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

The Research Office and David Humphreys House will be closed on January 23, 2017!!!

 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:  1:00 - 4:00 pm


 Tours of the Humphreys House  -  Monday through Friday  from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm by advance appointment please
Suggested Donation:
$5: adults
$3: seniors & students
Free: children under 8

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

Please consider the Derby Historical Society in your Legacy and Estate Planning

Upcoming Events 

Be sure to check back soon for our 2017 Calendar of Events!!!

Annual 12th Night Celebration at the David Humphreys House, January 8, 2017  Thanks to all who joined us for our Annual 12th Night Celebration at the David Humphreys House on Sunday, January 8, 2017 from 12:30 pm to 4 pm.  Tours of  the historic house, samplings of some of the foods that were enjoyed in the 18th Century, and a wonderful Dickens Reading at 3 pm took place during the event.  We raised over $300 in proceeds to benefit our Restoration Project and A Day in 1762 Program.   We hope that you enjoyed our celebration!! Pictures from the event can be found by clicking the link to our Facebook page   Derby Historical Society


Work is underway at the David Humphreys House -  pictures and updates will be on our Facebook page Derby Historical Society

DHS AWARDED A MULTI-YEAR CAPACITY BUILDING GRANT FROM THE VALLEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION  The Derby Historical Society has been awarded a multi-year Capacity Building grant from the Valley Community Foundation to be used towards the restoration project at the General David Humphreys House & Museum.  This grant will be paid out over the next three years, totaling $50,000.

DHS RECEIVES $20,000 GRANT FROM THE PERSBACKER FAMILY FOUNDATION TOWARD THE RESTORATION PROJECT OF THE GENERAL DAVID HUMPHREYS HOUSE & MUSEUM   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.  Our Restoration Campaign is underway and we are happy to announce that we have reached $15,000 towards our match of $30,000!!!  Please continue to support us in our efforts to "Preserve Our Place in History". 

We would like to thank the people listed below for their generous financial support towards the Restoration Project of the General David Humphreys House & Museum. Please consider making a donation to this important project and help us to "Preserve Our Place in History"!  Donations will be matched 100% thanks to a generous matching grant opportunity from the Persbacker Family Foundation.  Please send your donations to Derby Historical Society 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT  06401

Thank you to:  The Persbacker Family Foundation, Brewster LaMacchia, Maurice J. Donini, Jean & Richard Widmark Foundation, Timothy P. Chaucher, Bernadette Norton, James Oram, Marian O'Keefe, John Cavallaro, Marion Aiello, Heather Barrett, Valley Community Foundation on behalf of Martha Dulla-Andrade, Elsie Valeski, Elaine Brandon, Valley Community Foundation on behalf of Beth Colette, Eugene & Addie Coppola, Judith Augusta, Renate Segrist, Marilyn Flynn, L. R & Janet Wade, Southern CT Dental Group,  Lucille & Joseph Palmucci, Timothy J. Riordan, Helen Ploski, Thomas Wells, Arlene Jachyra, Virginia Costigan, Jamie Cohen, Dorothy Gleason, Mark Anthony Izzo, John J. Walsh, John N. Wilmot, Lee Schroeter, Carolyn Balusek, Jenkins-King Funeral Home, Henry & Sandra Jemioto, Janis & Walter Yakimovich, William & Stephanie Miller, William V. McDonnell, Jr., John Coporale, Myrtle Bartolotta, Raymond Mackowski, Robert Ahearn, Tifany Gherlone, a grant from the Sophie and Robert W. Rapp Family Fund at the Valley Community Foundation by the Fund's advisor, Jo-Anna Rapp Holden.  Also a grant from the Bassett Family Foundation at the Valley Community Foundation, A. John Rodriguez, Joseph Warichar, George A. Clark "In Memory of Doris & George Bush Clark", Mary Ann Micklus, Maurice Donini, James Oram, Synchrony Financial and a grant from UTC.

Recent Events and News

Christmas Fair and Cookie Walk at the David Humphreys House, December 17  Due to the weather this event was postponed until December 18th!  Thank you to those who joined us for our Christmas Fair and Cookie Walk at the David Humphreys House from 10 am - 1:30 pm.  Many trays of home-made cookies at a great price of $5 for 18 cookies (1.5 dozen), were purchased at this event.  Unique, hand-made gifts were purchased from our talented docents as well as books, toys, and other items from our Gift Shop.  This event will benefited  our Education Programs.

