Derby Historical Society

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

“Celebrating a Proud Past and a Promising Future”

David Humphreys House -  Home of Derby Historical Society

The Derby Historical Society will be closed on Friday, April 18th

Office & Research Library Hours: Monday - Friday, 1pm - 4pm September thru June 26th,  Summer Hours 9am - 12pm, June 27th - thru Labor Day


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

Office: Sarah Riggs Humphreys House, 37 Elm Street Ansonia, CT 06401
Telephone: (203)735-1908    General questions & research inquiries

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

Upcoming Events   

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!!

An earlier form of taxation: Revenue Stamped Paper:

Click here to read a story shared by Col.  Don Woodworth
Recent Events and News

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.

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!!

DHS Annual 12th Night Celebration: Sunday, January 12, 2014 , 1 to 4 pm  David Humphreys House

Thanks to all who joined us as we marked  the end of the Christmas season with our annual twelfth night event which featured tours of our 17th century house by costumed guides.  Mulled cider and punch were served alongside our buffet, which featured some foods that would have been served during the American Revolution, such as Sally Lun, Hopping John, Brunswick stew, and corn pudding. 

Children's Christmas Fair, Saturday, December 7th, 10 am to 4 pm

A special thank you to everyone who attended our Children's Christmas Fair.   We really appreciate your support of the Derby Historical Society and programs we offer.  We hope you enjoyed the tours of the David Humphreys House given by our costumed docents. Thank you for participating in our workshops and making potpourri sachets, paperclip and bead angel necklaces, lemon pomanders, and cinnamon ornaments.  If you picked up any of the kits for stocking stuffers and grandparent gifts they are sure to be a hit.  The doll clothes were a big seller and will surely make the children smile when they open these presents. It looks like we are going to have a snowy Saturday so enjoy the home-made Christmas cookies that you may have purchased during our bake sale, with a nice cup of hot cocoa! Thanks again for your support!!

Derby Historical Society's Annual Appeal, Monday, November 25th, Grassy Hill Lodge, Derby 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

The Derby Historical Society  Annual Appeal Reception took place  on Monday, November 25th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm at  Grassy Hill Lodge in Derby.  Local caterer and community leader, Dave Grant, Sr. was honored with the  John Ireland Howe Award.  The program speaker was Derby Historical Society Board Member, John Poole, who presented "Historic House Archaeology: Mysteries of the Hawkins and Mansfield Homesteads". If you haven't yet made your donation there is still time to so.  Your generous donations allow us to continue preserving history and providing the programs at the David Humphrey House & Museum.  Additionally, we are working to complete our Derby Junction, train exhibit.   If you aren't a yet a member, please consider making a donation to our Society and/or joining.  Donations can be sent to Derby Historical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT  06401  or you can call the office at 203-735-1908 for more information.

Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Saturday November 16th at The David Humphreys House

Thank you for attending our  " A Taste of the Past" event on Saturday, November 16th from 1pm to 4 pm.  This event was held Annual Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration, due to the ongoing renovations at the David Humphreys House.  Samplings of traditional holiday and seasonal favorites were enjoyed by our visitors.  The menu included baked ham, brunswick stew, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, quaking pudding and pumpkin pie.  There were also tours of the museum, demonstrations of cooking procedures and colonial tasks by our Docents and Jr. Docents.    Cost: $5/adults, $3 senior citizens & children up to age 12.

Derby Historical Society's Legends by Lantern Tours, October 18th & 19th

The Derby Historical Society held our Legends by Lantern Tours on October 18th & 19th.  The  production this year was "The Revolutionary Robbery  of 1780" and took place on the Derby Greenway. Tours were held on Friday at 6:30 pm & 8:00 pm, and Saturday at 6:30 pm.  Thank you to all who were involved in helping us with this event.  We have received many rave reviews and have been asked to have this once again be an annual event.  Thank you for your support of The Derby Historical Society!!

