Derby Historical Society


1899       Original Old Derby Historical Society organized on April 11th.
1901 Historical Society changes its name to Derby Library and Historical Society on April 24.
1902 The Derby Library and Historical Society disbands after accomplishing it's goal of establishing a public library in Derby.


1946 Present Derby Historical Society organized on April 18.


The Society sponsors the restoration of Derby's Uptown Burial Ground.
1951 The new Route 8 bridge opens between Derby and Shelton. The span was named Commodore Hull Bridge after extensive lobbying from the Derby Historical Society. The Society sponsors the plaques erected on either end of the bridge.

1958 The Derby Historical Society is incorporated.
1960 The Rev. Richard Mansfield House on Jewett Street in Ansonia becomes the Derby Historical Society's first historic property when the Antiquarian Landmarks Association turns it over to the Society. Over the years the Society opens the house for tours, and even at one time ran a thrift shop out of it.
1961 The Gen. David Humphreys House at 37 Elm Street in Ansonia is turned over to the Derby Historical Society as a public trust. Back then the house was painted white.


The Society dedicates a plaque at the site of Commodore Hull's birthplace in Derby, after the historic Commerce Street home is razed. Click to enlarge.
1970s The Derby Historical embarks on an ambitious plan to restore the David Humphreys House back to its mid-eighteenth century appearance. The restoration takes years.
1980 The David Humphreys House completes its restoration and opens to the public. The Day in 1762 Program begins.

1981 The Historical Society sponsors "Echoes of Yorktown Month" in October, culminating in an encampment and reenactment to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle which won American independence. David Humphreys participated in this battle, and is remembered for carrying out General Washington's order to deliver the surrendered British standards to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia immediately after, as illustrated to the left. 
1986 The Derby Historical Society acquires the John I. House on 213 Caroline Street in Derby. A "Raise the Roof" campaign and restoration in the years to follow sees the tin roof replaced, porches returned to their historic positions, and the exterior restored. The goal of the Society is to convert this historic 1848 structure into a museum commemorating the Valley's Industrial Era experience.

1988 The Society sponsors the return of the world's first electric locomotive to Derby on the 100th anniversary of its inaugural run. The locomotive is on permanent display at the Shoreline Trolley Museum in Branford. At left is a photo taken about 1904 when it was on display at the Pine Rock Amusement Park in Shelton.
1994 The Society marks the 50th Anniversary of D-Day with a grand commemoration at Nolan Field in Ansonia
1998 The Society sponsors a special History Festival at the David Humphreys House and Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the building of the Humphreys House.



The Society produces two pictorial history books through Arcadia Publications entitled Images of America - Derby and Images of America - Ansonia. Thousands are sold.
2002 The 250th Anniversary of the birth of David Humphreys is publicly commemorated at his birthplace on July 10. Lt. Governor (now Governor) M. Jodi Rell, speaking at the podium in front of the Humphreys House at right, is among the many dignitaries in attendance. Twelve disease resistant American Liberty elm trees are planted in honor of the occasion - 6 in Derby and 6 in Ansonia.


The Society produces its third book from Arcadia Publishing, entitled Then & Now - Derby and Ansonia.
2005 The Humphreys House and the Day in 1762  is featured on the CBS Early Show.