“The sun has come again with power, the days are longer, birds sing, buds swell, the dancing waters are musical in the valleys, while peeping flowers and springing grass invite us forth to breathe the sweet airs of the new-born year.”
So began the article “April Work” in an 1860 edition of the journal New England Farmer. At Historic Deerfield, our spring tasks aren’t the same as those recommended to the rural New Englanders of over 150 years go. We don’t get our potatoes in the ground early, set up our asparagus beds, nor plow. But the same spirit of renewal and preparation holds sway for us as we prepare to receive our own favorite crop: visitors! Curatorial is busy resetting collections and cleaning historic spaces with very soft brushes that would never work for historic agriculture, while Museum Education is planning programming and events, training Guides, and resetting other spaces that have been dormant all winter.
Historic Deerfield reopens to the public on Saturday, April 16th 2022. We are delighted to anticipate that the museum will be operating at our normal levels, too. In 2020, in response to COVID, we were forced to restrict our opening to a few key historic houses, as well as the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, and only open for the weekends. When we opened in 2021, we did so for a reduced season, although we were able to reopen most of our spaces. Now, in 2022, we are able to reopen at our normal time of the year, and will be open to the public Wednesday to Sunday, plus Holiday Mondays. As usual, not every building will be open on every day, but we are confident that most of our beloved spaces will be open to the public (although visitors are ALWAYS encouraged to check the website or call in advance to confirm the day’s offerings).
We’re also planning a wonderful series of events and experiences. Our new exhibition Grow Up! The New England Child, 1700-1900 opened March 19 , and the History Workshop will have a theme of play and exploration to accompany this. On Saturday, April 23rd, Historic Deerfield will welcome different groups of reenactors and demonstrators to our site, portraying life in the build-up to the American Revolution. On May 13th, 14th, and 15th, Historic Deerfield will be transformed by Sheep on the Street, our celebration of Heritage Breed Sheep. We’ll have pens of unique breeds—Merino, Lincoln Longwool, and Shetland—while a flock of Gulf Coast demonstrate sheepdog techniques. Demonstrations of spinning, dying, carding, weaving, and other important wool processing techniques will be present, as well as lots of hands-on opportunities and make-and-take crafts for the family. Lastly, our Open Hearth Cooking program will explore fireplace cookery equipment as well as cooking with tasty spring lamb!
Spring is a season of renewal and restoration. One of the best moments of renewal for us each year is welcoming visitors back to the Street with the fresh green buds on the trees. We hope you’ll be amongst them!
 New England Farmer, vol.XII, No.4 (April, 1860).