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May 8, 2020 Laurie Nivison

A Message from Historic Deerfield President Philip Zea

May 8, 2020

Deerfield, Massachusetts

Dear Friends of Deerfield:

I am saddened to tell you this morning that Peter Spang passed away in his sleep at home in Beverly, Massachusetts, the night before last after several surgeries to repair a broken hip. There will be a memorial service in Deerfield when COVID-19 allows. For those of you who never knew Peter, he was the founding Curator of Historic Deerfield who began work for Henry and Helen Flynt in October 1959. Peter was first and foremost a steward of his adopted town. He valued tradition, collectors, and collecting anything–especially ocean liner memorabilia and ancient architectural pattern books, the latter now housed in our Joseph Peter Spang III Rare Book Room at the Memorial Libraries. Peter mentored every one of our Historic Deerfield Summer Fellows from the 1950s to the 2010s–about 450 of us. He mentored generations of staff members as well at both Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association. He was a long-time trustee of both organizations. He was our institutional memory, our storyteller, and our supporter in any way possible. America’s Town is always a product of its people. Usually there is one, generation by generation, who brands what is important to remember. In Deerfield for the past sixty years that person is Peter Spang.

Philip Zea

President & CEO

Peter Spang
Peter Spang with the 2011 class of Summer Fellows in front of the Allen House.