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Chronicling Deerfield History

One of my passions has always been history, so when Ted asked me if I’d want to join him in creating a cemetery tour for the Deerfield Historical Cemetery, my answer was a very enthusiastic “YES!”

Deerfield has an extremely interesting history peopled by some colorful characters, and we had a lot of fun researching them. Much of the early goings-on in Deerfield were faithfully chronicled by Marie Ward Reichelt in her book The History of Deerfield, which was printed in 1928.

Deerfield Cemetery Tour PhotoReichelt, who is herself buried in the Deerfield Historical Cemetery, infused her history of Deerfield with her own special flair that made it extremely enjoyable to learn about our local history. Of Silas Wooster Sherman and his son Joel, she assures us that they were “very handsome men, especially the son in the full flush of youth and health, with long dark hair, flashing black eyes, and clothes that no local tailor made.”[1]

She also railed against ever changing the names of Wilmot School or Road in such descriptive detail – “The Wilmot school and Wilmot road were named for Lyman Wilmot, who was a leader in and example to the community. His name should ever be honored in Deerfield by retaining it on school and road. No such fancy, meaningless name as Sunset Lane should replace Wilmot Road”[2] — that it makes me glad to note that both the road and the elementary school retain the name of Wilmot. I think she would be pleased.

Marie Ward Reichelt poured her heart and soul into her book. Noted in her author biography at the front is the fact that “No one, except Mrs. Reichelt, will ever know the effort it has been to finish it [The History of Deerfield], and the amount of time and patience it has taken.”[3] We are truly indebted to her, as her thorough investigation into the early days of Deerfield made our task a lot easier!

This is only a snippet of what Deerfield’s history has to offer! If you want to know more about the town’s past through the stories of some of the people buried in the Deerfield Historical Cemetery, we still have a few spots remaining in our Saturday afternoon tour on October 24 at 2:30 p.m. Sign up now!

[1] Reichelt. The History of Deerfield, Glenview Press, 1928. 134.

[2] Ibid, 115.

[3] Ibid, Author Biography.

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