The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Historic Deerfield

Following in the bloody footsteps of 1675.

A friend of mine recently lent me Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Phillips War to read. Written by the distinguished historian Douglas Edward Leach (1920-2003) it is considered a classic of colonial New England history. Published in 1958, the copy I read was published in 1966. As you can see (click photo to enlarge) the book sold then for $2.45. Now 1966 editions are sold online for thirty bucks!

It is a good book, well researched and a good read, although it shows its age in the extent to which it favors the settlers over the Indians, who are repeatedly referred to as "savages." Today we have a bit more sympathy for the Indian side of the story.

Of special interest to me was the sections of the book dealing with the Indian attacks which occurred here in our Valley, such as the attacks on Deerfield, Springfield, and Brookfield. Here is a map from the book of our Valley as it appeared in the 1600's: (click to enlarge)

This afternoon a friend and I went up to Deerfield to check out the scene of the Indian attack there that occurred in 1675, in which 60 people were killed. Today it is a place still filled with historic buildings.

Everywhere you turn there are marvels of old New England architecture.

This window was filled with beautiful specimens of antique glass.

Here is the famous monument erected to honor the fallen.

According to this history website:

Erected in 1838 to commemorate the September 18, 1675 "Bloody Brook" attack, this marble obelisk remembers the soldiers and Deerfield, Massachusetts, townsmen who were killed near what is now South Deerfield during King Philip's War (1675-1676). The town had been burned on September 12 by Metacom's (King Philip's) forces. On September 18, the men had returned to remove their grain to safety. The ambush occurred as they crossed over Muddy (Bloody) Brook with their wagons en route to the mill in Hadley.

Nearby is the infamous Bloody Brook itself.

It is sobering to reflect on that tragic day when this gently bubbling brook flowed red with our forefather's blood.

On the way back we stopped at Bub's Barbecue, where you are invited to "Pig-out in Style."

In front of Bub's was this giant blob of a pumpkin.

I recommend you stop by Deerfield when you get a chance, and relive this exciting chapter from our Valley's rich history.

Meanwhile in downtown Amherst this morning the High School soccer team was barely dressed for their fundraising bake sale.

Finally, a friend of mine got this song for his cellphone ring, which is either one of the craziest things I've ever heard or one of the coolest. Perhaps both.

Have you seen the saucers?
Have you seen the saucers?
Do you know there are people out there,
who are unhappy with the way that we care,
for the Earth Mother?
Have you seen the saucers?
Tranquility base, there goes the neighborhood;
American garbage dumped in space,
and no room left for brotherhood.
Have you seen the saucers?
You see the lights in your western skies,
California's rainbow skies;
Our government tells you another missle is flying;
Have you any idea why they're lying to you,
to your faces!
Did they tell you?
Have you seen the saucers?
Your mother needs you now she's getting old
Her face was pretty but you let her go!
Have you seen the saucers?
Star children on the back road to salvation;
Children of the forest and child of the Woodstock nation;
You've got to care for the needs of your planet;
Catch the dawn that once was there;
First born atomic generation;
Open the door,
don't you know that's what it's for?
Come on and join us,
on the other side of the sun.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Isn't that a great fall destination? There's something about autumn that brings out the 'historic' in historic New England. There's a very old graveyard near the end of the main road there, and a lot of the gravestones are dated from the Indian attack...