David Humphreys House -  Home of Derby Historical Society

Derby Historical Society
“Celebrating a Proud Past and a Promising Future”

Founded April 18, 1946, to serve the Naugatuck Valley towns of Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, & Shelton

 Office: Sarah Riggs Humphreys House (gray house behind the Humphreys House)
37 Elm Street Ansonia, CT 06401
Telephone: (203)735-1908
General questions & research inquiries
: info@derbyhistorical.org

Office & Research Library Hours:
Monday through Friday 1 pm to 4 pm  - David Humphreys House is open Monday through Friday 2 pm to 3:30 pm by appointment



 Tours of the Humphreys House and Derby Junction Train Display Monday through Friday from 2 pm - 3:30 pm - BY ADVANCE APPOINTMENT ONLY
Suggested Donation:
$5: adults
$3: seniors & students
Free: children under 8

Like us on Facebook: Derby Historical Society  and  follow us on Twitter @DerbyHistorical

Ansonia celebrated its 125th anniversary last year! Visit the Ansonia 125th Facebook page for events that took place and other information.
In the meantime, study up on your knowledge of Ansonia history with the following links:

The Birth and Naming of Ansonia in the 1840s

The Creation of the City of Ansonia and today's Valley in 1888-1889

Other Ansonia links collected on DHS.org

Upcoming Events


Derby Historical Society's 25th Annual Appeal Reception was held on  Monday, November 16, 2015, 5 pm to 7 pm at Molto Bene in Ansonia  Thank you to all who attended and supported this event.  Martha Dulla-Andrade  received the DHS John I. Howe Award for her service to the community.  Our speaker was Carolyn Ivanoff, DHS Board Member who presented on The Hulls of Derby.  Our Facebook page will be updated with pictures and articles about this successful on this event!  Derby Historical Society   Your support is greatly appreciated - you can still send in donations to support the DHS!!  Please e-mail or call the office 203-735-1908 or e-mail us at  info@derbyhistorical.org  The link below is to Carolyn's article from CT Explored  The Hulls Of Derby: Different Trajectories In War Of 1812;   http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/courant-250/moments-in-history/hc-250-isaac-hull-0511-20140510,0,3221518,full.story 

Christmas Fair & Cookie Walk, Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 11 am to 2 pm at the General David Humphreys House -  Come join us for some holiday shopping and "home baked" cookies all in one wonderful historic house!  We look forward to seeing you!  This event supports our restoration project fundraising efforts!!

Twelfth Night Celebration at the General David Humphreys House, Sunday, January 3,  2016 1 pm to 4 pm.   Please join us for our Annual Twelfth Night Celebration to mark the end of the Christmas Season.  This event features tours of our 17th century house by costumed docents.   Guests can enjoy samples of the delicious items prepared by our talented docents over the open hearth.  It will truly be a  memorable afternoon.   Please check out our Facebook page to see photos from last year's event. Derby Historical Society

Recent Events and News


The Derby Historical Society has received a generous $20,000 grant from the Persbacker Family Foundation toward the restoration project at the General David Humphreys House & Museum.  The grant will help us to "Preserve Our Place in History".  The Persbacker Family Foundation has also given us an opportunity to receive an additional $30,000 in matching funds.  We will be launching a Restoration Campaign in the very near future, reaching out to our Community to support us in our efforts to "Preserve Our Place in History".  More information to follow on this exciting venture!!


DHS Receives Grant For Humphreys House Restoration Assessment

The Derby Historical Society was awarded up to $7,200 for a condition assessment of the General David Humphreys House (1698). The condition assessment report and architectural plans and specifications will address the challenges facing the Derby Historical Society in determining the scope and direction of their restoration efforts in preserving the deteriorated siding and exterior trim, suspected framing and structural issues, and thermal envelope and environmental systems efficiency. Mason Lord of Hudson Valley Preservation will be completing the condition assessment. Hudson Valley Preservation offers a wide range of services from the assessment and restoration of historic structures, to completion of grant and National Register applications, to design, renovation, and remodeling on buildings of all ages.

