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:
September thru end of June: Monday - Friday, 1pm - 4pm
Summer Hours (June 30th - Labor Day): Monday - Friday 9am - 12pm


 Tours of the Humphreys House - BY APPOINTMENT ONLY unless otherwise noted
$5: adults
$3: seniors & students
Free: children under 8

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

Ansonia is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year! Visit the Ansonia 125th Facebook page for events 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

Open House, Sunday, November 16, 2014, 1 pm to 4 pm at the General David Humphreys House.  This event is being held in lieu of our Annual Open Hearth Cooking Event, due to the continuing renovations at DHH.  Please join us for tours of the historic house & neighborhood (weather permitting).  Enjoy seasonal desserts and cider while visiting us.  Our gift shop will be open during this event.  Suggested donation is $5 per Adult and $3 per Senior Citizen & Child under 12.  All proceeds will go towards the renovation fund.

24th Annual Appeal & Reception, Monday, November 24, 2014, 5 pm to 7 pm at Grassy Hill Lodge, Derby.  The Derby Historical Society is conducting its Annual Appeal and we are in great need of your financial help.  Please consider making a donation to the Society so that we can continue to preserve and bring history to life.  The recipient of the Dr. John Ireland Howe Award will be local business man Mr. Ned Miller.  The program speaker is Dr. Warren Perry, Director, Africana Studies Archaeology Lab at CCSU.  He will present his findings to date at the "Freeman Site" former Derby home of Black Governor Roswell Freeman.  Donors of $40 or more will receive a complimentary ticket to attend this great program.  Donations 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

Christmas Fair, Sunday, December 7, 2014, 10 am to 3 pm at the General David Humphreys House.  Details to follow.  Please check back often for updates to this event.

Sunday Tours of the David Humphreys House:   1 pm to 4 pm  - dates available on calendar page

Tour the birthplace of David Humphreys, Revolutionary War officer, friend of George Washington and later our nation's first ambassador. Looking for the perfect gift for an out-of-town visitor, teacher or colleague? Peruse our gift shop stocked with local books, prints, and toys from a time long ago. Cost: $5/adults, $3/senior & children 8-16, FREE/children under 8.  Please stop in for a visit!!

Recent Events and News

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.


The Hulls Of Derby: Different Trajectories In War Of 1812:



24th Annual DHS Silver Tea (featuring Deborah Samson Gannett) - Monday, July 14th

Please join 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 will be Deborah Samson Gannett, presenting 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, captivates audiences. Judith brings her to life, through interactive story-telling and authentic attire. Let her passion take you 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:

DHS Annual Meeting, March 9, 2014

The Derby Historical Society had our Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 9th 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 the David Humphreys Service Award.

Society Board Member, Elaine Brandon, presented a copy of a new book, “Anson’s Glory:  Ansonia and Phelps-Dodge” written by her Aunt Elizabeth Crossland Matricaria, to The Society.  Elizabeth wrote two books over the last ten years.  Her goal was to let her children know where she grew up in Ansonia.  This book is available for purchase at www.trafford.com

William E. Purcell, President of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, was our guest speaker. William gave a brief presentation regarding the proposed “Naugatuck River Valley National Heritage Area”. After this, a short film & power point presentation showcasing the Naugatuck River Valley and sights in the 14 towns was shown by Marian O’Keefe, on behalf of Healthy Valley.   Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the program.  Membership renewals can be sent to Derby Historical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT  06401.  Thanks for your support!!

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

We are selling American Girl-sized clothes (hand-made locally) from all eras!

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 September 18, 2014

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