Copyright Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA

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Sheldon House Door

This door once opened into the house built by John Sheldon in 1699. It bears the hatchet scars of the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, and has come to symbolize that event. Aware of the possibility of attack, Sheldon had fortified and strengthened the door. It is the most complete example surviving in New England from the 17th century. The house also survived the attack, but was taken down by the owners in 1848. At that time, residents began to question the fate of other relics from their past. This concern eventually resulted in the formation of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association and the opening of Memorial Hall Museum, where the "Old Indian House" door and other material evidence of the past could be safely housed and displayed. The Sheldon House door has been on public display since 1868. Through its presence, the memory of the 1704 raid on Deerfield remained alive, helping to foster an unusual degree of historical consciousness among residents and visitors.

Date: 1699 
Topic: Structures 
Materials: Wood, iron
Dimensions: H: 94.5 in. (240 cm.),W: 84 in. (213 cm.)  
Accession #: IR.001

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