The house is in need of structural preservation funds to continue to serve the community as a museum and an education center for students from the five towns of the lower Naugatuck Valley and beyond. The David Humphreys House is a living museum incorporating elements of Lower Naugatuck Valley history from the pre-colonial, colonial, revolutionary, and federal periods. During the school year, the house hosts fifth grade classes for the Society’s acclaimed Day in 1762 Program, an interactive, educational, role-playing program that has allowed thousands of school children to experience colonial life as David Humphreys would have when he was their age. At the check presentation held on August 7 State Representative, Linda Gentile, was awestruck by the community pride and history the David Humphreys House offers to those in the surrounding area and is supportive of the restoration.

Open Hearth Cooking, Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 1 pm to 4 pm at the General David Humphreys House -    Please join us for one of our most favorite Fall events!  Enjoy demonstrations by our talented docents of Open Hearth Cooking.  Seasonal favorites will be prepared over our roaring fire.  Tours of the Humphreys House are available.  Our gift shop will be stocked and ready for your shopping needs.  Pick up a book on local history or an old fashioned toy for your favorite youngster *no batteries required*.    We also have soy candles, natural soaps, and historical calendars all made locally in Ansonia and Derby.  Refreshments will be served.  Cost $5 per person.

Derby Historical Society's Annual Silver Tea - Monday, July 13, 2015 at Molto Bene Restaurant, Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia - SAVE THE DATE:  Our 25th Annual Silver Tea was held on July 13, 2015 at Molto Bene Restaurant in Ansonia from 2:00-4:30 pm.  Thank you to all who attended and supported this wonderful event!  It was a great success fro the Derby Historical Society.  Our speaker was Sheryl Faye, of Sheryl Faye presents Historical Women (www.sherylfaye.com).  Sheryl portrayed Helen Keller - Champion of the Disabled - written from Helen's mind eye.  Ms. Faye re-enacted Helen's full life from her childhood through her discovery of language when she was seven years old, through college, and the writing of her twelve books.  She showed the audience how Helen spoke and read in Braille.  She inspired us to be the best we can be with the talents we possess. 

Connecticut Open House Day - June 13, 2015 at the General David Humphreys House:  Our Connecticut Open House Day celebration at the General David Humphreys House was Saturday, June 13, 2015 from 12 pm to 4 pm.  Many visitors took of the museum and historic district, watched demonstrations of colonial crafts and skills, and much more.  We opened our newest addition, an on-site building that houses "Derby Junction", which is a layout depicting the cities of Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton @ 1918.  This wonderful layout was donated to us by Mr. Benjamin Bacon in 2001.  Thanks to our Docents, Board Members & Volunteers who helped us make this day a success!  Special thanks to the 6th CT for spending the day with us and their demonstrations of musket firing.

The Derby Historical Society participated in the Great Give 2015  a 36 hour online giving event! 
Thank you for your support of the Derby Historical Society & The General David Humphreys House & Museum during the Great Give 2015!  We raised over $4,000 in donations!   We couldn't have done it without you!  We would like to thank our donors:  Cyndi Poppa, James E. Cohen, Mary J. Mycek, Janis Yakimovich, Elsie Valeski, Barbara Jean Garofalo, The Conklin-Sherman Company, Judith Augusta, Maria Douglas, Brewster LaMacchia, Elaine Brandon, Jody Bishel, Lee Berchem, Mia DiStasi, Melissa Chop, Tim Dillon, Carolyn Ivanoff, Randy Ritter, Paul Simpson, Kevin Henri, Duane Beck, Michael Ryan, Marian O'Keefe, Michael Hokanson, Paula Norton, Sandy Mendyk, Lorraine Adinolfi, John J. Walsh, Christine Conroy, Albert Misiewicz, George Norton & The Frey Hershey Foundation!  They, along with 2 anonymous donors helped us truly make it a "Great Give"!!

DHS Annual Meeting, March 8, 2015   The Derby Historical Society held our Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 8th at 2 pm at the First Congregational Church, 137 Derby Avenue, Derby.  The meeting began with a brief business portion to elect our new Officers and Board of Directors and the presentation of awards.  Society Building Committee Chair, Albert Misiewicz, Jr., & Project Manager, John Poole, gave a presentation on our Restoration Project of the General David Humphreys House & Museum.  Mason Lord, of Hudson Valley Preservation, the firm that completed a conditions assessment of the Humphreys House, joined them m in the presentation.  They discussed the project and proposed plan of action and entertained questions regarding the project.  Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the program.  Membership renewals can still be sent to Derby Historical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT  06401.  We encourage you to renew your membership to continue to help us in our mission to preserve the Valley's history and culture.  Thank you for you support!!

