Though our in-person programs have been postponed until further notice due to health concerns related to COVID-19, the DHSM is pleased to offer a new monthly webinar series. See details below.  

Third Thursday Webinars, 7:00 p.m. 

Each month, on the Third Thursday, the DHSM offers Free webinars, held at 7:00 p.m.  For information and to register for upcoming webinars, see below. To watch past webinars, click here or visit the “Past Events” page under the Events tab at the top of this page.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Third Thursday webinars for the months of July and August.
The Third Thursday webinars will resume in September. Thank you.

Thursday, May 20th, 7:00 p.m.
The Dedham Branch Railroad

Railroad historian and DHSM Vice President Steve Brayton will present a history of the Dedham Branch of the New Haven Railroad. Connecting the mainline at Readville to Dedham and on to West Roxbury, the Dedham Branch formed an unusual “loop” route. The webinar presentation will feature images of steam trains and landmarks such as the old Dedham station.

Register in advance for the May webinar:
Use the QR code to the left or click on

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Questions? Call 781.326.1385.

Save the Date: June 17th, 7:00 p.m.
The Trial of Sacco & Vanzetti

In 1920, a payroll clerk and his guard were shot to death. Two men were accused. From May through July of 1921 the two were tried in Dedham and convicted of the murders; they were executed six years later. Italian immigrants, they were also self-proclaimed anarchists. The trial spurred international outrage and condemnation, with claims that their conviction was based on their political convictions and bigotry of immigrants. A century later, this webinar will present the storyline, historic context, and hold a discussion of parallels with the present time.

Forthcoming Third Thursday programs will include presentations on trains and transportation in Dedham; the Pet Cemetery; Chelsea Keramic and Dedham Pottery; Dedham furniture; the portrait of Deborah Ames, and more.

History in the Making: COVID-19 & Black Lives Matter

We are asking residents of Dedham to share their stories during the COVID-19 epidemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Material received will be incorporated into our archives, which has records extending back to the 1630s. Please be a part of your town’s archival records and share how you are coping. In addition to articles we are saving from local papers, we would like to preserve your images, drawings, journals, brief (or long) recollections, social media postings, town documents, whatever you feel should be saved for a historic record for researchers and scholars in the future.

Please send your stories, experiences, and photos to For more details, click here. Thank you, stay healthy, and be safe.

Left: COVID-19 Stories. To view different images, hover your cursor over the image and click on the left or right arrows. Please note that the arrows are centered on each image. Thank you to the Dedham residents who have contributed images. Photos by Janet Holmes (crosswalk sign, doorway, birthday parade vehicles, post office window, Hearts of Hope in Dedham Square business windows); Janet Haugh (photo of brothers, mask on tree and two rubber duckies, both on Stoney Lea Road, Ursuline Academy driveway, Dedham Public Library doors), Kara Kilroy (watercolor ice cream picture), John Dellea (T.P., driveway art, quarantined geese, boats on a vacant Charles River, flowering tree, students on Noble & Greenough playing field), and Marie Spillane (no sympathy cards and Fire Chief Spillane’s grandchildren wearing masks in daycare), Jill Devirgilio (sanitized carts), Alicia O’Brien (mask in car), Carroll family (funeral in COVID-19 era).

Left: Black Lives Matter

The images to the left are of peaceful protests held in Dedham in late May, 2020, as well as some images from national demonstrations. These and other protests locally and nationally are calling attention to concerns of the Black community across this nation, and specifically, to protest the killing on May 25, 2020, of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black American man, who was suffocated under the knee of an officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. 

Please thank Joe Borsellino and Janet Holmes for the images to the left. Please add your photos; email them to


Hat’s Off to Summer
June 12, 2020: Cancelled

Last year we celebrated shoes, and this year we’re featuring hats at this fun event where guests wear their favorite hats—from baseball caps to fancy frivolity. Wine and desserts will be served.

To find and share our Events on WhoFish, click here.

The location of this silhouette of John Doggett is currently unknown. It was last published in The Magazine Antiques in the 1920s. Perhaps a local resident is aware of its whereabouts? If so, please let us know. 

Speaker Series
Held at the Dedham Historical Society & Museum, 612 High Street
Members free, nonmembers are $10 per talk. Pease click here or call 781.326.1385

Stay Tuned for Details on our 2020-2021 Speaker Series
Scheduled to start in September.

The remaining talks in our 2019-2020 program will be rescheduled. See below for details. 

Click here to view the 2018-2019 Speaker Series.

Click here to view the 2019-2020 Speaker Series.

To Be Rescheduled When DHSM Reopens
Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 p.m.
The Annual Meeting and Ben Fisher Memorial Lecture: John Doggett of Dedham: Cabinetmaker, Carver, and Gilder. Presenter Richard Nylander is Curator Emeritus of Historic New England, where he worked for forty-one years. Richard has been appointed by five Presidents to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, where he has served for thirty years. He has curated exhibitions, lectured widely on historic wallpaper and period interiors, and has contributed numerous articles to both popular and scholarly journals. 

About the talk: Dedham native John Doggett is best known to decorative arts enthusiasts for his Federal-style looking glasses and the frames that enhance many portraits by Gilbert Stuart. This talk will discuss Doggett’s evolving career which began in Roxbury in 1802 and moved to Boston where he expanded the business to include “Doggett’s Repository of Arts” a space that was used for auctions of old master paintings and travelling exhibition paintings, including Thomas Sully’s George Washington and the Passage of the Delaware now at MFA Boston. Doggett was instrumental in introducing lithography to Boston with a series of prints of the first five American presidents known as The American Kings.

To Be Rescheduled When DHSM Reopens
Originally scheduled for Thursday, March 19th, 7:00 p.m.
Future date to be determined

Parades in New England, 1788-1940
Jane Nylander

For centuries Americans have celebrated their public identity with parades. Marching politicians and soldiers, stirring music, colorful flags and banners, ornamented fire engines, costumed school children and colorful floats set forth on the stage of town after town to symbolize traditions and values that Americans hold dear.

This talk will explore both story and significance of parades in New England from the time of those celebrating the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 to the Tercentenary celebrations of the 1920s and 1930s, including rare views of Dedham celebrations preserved in the collections of the Dedham Historical Society & Museum.

Speaker Jane Nylander, President Emerita of Historic New England, is a well-known author and lecturer who will offer the audience an illustrated preview of her forthcoming book, “The Best Ever,” Parades in New England, 1788 to 1940.

To Be Rescheduled When DHSM Reopens
Originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21st, 4:00 p.m.
Future date to be determined

Harpsichord, Flute, Soprano
Ensemble Performance

Join us for the rare opportunity—and the first ever at the DHSM—to hear an ensemble perform music from the late 18th and early 19th centuries on a Baroque flute and harpsichord, with soprano accompaniment on select pieces.  In addition to early musical selections from England and Spain, a very special opportunity will be to hear music from the archives of the DHSM, specifically from “A Favourite Selection of Music: Adapted to the Piano Forte.” This music book was printed and sold by Herman Mann of Dedham in 1806. Among the selections are “Address to a Tuft of Violets,” “Cottage in the Grove,” “Drink to me Only, a Favorite Glee,” “Bonny Doon,” and others. Tickets $20.