Deerfield — Minor Localities

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      That events to be described may be more easily understood, a brief notice of minor localities is necessary. The "Street" or "Old Street," about one mile long, was laid out in 1671. The plateau on which it is located is inclosed by meadows on three sides, with the Pocomptuck range on the east. Two miles to the north, beyond Pocomptuck River, lies ""Cheapside," the northern part, along the 8000-acre line, being now called "Green River." The "Green River" of this narrative is the present Greenfield. "Bloody Brook" (South Deerfield) lies three and a half miles from the street, extending two miles south to the Whately line. West to the Conway line lies "Mill River," and on the east is "Wequamps," called by the white folks "Sugar-Loaf," which gives a name to the district east to the Connecticut River. Midway between the street and Bloody Brook is "Wapping," with "Turnip Yard" to the southeast of it, and "Mill" and "Bars" west; and still west-ward "Stebbins' Meadow," "Still-Water," and "Hoosick," reaching to Conway line. From the street, over the Pocomptuck west, lies "Wisdom," and over the Pocomptuck Mountains northeast is "Great River," and southeast "Pine Nook." North of the Street lies "North Meadows," and south of it "South Meadows."
      To answer frequent inquiry as to the origin of these names, some information may be given. "Cheapside," because land lying beyond the Pocomptuck, and less easy of access, had a lower valuation. "Bloody Brook," from the massacre of Lothrop and the "Flower of Essex." "Mill Run," from the first occupied mill-site on the stream by which the district is traversed. "Sugar-Loaf," from the shape of Wequamps as seen from the south. "Wapping" (first Plumtree Plain), supposed from a suburb of London. "Mill," from the location of the famous grist-mill of the Stebbins Brothers. "Bars," where the common field-fence crossed the road to Hatfield; in this fence was a set of slip-bars, for the accommodation of travelers. In the early days of our history cattle were fenced out instead of in. "Turnip Yard;" the lands about Wequamps and east to the Connecticut were held in common for a sheep-range by the proprietors of Pocomptuck. A field was doubtless inclosed here, where the shepherd could cultivate turnips for fall feed to his charge. "Hoosick," probably a corruption of the Pocomptuck "Sunsick." "Wisdom;" says tradition, from an early settler named Wise, whose character hardly kept up the reputation of his name. "Great River" lies three miles along the Connecticut River. "Pine Nook" was an Indian "Coassit," where the settlers made tar and turpentine for a market down the river.
      "Pine Hill," an eminence of 50 acres in the centre of North Meadows. "Petty's Plain," a terrace to the north of Pine Hill, across the Pocomptuck, at the south side of which comes down "Sheldon's Brook" to the river. "Hearthstone Brook" enters the river 100 rods below Cheapside bridge. "Sheldon's Rocks" project half-way across the Connecticut, 40 rods below the mouth of the Pocomptuck. "Fort Hill," east of the street, was the last stronghold of the Pocomptucks north of Hatfield.

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03 Aug 2005