Derby Historical Society's Twenty-third Annual Silver Tea, Monday, July 8th at Molto Bene

Our twenty-third Annual Silver Tea was held at Molto Bene (formerly JJ Sullivans), 557 Wakelee Avenue, Ansonia.  Our guest speaker, Elizabeth Keckly presented "A Letter to Frederick", portrayed by Tammy Denease.  You can visit Tammy's website at    Refreshments were served. Many attendees participated in our Raffle & door prizes were also awarded.  Thanks for your support!                                      

CT Open House Day, Saturday, June 8th, at the General David Humphreys House

What a great turnout at CT Open House Day at the General David Humphreys House on Saturday, June 8th.  Tours of both the inside of the Humphreys House and outside tours of the Historic Elm Street District were enjoyed by many visitors, courtesy of our knowledgeable,  costumed docents.  Our display of antique tools from the Society's  collection was also well received.  This display will be available for viewing during the summer months. Many visitors also commented on our newest museum collection, a wonderful addition of a portrait of Commodore Isaac Hull.    Colonial activities and demonstrations were held thought the day.  Thank you for supporting the Derby Historical Society thru your generous donations and purchases at our unique gift shop.  Also, a special thank to all those who volunteered and helped to make this event a success.

Commodore Isaac Hull Portrait Dedication, Sunday, May 19th  at the General David Humphreys House

On Sunday, May 19th,  we announced the wonderful addition of  a portrait of Commodore Isaac Hull (ca 1798-1804) to the Society's museum collection.  A brief dedication ceremony took place at 1:30 pm.   The event was well attended.  We appreciate your continued support of the Society.

Derby Historical Society's Annual Meeting, Sunday, February 24, 2013 at First Congregational Church, Derby

Click on the link to read and see photos from our Annual Meeting:      Our Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, February 24th at the First Congregational Church in Derby.  The afternoon began with a brief business meeting to elect our New Officers and Board of Directors, followed by presentations of the David Humphreys Service Award and the Dorothy Larson Award.  Our guest speaker was James Connery, Jr., as Colonel Wooster.  The Colonel discussed his experiences during the Civil War.  Jim is a licensed Gettysburg Battlefield Guide.  Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the program.  Please send your membership renewal to either Derby Historical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT 06401  or Derby Historical Society, PO Box 331, Derby, CT  06418, if you have not already done so.   Thank you for your continued support of the Society.  


New Fund at Valley Community Foundation Will Restore Veterans Memorial Plaques

Julia Baldini, Former Executive Director of the Derby Historical Society, James Dellavolpe, Mayor of Ansonia, Jamie Cohen, President of the Valley Community Foundation, Congresswoman Rosa DeLuaro and Congressman Chris Murphy

January 12, 2012 - The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) announces that the Derby Historical Society and VCF in collaboration with the Mayors of Ansonia, Derby and Shelton have created a new fund to restore veterans memorial plaques that were stolen from local Valley communities in 2011.  The Fund will be known as the Veterans Memorial Plaques Restoration Fund and gifts up to a total of $6,000 will be matched through a $5,000 grant from unrestricted funds from VCF and a $1,000 contribution from the Cohen-DeToro Charitable Fund. Gifts may be made online at or by check and mailed to the Valley Community Foundation at 253-A Elizabeth Street, Derby, Connecticut, 06418. For more information, call the Valley Community Foundation at (203)751-9162. 

On Saturday, October 1, 2011 the Derby Historical Society presented a Civil War Living History Reenactment by Company F, 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry on the grounds of the Derby Historical Society at 37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Click here to see photos of the day. You can also play the video below and check out more videos like it by clicking on the links below the video.

The Story of Company F

Company F's Drummer Boy

The Story of Joseph Pierce

Twelfth Night At The Humphreys House (2011):

Our pewter ornament returns!


Visit the Humphreys House Gift Shop!

Click here for details


We are selling hand-made American Girl-sized clothes 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

City of Ansonia Home Page

Made possible with the support of Savage Joy Corporation 

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

Updated April 7, 2014

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