(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The roots of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association lay in two important events: the distress of some residents of Deerfield, Massachusetts, to the destruction of John Sheldon's "Indian House" in 1848, and the erection of the Civil War monument in the town in 1867, one of the country's first such memorials. In 1869, George Sheldon, a descendent of John and a leading citizen of the town, sought to make a sort of permanent celebration of Deerfield's heritage. He began a series of articles in the Greenfield Gazette and Courier calling for more attention to Deerfield's past. Here he refers to a barely marked mass grave for the victims of the 1704 raid on Deerfield and demands a more substantial monument. Although there was some local resistance, by 1870 these calls had been met by the founding of the Memorial Association, an organization that continues to this day. The monument Sheldon called for in this 1869 article was at last dedicated in July 1901.