Open Hearth Cooking at the David Humphreys House, November 19:  Thanks to those who joined us for on November 19th from 1 pm to 4 pm for our Open Hearth Cooking Demonstrations.  Tours of the David Humphreys House were conducted.  Guests enjoyed some fine samplings of Apple Charlotte, Peas Porridge, Carrot Pudding, Cranberry Relish, Apples and Onions, Butternut Squash Bisque, and Cornbread, along with refreshing Apple Cider.  This event benefited our Restoration Project and A Day in 1762 Program.  Thank you for bringing your family and friends to enjoy "A Taste of the Past".

Derby Historical Society's 26th Annual Appeal is being held at La Sala Banquet Hall (Sons of Italy) in Derby on Monday, November 14th from 5:00 - 7:30 pm:  Thank you to those who attended our Annual Appeal Event.  Our speaker was Dr. Brian Jones, State Archaeologist who discussed his preliminary findings at the dig at the DHH in June.  Roy W. Tidmarsh was our Dr. John I. Howe Award recipient,  posthumously.  Roy's brother, Fred and some family members were there to receive the award.  You can still make a donation to our Annual Appeal which helps the Derby Historical Society to meet our expenses and provide the services that are so important to our community.  Donations can be mailed to Derby Historical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT  06401  Thank you for your continued support!!

Tours of the David Humphreys House & Elm Street Graveyard Walks, October 23rd:    Thanks to those who made this a very well attended event on October 23rd from 2 pm to 5 pm for tours of the David Humphreys House and Elm Street Graveyard Walks.  We raised $100 towards our Restoration Project of the David Humphreys House & Museum, which will be 100 % matched by the Persbacker Foundation.  Additionally, we also raised $85 dollars in donations and $60 in our gift shop to benefit future programming at the DHH.

Derby Historical Society's Annual Silver Tea - Monday, July 11, 2016 at Molto Bene Restaurant, 557 Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia:  Our 26th Annual Silver Tea was held on July 11th at Molto Bene Restaurant in Ansonia from 2:00-4:30 pm.  Stephen Collins portraying Walt Whitman, "Unlaunch'd Voices - An Afternoon with Walt Whitman", was our speaker.  You can read more about the program at http://www.unlaunchedvoices.com/  Refreshments of tea sandwiches, baked goods, punch, coffee and tea were served.  Our raffle was very successful and many wonderful prizes were won.  Thank you for your support of this wonderful event!!

CT OPEN HOUSE DAY - Saturday, June 11th from 10 am to 3 pm at the General David Humphreys House:   Thank you to all who participated in and visited us at Connecticut Open House Day celebration  held at the General David Humphreys House on Saturday, June 11th from 10 am to 3 pm.  Visitors joined in the offerings of tours of the museum and outside historic district.  There were  demonstrations of colonial crafts and skills, musket firing and drills by the 6th CT Regiment, and much more.  Our on-site building that houses "Derby Junction", which is a layout depicting the cities of Ansonia, Derby, and Shelton circa @1918, was open for viewing.   This wonderful layout was donated to us by Mr. Benjamin Bacon in 2001.  Our colonial plant sale was a hit with the visitors. Thank you for your donations to the Historical Society.

The Derby Historical Society participated in the Great Give 2016 -  a 36 hour online giving event! 
Thank you for your support of the Derby Historical Society & The General David Humphreys House & Museum!  We are happy to report that we raised over $2,125.00.    We couldn't have done it without you!   Your dollars will help us with our operating costs, programming and keeping the rich history of the Valley alive!  Thank you to: Ginny Ellis, James Norton, James Cohen, Charles Seccombe, Mary Mycek, Markanthony Izzo, Elaine Brandon, Elsie Valeski, Cynthia Poppa, Barbara Jean Garofalo, Judith Augusta, Edward McCreery, Donald Woodworth, Jr., Albert Misiewicz, Dorothy Gleason, Randal Ritter, Beth Collette, Marian O'Keefe, Michael Hokanson, the Frey Hershey Foundation & an anonymous donor! 

CELEBRATE CT LIBATIONS - MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016 FROM 6 TO 9 PM AT THC THE HOPS COMPANY, DERBY, CT   Thank you to all who attended our fundraising event at THC The Hops Company, 77 Sodom Lane in Derby.  It was a night of CT Libations, delicious food, great music & fun all to benefit the Restoration Project at the David Humphreys House & Museum. We raised $4,440 during this event.  We are thrilled to report that the total  will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a generous grant from the Persbacker Family Foundation!  Awesome news for our restoration!  A great big thank you goes out to Umberto Morale, owner of THC The Hops Company for donating his venue for our event!!!

