(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The Hadley Chest was a piece of furniture made in the late 1600s and early 1700s in the Puritan communities of the Connecticut River Valley. Within fifty years of their manufacture they fell out of style and were often forgotten, their heavy lines and ornate carvings disregarded. In the 1870s they were rediscovered and a region-wide search began that eventually located about 250 pieces. The new appreciation of the Hadley Chest came in part from the Arts and Crafts movement, which valued hand-made goods over machine-made and appreciated the intense craftsmanship of the Hadley chests. The Arts and Crafts movement had a number of practitioners in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where in the late 1800s or early 1900s Dr. E.C. Thorne and Caleb Allen made this Hadley-style chest. The Allen Sisters, local residents and noted photographers, photographed their handiwork.