Suffield is located in a region that was purchased from the native inhabitants in 1670 by Englishman John Pynchon, who came to New England with his father 40 years earlier, took over the family business interests and became a wealthy and powerful landowner. Tobacco was an important early crop, so much so that in 1727 it was used as legal tender. Although tobacco growing in the Connecticut Valley has been greatly curtailed in the centuries since, the appearance of a white tent in a shade-grown tobacco field is a telltale sign of summer.
Main Street, a designated historic district with a green, churches and restored Colonial and Victorian homes, is the very picture of a New England town. Take a stroll along the street, which is lined with imposing 19th-century mansions. The Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden , 55 S. Main St., offers tours. The walls of the north wing feature hand-blocked French wallpaper dating back to the 1790s; phone (860) 668-0055.