The Dwight-Derby House

In Search of a Secretary

We are in need of a secretary! The position could be shared. 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. We meet once a month excluding January and February as needed.

If this position is not your cup of tea, we have other tasks that are available.

  • Annual Appeal
  • Publicity
  • Events Manager
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • General Volunteer

It takes a village! Please contact Cheryl O’Malley at


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!

Richard DeSorgher’s Last MEMO Trolley Tour!

June10 will be Richard’s last MEMO Trolley Tour before moving to Mashpee, MA. Tickets are available at the Needham Bank.

The Dwight-Derby House will be open for tours from 10 am – 4pm in celebration of Medfield’s history and in support of Richard’s last Trolley Tour.

The Lowell Mason House and the Kingsbury Grist Mill also plan to be open. Do take advantage of this opportunity to experience Medfield’s history!

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.


Historic Mug

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


DDH Wine Glass


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.


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


Medfield’s newest addition


The new 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.

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.

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.  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.

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.