Deerfield, a town of Franklin co., Massachusetts, on the W. bank of the Connecticut, at its junction with Deerfield river, and on the Connecticut River railroad, 90 m. W. by N. of Boston; pop. in 1870, 3,632. It was settled in 1670, and is the seat of an academy. The principal village is situated on a plain nearly 100 ft. below the general level of the Connecticut valley. It is regularly built, and the main street is shaded with fine trees. A bridge, 750 ft. long and 90 ft. above the water, spans the Deerfield river. Deerfield mountain, rising 700 ft. above the plain, commands an extensive view. On the bank of the Connecticut, in the S. part of the town, Sugar Loaf mountain, a conical peak of red sandstone, rises to a height of 500 ft. About a mile N. W. of this is the village of Bloody Brook, or South Deerfield, the scene of an Indian massacre in 1675, when Capt. Thomas Lathrop and 76 of the 84 men under his command were slain, having fallen into an ambuscade while transporting stores to Hadlev. A stone slab marks the spot where Lathrop and about 30 of his men were buried, and in 1838 a marble monument was erected in front of one of the churches.
In the winter of 1704 Deerfield was attacked in the night by a party of French and Indians, and all but the church and one dwelling was burned; 36 of the inhabitants were killed, and 108, including the minister, the Rev. John Williams, and his family, were made captive. Of these, 13 were slain in the fields after leaving the town, and the rest were hurried on foot through the wilderness to Canada; some died, and some, unable to keep up, were killed on the way. Those who survived were released in the autumn of 1706; but the youngest daughter of Mr. Williams remained with the Indians, and subsequently married a chief of the tribe. In the following year Mr. Williams published "The Redeemed Captive," an interesting account of his adventures. Among other relics of the Indian wars, an old door of massive woodwork, bearing tomahawk scars and bullet holes, is still preserved. It is the sole remnant of the blockhouse which the early settlers built for protection against the savages.