Please help support DHSM’s important programs and outreach 

The DHSM is solely supported through membership and private donations.

Become a member of the Dedham Historical Society & Museum

Volunteers Needed for Powder House Site Cleanup
Saturday, April 27th, 9:30-12:00
162 Ames Street, Dedham

Participate in making a part of Dedham’s history more accessible. Join a group of volunteers this Saturday to clear overgrowth from Powder House Rock. With the removal of brush, people will be able to access the trail and make the short hike to the top and to the 1766 brick structure. The historic significance of the Powder House was to store military supplies in a “place convenient, safe and practical.” Placed high on a “great rock” near the Charles River, views of Dedham are visible from the top.

Volunteers are advised to wear thick gloves and long sleeve shirts and pants because there is poison ivy and thorn bushes on the site.  Please bring clippers, rakes and small hand saws. Yard waste bags will be provided. This event is organized by the Dedham Historical Society & Museum. For information, call 781.326.1385.

Caption: Historic image of the Powder House and Powder House Rock when entirely cleared. Circa 1890s.

Water in Dedham: Past, Present & Future
Saturday, May 4, 2019
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Dedham Historical Society & Museum

Read below for basic information. For details, visit or call DHSM at 781.326.1385

This is a collaborative program with the DHSM, the Dedham Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), Dedham Civic Pride, Dedham Land Trust, and Dedham Environmental Department. L.L. Bean will be leading tours of the Charles after the program.

Have you ever wondered where Dedham’s water comes from, how the waterways have been used to our benefit, Mother Nature’s role, and what lies ahead? From the Charles and Neponset Rivers to Wigwam Pond, and the wetlands that make up 25% of Dedham’s land surface, water is an essential ingredient to life in our town. This conference will highlight how we have used water throughout the town’s history, how we are anticipating and meeting current needs, and what we can expect for water in a future affected by climate change.

Visit to learn details about speakers and topics, as well as a list of where related exhibits will be located throughout Dedham. 


Make a Date for the Annual Soiree! 

May 18th, 2019
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 

Save the date for May 18th, 2019 for our annual Soiree held at a spectacular private historic/modern/beautifully landscaped home. This is a member-only event, so if you would like to attend, join DHSM and learn more about this gala evening. Thank you for your support of this important fundraiser.

DHSM 2019-2020
Lecture Series

The fall lecture series will begin in September. Stay tuned for details. 

Click here to read about our 2018-2019 lecture series 

Discover more Events

Hours for Thursday, April 26th
will be limited to 12:00-5:00 p.m.

The  DHSM will be
closed on Friday, April 27th.

   New Saturday Hours! 

2nd & 4th Saturday each month
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Museum, Gift Shop & Archives

See below for information on weekday hours for the museum, gift shop, archives, and office.


Free entry to museum and library for members. 


Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturdays, 2nd & 4th of each month:
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Admission $5
Educator: Maryann Wattendorf

Library & Archives:

Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturdays, 2nd & 4th of each month:
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Archives fee $5; research fee $25/hour
Archivist: Rebecca Carpenter

It is recommended that you contact the archivist to schedule an appointment prior to your research visit. To speak with the archivist or schedule an appointment, please call 781.326.1385 or email

Gift Shop

Visit our Gift Shop, where you will find gifts for the holidays, from ornaments to decorative items and reproduction Dedham Pottery.
Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturdays, 2nd & 4th of each month:
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Executive Director: Johanna McBrien

We Welcome Volunteers

Please let us know if you would like to contribute your time assisting in the archives, museum, with educational programming, or events. Thank you in advance for your participation. Please send an email to

Latest News
New Exhibit: Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

New Exhibit: Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!

A new exhibit has opened at DHSM on Shoes! One can never have enough shoes, and visitors to DHSM will be able to view a selection of shoes from the museum's collection. Examples on display range from red brocade wedding slippers from a Fairbanks wedding in 1747 to...

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Packed Audience at Lecture on Shoes

Packed Audience at Lecture on Shoes

On March 21st, Dr. Kimberly Alexander spoke to a packed gallery at DHSM about the history of shoes as a reflection of culture and society; this was part of DHSM's annual lecture series. Attendees had thoughtful questions spurred by Dr. Alexander's engaging...

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New Exhibit Celebrating American Presidents

New Exhibit Celebrating American Presidents

In celebration of Presidents' Day, on Monday, February 18th, 2019, the DHSM is opening an exhibit celebrating American Presidents. The exhibit runs through March.Norfolk County, known as the "County of Presidents," is the birthplace of four U.S. Presidents: John...

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Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!


Step on over to DHSM to see a selection of shoes from the museum’s collection, ranging from red brocade slippers from a 1747 Fairbanks wedding, high-heel pumps with silver bead trim from the roaring 1920s, children’s shoes, skates, and a rare shoe from an African American shoe shop brought north after the Civil War. Photographs of Dedham residents, and their shoes, from the 19th and 20th centuries accompany the exhibit.



Cycling in Dedham

 Spring is here and Summer is right around the corner. What better time than to take out your bike and go for a ride? Get into the zone by first visiting the DHSM to see materials relating to the Dedham Cycle Club and other biking materials as well as historic photographs of local enthusiasts enjoying being on two wheels.

Image: Dedham Cycle Club, ca. 1894.




Native American Stone Tools

Opened April 18, 2019
A display of tools that date from thousands of years ago to the 17th century that were found in Dedham and the surrounding area. The items on display were used in farming, hunting, and felling trees. Also on view are important land deeds between Native Americans and the English settlers.