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

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


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 Coproale, Myrtle Bartolotta, Raymond Mackowski, and 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

Upcoming Events 

Be sure to visit our Calendar Page often for Updates

The Derby Historical Society is participating 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 again participating in the Great Give this year.  Last year we raised over $4,000 in donations!   We couldn't have done it without you!  Let's try to beat that during the event this year!  Your dollars will help us with our operating costs, programming and keeping the rich history of the Valley alive!  Please click on the link to make your donation!  https://thegreatgive.org/npo/derby-historical-society  or visit https://thegreatgive.org/


Join us at THC The Hops Company, 77 Sodom Lane in Derby, for a night of CT Libations, delicious food, great music & fun all to benefit the Restoration Project at the David Humphreys House & Museum.  Check out our flyer on our facebook page Derby Historical Society

Your $25 ticket to this event includes samples of craft beer from participating breweries, a $5 food voucher to participating vendors, great music from “Dead Fish for Christmas” and a book talk by CT’s Beer Snob, Will Siss.  You will also be entered into the door prize drawings throughout the event.

Tickets are available by contacting us at info@derbyhistorical.org, calling 203-735-1908, or sending your check to Derby Historical Society, 37Elm St. Ansonia, CT  06401. Tickets must be paid in advance, no later than April 18th.  Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a generous grant from the Persbacker Family Foundation!

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 would like to invite you to our Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 28, 2016 from 2 pm to 4 pm. 

The meeting will begin with a brief business portion to elect our Officers and Board of Directors followed by the presentation of awards. Next, will be a quick update on our Restoration Project of the General David Humphreys House & Museum.   

This year our speaker is 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 will be served at the conclusion of the program.

Membership applications will be available at the meeting and renewals will be accepted at the door.  We encourage you to renew your 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 ask that you consider making a donation 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. 

We look forward to seeing you at our Annual Meeting.  Please feel free to invite anyone who you think would be interested in becoming a member of The Society. 

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"!


Recent Events and News


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.

Christmas Fair & Cookie Walk, Saturday, December 12, 2015 from 11 am to 2 pm at the General David Humphreys House   Thanks for joining for a cup of hot cider at our Annual Christmas Fair at the David Humphreys House.  Many visited our gift shop to find that unique gift.  We have toys, local history books, water color prints, soy candles, historical calendars and an exclusive DHH ornament.  Handmade items were available for purchase from our talented Docents.  Cookies from our Cookie Walk were a big seller!  Free Admission to this Event.  Donations were greatly appreciated and will be used towards the Restoration Project at the David Humphreys House.  (All donations will be matched 100%)

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 

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. 

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.  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!!

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 circa @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!

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.

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

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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 March 10, 2016

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