Indian House Children’s Museum, Deerfield, Massachusetts

The Indian House Children’s Museum on Old Main Street in Deerfield, on July 24, 1930. Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library; photographed by Leon Abdalian.

The house in 2023:

This house was built in 1929 as a replica of the John Sheldon House, also known as the Old Indian House. The original house had been built in 1696, and it stood a little to the north of here, behind the modern-day First Church. It was a famous Deerfield landmark for having survived the 1704 French and Native American raid on the village.

Despite its historical significance, the old house was demolished in 1848, but its loss eventually spurred the construction of this replica more than 80 years later. It was built using traditional construction methods, and this site on Old Main Street was chosen in part because of the large elm tree on the left, which was similar to the elm that once stood in front of the original house.

The first photo was taken about a year after the replica house opened, and not much has changed here in this scene since then, aside from the loss of the elm tree, which likely fell victim to Dutch Elm Disease in the mid-20th century. The house itself is still here, and it is run by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association as the Indian House Children’s Museum.

2 thoughts on “Indian House Children’s Museum, Deerfield, Massachusetts”

  1. I read in an online historical narrative about the 1701 raid that the Hoyt family was connected in some way to this house at the time of that raid and after. Is that true?


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