Twelfth Night Celebration at the General David Humphreys House, Sunday, January 11, 2015 1 pm to 4 pm.   Thanks to all who joined us for our Twelfth Night Celebration to mark the end of the Christmas Season.  This event featured tours of our 17th century house by costumed docents.   We had such a wonderful turnout!  Many guests enjoyed samples of the delicious items that were prepared by our talented docents over the open hearth.  Thank you to all who helped to make this a very successful and memorable afternoon.   Please check out our Facebook page to see photos from this event. Derby Historical Society

Christmas Fair, Sunday, December 7, 2014, 10 am to 3 pm at the General David Humphreys House.   Thank you for supporting our Christmas Fair.  It was a lovely event and many people came to enjoy the house and the delicious cookies.  Special thanks to all who helped us at this event!  We look forward to seeing you at our 2015 events!

24th Annual Appeal & Reception, Monday, November 24, 2014, 5 pm to 7 pm at Grassy Hill Lodge, Derby.   Thank you to all who donated and attended our Annual Appeal.  The event was very well attended.  The recipient of the Dr. John Ireland Howe Award was local business man Mr. Ned Miller.  Thank you to Ned for his generous donation to the Derby Historical Society.   Our guest speakers were Archaeologist Gerald Sawyer and colleagues from Central Connecticut State University,  Dr. Warren Perry and Janet Woodruff.  They presented their findings to date at the "Freeman Site" former Derby home of Black Governor Roswell Freeman.  There is still time to make a donation to the Society so that we can continue to preserve and bring history to life.  Donations are made payable to the Derby Historical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT  06401.   Follow the link to our Facebook page to see our letter and brochure for this event Derby Historical Society

Open House & Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Sunday, November 16, 2014, 1 pm to 4 pm at the General David Humphreys House

Thank you to all who joined us for our Open House which featured an Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration.   Docents cooked seasonal pies & puddings over the Open Hearth.  Many guests enjoyed samples of these delicious items along with a cup of cider.  Tours of the historic house & neighborhood were very well attended.  Thank you to the Board Members Elaine B., Kevin H., John P., and Felicia M. and to our Deputy Director, Paula,  for attending the event.  Thanks to Tina, our Education Leader for all her hard work in helping with planning and finding the recipes that were such a hit!  Thank you to our Docents, Jody, Tara, Sandy and Lorraine and our Jr. Docents, Rebecca, Ryan, Matthew, Matthew, Quentin, Aine and Millie.  Last but not least, thank you to our volunteers, Susanne, Carol,  Rosalie & Allegra for all your help!    All proceeds will go towards the renovation fund.

Recipes from this event are posted on our Facebook page  Derby Historical Society

24th Annual DHS Silver Tea (featuring Deborah Samson Gannett) - Monday, July 14th  Thank you to all who joined us for our 24th Annual Silver Tea on Monday, July 14th, from 2:00 – 4:30 pm, at Molto Bene (formerly JJ Sullivan’s), 557 Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia, CT. Our guest speaker was   Deborah Samson Gannett, who presented A Revolution of Her Own, performed by Judith Kalaora. Deborah, the first woman to enlist in, fight in and to be honorably discharged from the American Military, captivated the audience. Judith brought her to life, through interactive story-telling and authentic attire. Her passion took us all  back in time!


DHS at the Memorial Day Parades:


Sharing upcoming events for David Loda, the DHS designated Col. David Humphreys

David Humphreys will be represented in the Wethersfield Memorial Day parade and the Deane Webb museum reenactment battle.  See links below 



Dave Loda promoting LTC David Humphreys, Derby Historical Society and the Dean Webb Museum encampment in Olde Wethersfield on Channel 3:

Older news and events have been moved to the DHS Archived News And Events page

Visit the Humphreys House Gift Shop!

Click here for details


This website began in 1998 as part of the Electronic Valley Project, linking the towns of the Lower Naugatuck Valley to the World.
Initial funding was provided by the SNET Museums for the Millennium Project.

City of Derby Home Page

The Electronic Valley

Sigill Civitat Ansonia In Repub. Connecticutensi *1893*
City of Ansonia Home Page

Made possible with the support of Savage Joy Corporation


The Naugatuck River Valley (comprised of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour and Shelton) was chosen as an All-America City in 2000.

Copyright © 2001-2014 by Derby Historical Society.
All trademarks or product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Updated November 20, 2015

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