Bicentennial Book

As a part of the great bicentennial celebration of 1966, the town put together a spiral-bound souvenir book with 78 pages of articles written by people in the town. Topics covered much of Deerfield's present and rich past, and included photographs which capture moments of history. Copies of this book may be found in the collection of the Historical Society and the Philbrick-James Library.
Here are the introductory essay by Mildred Nowlan, a Tribute by Nancy Stevens, and a poem by Beatrice Robie. Scroll down to find links to other articles from the book.
[Reprinted on the web by permission of the Deerfield Select Board, Fall 2005]

A Word of Welcome

The people of the town of Deerfield would extend a word of welcome to all who have attended the Bi-Centennial celebration of the founding of the town. It may be that you are presently a resident of Deerfield, or perhaps you have lived here at one time. Perhaps you have never lived here, but your parents, or other ancestors were born and lived here. No matter in which group you find yourself, you will have some idea of what Deerfield has to offer in the way of gracious and wholesome living.

Deerfield has much of natural beauty, with opportunities for recreation, fellowship, and service, to any who will participate. Its natural beauty is evident in its hills and valleys, its brooks, ponds, and lakes. It is beautiful at any time of the year.

In the spring, the fresh green of the new year clothes the fields and hills. Summer brings a fuller, more mature green, with flourishing gardens and beautiful flowers; while the flaming reds, yellows and oranges of Autumn show a blaze of color at every turn of the road. Even in Winter there is beauty in the dark boughs and twigs that show against the pure white snow.

There are many ways to enjoy hours of recreation; walks in the woodlands; climbing some of the hills; horse-back riding for some, and swimming at the good beach at Veasey Park. In Winter, one can go skiing, sliding or skating.

Deerfield is a friendly town and there are many opportunities to enjoy fellowship with friends and neighbors. On occasions of joy, such as weddings, parties and other social events, there are always friends and neighbors to share the good times. If perchance misfortune or sorrow comes, these same friends will be ready with loving help and sympathy to make the burden lighter.

There are a number of Organizations, made up of folks of similar aims, tastes and interests, which offer hospitality and friendship, and so make one feel at home. There are groups which gather to pursue hobbies for those who like to paint, sew, or take part in some kind of activity that is of interest to them.

There is also the church which offers a spiritual home with opportunity for worship, a fine Sunday School, and an active group of Young People. There is the challenge of service in all these different avenues of fellowship.

The English poet John Donne, wrote "No man is an island." Deerfield is not an island, as we know that the kind of life that is lived here has its influences on our State and our nation.

We welcome you to join with us in our celebration of 200 years of good living in Deerfield, with a desire to have it continue on for many years.

Mildred Nowlan


A TRIBUTE

The residents of Deerfield in the past two hundred years, must have been God-fearing, home loving, hard working citizens to have been responsible for our churches, town hall, schools, large colonial homes, tilling of the land, raising of large families, and forming of organizations for the betterment of our town, and the choosing of responsible and intellectual people for town offices. They must have been people of vision, true to God, faithful to a purpose and interested in the future of Deerfield.

These residents had their loves and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their triumphs and failures, their hard work and joyous play, in sickness and in health. Their earliest, fondest desires were to have churches, schools and an honorable form of government.

How fortunate for us to have enlightened people, endowed with vision, at its helm. May our generation and succeeding generations be God-fearing, law-abiding, and loyal, with gratitude in their hearts for the precious gifts of our ancestors, such as, their heroic lessons in daring, their persistent endurance, unfailing fortitude, and abounding love and faith.

May we, at this time of celebrating the bicentennial of the town of Deerfield, in 1966, be as dedicated and as deserving of the priceless heritage bestowed upon us and may God bless our town in the years ahead.

Nancy Tilton Stevens Member of Historical Committee

TO DEERFIELD

To the people of Deerfield, on this, your anniversary as a town
Through two hundred years of working, building, and as you look around
Seeing the fruits of your labors, planting and turning the sod
With faith and courage, and love of God.
Your town and others fought with strong backs, and willing hands
Paying in lives, fighting the Indian bands
And for Independence, so as to breathe free
To make this land safe for you and me.
Through blood, sweat and sorrow
Building, always building for a brighter tomorrow
Carrying on with fortitude, and vision, a glorious heritage
As your forefathers did in that long ago age.
When you go to the hills, thank God, for all around you see
For this is America, the cradle of liberty
The little brooks tumbling o'er rocks and rills
And viewed from those templed hills.
On the horizon, the shining seas
The natural elements, the beauty of yon lakes and trees The meeting house, the church, the steeple
Outlined against the sky, bells that rang out calling the people.
To hear the minister preach God's word,
Each in his own time, through the years can be heard Some in the churchyard are sleeping
While the hills, their watch are keeping.
The old fort, the stage coach, the inn, landmarks new and old
A small part 'tis true, but together we make America bold.

Beatrice J. Robie

Browse other articles from the Bicentennial Book:

The Early Years of the Congregational Church
"My Years in Deerfield" by Rev. Ivan S. Nowlan
Deerfield Parade
South Deerfield
Coffeetown and Rand's Corner
Old Center Cemetery
Country Doctors
Benjamin Butler
Col. Joseph Hilton
A 50 Year History of the Post Office