(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The Ensign John Sheldon house in Deerfield, Massachusetts, achieved local fame for its role in the French and Indian attack on the town in 1704. The decision in 1847 by its owner to demolish the house and erect a new dwelling in its place stimulated one of the earliest recorded preservation movements in the United States. Appeals for donations to purchase and preserve the "Indian House" failed to raise enough money. The house was razed in 1848, save for a few architectural fragments, including a door with a hole hacked in it during the 1704 Deerfield Raid. Participants in this initial preservation effort went on to found the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and to preserve other local buildings, artifacts and documents. George Washington Mark was one of many people who came to view this famous local landmark. He painted the old "Indian House" just before it was demolished.