The Dwight-Derby House

IMG_3134 Marjorie Cappucci, Assistant Vice President Branch Manager, Needham Bank – Medfield and Cheryl O’Malley, President, Friends of the Dwight-Derby House

The Dwight-Derby House Butler’s Pantry Project Campaign Has Begun The Friends of the Dwight-Derby House has initiated a campaign to raise funds for our Butler’s Pantry Project. Restoration and preservation of the oldest house in Medfield has continued since its purchase in 1996. This task has been completed on all but two rooms out of eighteen spaces making this house a jewel of downtown Medfield.

We now turn our attention to the kitchen, which we feel will open new opportunities for the Town of Medfield and the “Friends”.  Today, this room does not meet the definition of a kitchen, lacking as it does even basic appliances; its newest fixture being from the 1950’s.

Our plan is to transform this space into a Butler’s Pantry or warming kitchen where caterers and renters could hold food for serving. This will broaden our horizons and the possible usages of the house and make it an even greater asset to the Town of Medfield.

We thank Needham Bank for donating $1,000 towards this project. We appreciate their support and their commitment to our community. Do consider donating to the Friends of the Dwight-Derby House Butler’s Pantry Project by sending your check to Friends of the Dwight-Derby House, c/o Cheryl O’Malley, 38 Pleasant Street, Medfield, MA. 02052. Thank You

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Third Grade Tours

For two weeks in June the Medfield third grade toured historic sights of Medfield.  These sights included the Dwight-Derby House, Peak House, Kingsbury Mill, the Old Meeting House location,Town Hall and Medfield Historical Society. The children learned about the early settlers, the King Phillip War, Colonial life and what the houses looked like back then. They discovered that the Dwight-Derby House is the oldest house in Medfield and didn’t burn down during the King Phillip War when half the town was burnt to the ground

These tours give the children the opportunity to get to know their town and experience its history first hand. It’s an experience that lasts a lifetime!

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We need a secretary and volunteers. The secretary position could be shared. We meet once a month excluding January and February as needed. The Dwight-Derby House is the oldest house in Medfield and it needs volunteers to manage the property. You would be giving back to your community in a big way by joining the Dwight-Derby House team of volunteers.

  • Annual Appeal
  • Publicity
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • General Volunteer

It takes a village! Please contact Cheryl O’Malley at cheryl.omalley@verizon.net ________________________________________________

The Dwight-Derby House Butler’s Pantry Project

The Friends of the Dwight-Derby House are working hard to complete the restoration of the Dwight-Derby House. There are two rooms out of eighteen left to restore the Butler’s Pantry (Kitchen) and Milk Room (Shoppe). Each are a major restoration project and costly. We have started the fundraising campaign for the Butler’s Pantry Project and are pleased to announce we have received $1000 from Needham Bank and $2,500 from Dedham Savings. We thank them for their generosity and support! This project will indeed benefit the house and the community by supplying us with a fictional kitchen. It is greatly needed and will insure a more overall pleasurable and better experience for all. The projected cost for this project is $40.000. So, we have a long way to go! Please consider contributing to the project by sending you tax deductible check to Friends of the Dwight-Derby House, C/O Cheryl O’Malley, 38 Pleasant Street, Medfield, MA. 02052. Thank you for your generosity and we hope to see you at the Dwight-Derby House on June 10th 10-4 for a tour in celebration of Medfield’s history!

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The Dwight-Derby House Shoppe has many Medfield items such as note cards of historic locations, specialized coffee mugs, Dwight-Derby House wine glasses, photos on canvas and jewelry created by Cheryl O’Malley.

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Historic Mug

They are works of art that will complement your home and life!

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DDH Wine Glass

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Dwight Derby House by Cheryl O'Malley

Colonial History in the Heart of Medfield The Dwight-Derby House is a wonderful example of a mid-century 1700s home, resting in a setting that has not been altered much by the ravages of time. The old meetinghouse still stands in its original location and a mill pond connecting both of these historically significant properties still fills. It is as if time has stood still to create this picturesque scene straight from the 1700s. This house was named for its two long-term families who lived amongst its walls – the Dwights, who were the original family, and the Derbys, who later occupied the house. GeorgeHoratioDerby2 In 1996, the house was up for sale. It was not in the best of condition and the wrecking ball was looming. A grass roots group formed to save the house.  They gathered information on the house and presented their findings to the town of Medfield. As a result of these efforts, the Dwight-Derby House was purchased by the town of Medfield by an almost unanimous vote of its townspeople.

                                                                              Captain George Horatio Derby

                                                                                     West Point Academy

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Dwight-Derby House Sign

IMG_0473 The sign at the Dwight-Derby House’s is now the gateway to Frairy Street and welcomes you to the neighborhood. Several years ago, an old wide board was discovered in the barn of the Dwight-Derby House. Thoughts immediately turned toward using it in conjunction with the house and consensus determined that a sign was an appropriate use for the board. Research was conducted into the design of old-style signs that would complement the Dwight-Derby House and property.  A tavern sign came to mind.  After perusing many published works The Friends of the Dwight-Derby House, incorporated in 1998, decided a tavern sign would be suitable. A local artist, Cheryl O’Malley, took on the design concept and incorporated several historical elements of the Dwight-Derby House into its design. After several layout reviews it was approved and the design implemented. The sign carries the name of the house which was determined when The Friends of the Dwight-Derby House were incorporated and displays the names of the two early and long-standing families the Dwights and the Derbys each of which spent nearly a hundred and fifty years within its walls. http://dwightderbyhouse.org/about-us/ The medallion at the top center is a replica of the “Dwight Holland Platter” which the Dwight family had crafted to commemorate their trip to the new world. It is a Delft platter with an early 1600s tulip design.  http://dwightderbyhouse.org/museum/holland-platter/ Timothy Dwight was one of Medfield’s first thirteen settlers and in 1651 built the first structure that stood on this property. His son and grandson later adapted and built additions to the old structure to accommodate their families. Timothy’s son, John, constructed the addition to the right of the front door which was built in 1699. This is the date seen at the center bottom of the sign. This does not mean the original structure does not exist in the center core of the structure, but this early structure cannot be accessed for scientific testing without damaging the historic fabric of the house. http://dwightderbyhouse.org/families/dwight-family/  1699 is the earliest date that can be safely claimed. Grandson, Seth, was responsible for today’s appearance of the house with his update in 1760. In the middle of the sign is a copy of George Horatio Derby’s self-sketch at his honeymoon cottage in 1853. Captain George Horatio Derby was a topographical engineer for the U. S. Army, served in the Mexican-American War where his report was instrumental in winning that war, mapped out much of the territory west of the Mississippi and was America’s first satirical writer. He spent his childhood in Medfield and lived in the Dwight-Derby House most of his young life.  http://dwightderbyhouse.org/families/derby-family/ This sign was installed and viewed for the first time on Medfield Day, September 19, 2015. As you pass by the Dwight-Derby House, please stop for a moment to enjoy the sense of history, the stories behind the design and the essence of Medfield this sign represents.

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Supporters of the Dwight-Derby House 2017

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