apprentice’s Workshop)

    Sunday October 14: Silversmithing, Steve Smithers (Silver and Metalware Collection)

    Saturday October 20: With Needle in Hand, Linda Oakley; Shoemaking, Peter Oakley (Hall Tavern)

    Saturday October 27:

    Veneering with Jim Campbell (Apprentice’s Workshop)
    Paper Marbling with Regina and Dan St. John (History Workshop)

    Saturday, November 3 :

    Coopering, Neil Muckenhoupt (Hall Tavern)
    Stoneware Pottery, Mark Shapiro (Apprentice’s Workshop)

    Open Hearth Cooking: Foods of the Harvest
    September 29
    October: 5-7, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
    10 a.m. -4 p.m., Hall Tavern Kitchen

    Stencil Art
    Saturdays and Sundays, September 29-30 ; October 6-7, 13- 14, 20-21, 27- 28
    Drop in anytime between noon and 4:30, History Workshop

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