Main Street, also known as Old Main Street or simply “The Street,” cuts a vertical line through the center of campus, effectively dividing it into eastern and western quadrants. Dormitories, faculty houses, and the Main School Building meld seamlessly with the colonial houses of Historic Deerfield—the past and present alive and well, side by side. It is not uncommon to see tourists snapping pictures of dormitories such as Pocumtuck or Mather, as they assume these sturdy younger cousins to be a part of the museum village’s collection.
Although it is set back from the road, it is nearly impossible to miss the Main School Building, with its ionic columns and ivy-covered brick walls. Construction of the MSB began in the spring of 1930. It was called an “act of faith” on the part of Headmaster Frank Boyden, as the Academy had less than half the money needed to complete the project in hand when ground was broken. Nevertheless, overcoming trials and set-backs, the Main School Building was ready for students in October of 1931. Today it houses classrooms and several administrative offices, including the Admission Office and the office of the Head of School.
The Manse, whose elegant facade faces the First Church of Deerfield, (The Brick Church), is home to Head of School Margarita Curtis, her husband Dr. Manning Curtis, and their lively yellow Lab, Friday. On warm fall afternoons when she’s not in her office in the MSB or teaching an advanced Spanish class, Mrs. Curtis might be seen tossing a tennis ball for Friday in the Manse’s front yard or heading off to the Rock with her faithful companion by her side. Perched on The Street’s highest point, the Manse was purchased by the Academy in 1928, but didn’t become the Head of School’s residence until 1980, when David Pynchon was Headmaster.
Peppered up and down The Street are faculty residences, privately owned homes, a working farm, the town’s Post Office, Historic Deerfield’s J.G. Pratt Museum Store, the Deerfield Inn, and of course, numerous museum houses. The Street itself is only a mile long but its history and beauty are boundless. Each season brings its own delights, and The Street shares them freely with those who stroll its length.