Guests sampled craft beer from Two Roads Brewing Company, Black Hog Brewing & Stony Creek Brewing Company - all poured by representatives of the breweries.  There were also samples of wine from Jones Family Farms and Winery and Sunset Meadow Vineyards.  Ricky D's Rib Shack and Zuppardi's Appiza provided food for our patrons.  Much fun was had listening and dancing to great music from “Dead Fish for Christmas” and a book talk by CT’s Beer Snob, Will Siss, rounded out the night! Door prizes were provided by THC The Hops Company, Gouveia Vineyards, Jones Family Farms, Two Roads & Stony Creek Brewing Companies, and Will Siss for the drawings throughout the event.

As the cornerstone of the Derby Historical Society, the David Humphreys House serves as both a museum and as a hands-on classroom for our “Day in 1762” program; introducing school children to Derby’s Revolutionary War Hero, David Humphreys and the region’s colorful colonial past. As you can imagine, a 300-year-old house requires quite a bit of upkeep. We are currently in the process of raising $200,000 for a major restoration of the exterior of the building.

Did you know that back in 1657, Derby’s first permanent settler, Edward Wooster, was drawn to the Lower Naugatuck Valley on the quest of raising hops?  Cheers to a great time for a great cause!!

Derby Historical Society - Annual Meeting - February 28, 2016 (snow date is March 13th)  The Board of Directors of the Derby Historical Society appreciates your attendance at  our Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 28, 2016 from 2 pm to 4 pm.  The meeting began with a brief business portion to elect our Officers and Board of Directors followed by the presentation of awards. Next, was a quick update on our Restoration Project of the General David Humphreys House & Museum.   This year our speaker was Sal Coppola.  Sal just completed a 20 year effort in writing a book called “The Palace of Sweets” a part fiction, part non-fiction story from the 1960s to 80s, taking place at Vonetes in Derby.  It includes the Sponge Rubber and River Restaurant explosions, mixed in with a love story and story of a Derby bank attempted takeover.  Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the program.

We thank those who renewed their  membership. Your support is greatly appreciated and will continue to help us in our mission of preserving the Valley’s history and culture. Additionally, we received a few donations to our Restoration Project of The General David Humphreys House.   The total cost of the restoration is estimated to be $200,000.  We hope to raise $30,000 directly from the communities that it serves.  The General David Humphreys House is our link to the American Revolution.  It serves as our home base for many public events and our award winning “A Day in 1762”, a hands-on colonial history educational program for students in the Valley towns and beyond.   

Your financial support is the key in helping us reach our goal of $30,000.  We have received a generous grant from The Persbacker Family Foundation.  In addition to their initial grant award, they have agreed to match any funds we are able to secure through the Community and Public Support, dollar for dollar over the next two years.  We have also been awarded a multi-year Capacity Building grant towards our project from the Valley Community Foundation.  This grant will be paid to us in installments totaling $50,000 over the next three years. 

Please click here for your 2016 Membership Application 2016 Membership Application  ( the membership application that is on our Join Us page is obsolete - sorry for the inconvenience)

Thanks for your continued support of the Derby Historical Society and for your help to "Preserve Our Place in History"!     

Twelfth Night Celebration at the General David Humphreys House, Sunday, January 3,  2016 1 pm to 4 pm.  Thanks to all who joined us at the David Humphreys House to mark the end of the Christmas season with our  annual "Twelfth Night Celebration".   A special thank you to all our Docents and Board Members who volunteered at this great event, along with our DHS volunteers and members of the 6th CT Regimen!!  We are lucky to have such support!  We had mulled cider and a wonderful selection on our buffet.  Samples of some items which would have been served in this house during the American Revolution were prepared by our wonderful Docent staff along with some modern day baked goods. Demonstrations of open hearth cooking took place during this event.  Tours of our 17th century house with our knowledgeable, costumed docents were also enjoyed by many.   Members of the 6th CT Regimen joined us on this special day.   Our special guest, Lieutenant Colonel Humphreys, was also in attendance.  Monies raised help support our Restoration Project and will be matched 100% thanks to a generous matching funds opportunity from the Persbacker Foundation.




DHS at the Memorial Day Parades:




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*
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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 © 2001-2016 by Derby Historical Society.
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Updated November 16, 2016

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