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Wooden signs were common in the 18th and 19th centuries to advertise taverns, shoemakers, blacksmiths, and other services. Although it is not entirely clear in the existing records, this sign apparently was used to mark the hotel operated by Austin or Augustus Boyden on Conway Road (now Route 116), on the Conway-Deerfield town line. Previously, the hotel had been a tavern run by Austin Hawks, who purchased the land in 1835 and died in 1841. Jonathan Hawks then apparently took over the tavern, running it for several years more. At some point in the late 1840s or early 1850s, Boyden began operating his hotel there; perhaps he rented the property from the other owners listed in the land records. By 1858 it was a private home, jointly owned by Julia M. Williams and Esther M. Ashley, and they owned it until Julia's death in 1881. Since then, it has remained in private hands. The property is still standing along State Route 116 in Deerfield.


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Sign-"A. Boyden's Hotel"

date   c. 1850
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   24.5"
width   38.75"
process/materials   iron, wood
item type   Public Announcements/Sign
accession #   #1982.19

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See Also...

Ashley-Williams House and Wagons/ A. Boyden Hotel

"Amherst House."

"A. Stratton" Tavern sign

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