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Old Indian House Door on Exhibit

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Old Indian House, built by Ensign John Sheldon in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1699, takes its name from the 1704 Deerfield Raid carried out by French and Native American forces from Canada. The house was one of those to survive the attack, but was taken down by the owners in 1848. A campaign to save the house, now believed to be one of America's first preservation efforts, failed in 1847 when the committee was unable to raise the necessary funds. When the house came down, the door with its hatchet scars and a number of other architectural features were saved. Until Memorial Hall opened in 1880, and the door could be permanently housed as the Museum's most significant relic, it had its own Board of Trustees and was, for a time, on view in one of Deerfield's hotels. One of only two 17th-century doors in existence in this country, it has been on public display since 1868.


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