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Deerfield Potatoes Bag

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Laczynski Brothers farm was owned by one of Deerfield's many families of Polish descent. By 1900 Deerfield's population was almost one-fifth foreign born. The first Polish immigrants arrived in the Massachusetts counties of the Connecticut River Valley in the early 1890s. They were originally imported for farm labor by labor agents working in the major cities such as New York. By 1907, the foreign-born presence in rural Massachusetts was large enough to warrant concern. It was targeted for study by the Dillingham Commission, which eventually concluded that such immigration should be restricted. However, the commission also found that these immigrants made significant improvements to the land they rented and owned. Their descendents form an essential component of Pioneer Valley society to this day.


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