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Best Local History & Culture in Springfield

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Chesterwood, located in Stockbridge, is the former summer home of the famed sculptor Daniel Chester French. Best known for his sculpture featured at Washington's Lincoln Memorial, Chester French also carved a bust of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and created works for the Russell Alger Memorial, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Boston Public Library. He died at Chesterwood October 7, 1931, and the house has since been turned into a museum and historical site. Chesterwood is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and is open to visitors from May to October. .

Come visit the birthplace of one of America's best-loved authors, Emily Dickinson, who was born here in December 1830. The famed poet spent most of her life here composing over 1800 poems. The property consists of two different residences that are open to the public: The Evergreens, home to Emily's brother Austin, and The Homestead, where she lived and where her numerous unpublished poems were found after her death. Visitors can see both houses through special guided and audio tours.

A series of 13 historic homes line Old Main Street in beautiful Deerfield, Massachusetts. Part of the campus of Deerfield Academy, Historic Deerfield allows visitors to tour the different homes to see what life was like during the 18th and 19th Centuries in this farming community. Deerfield also houses a working farm and garden, over 27,000 historic objects, and a comprehensive research library. The Flynt Center of Early New England Life is home to a variety of artwork and sits on several acres of lovely countryside. There is also a museum store that offers literature, trinkets and handicrafts relating to Deerfield's history.

Learn about the history of Springfield during the 19th and 20th Centuries at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History. This 40,000 square-foot (.9 acres) museum shows how the city developed during the Industrial Revolution as well as the city's place in American history. You can walk through interesting exhibits, like the Smith & Wesson Gallery of Firearms History, the John Brown, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Exhibit, and the Automobile Gallery. The museum also hosts fun events.

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