Most of us recognize the 12 o’clock whistle as a daily occurrence in Medfield, but it marked a historical moment on December 27, 2012. To the small group of people gathered at the Dwight-Derby house on that day, the noon whistle sounded more like wedding bells!
Just before the whistle sounded, Medfield High School 2004 graduate, Northeastern University 2009 graduate and United States Air Force Senior Airman, Christopher Ingram married his sweetheart, Amy Rae Cathey at the historical Dwight-Derby House on Frairy Street.
The bride is the daughter of Scott and Kelli Cathey from Seminole, Oklahoma. She has five sisters, is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute of Monterey,
California and is currently a Senior Airman and linguist in the United States Air Force. Chris and Amy both joined the Air Force on the same day in 2010.
The groom recently returned from a 3 month deployment in Afghanistan and was on a holiday furlough. He surprised his parents, Maryjean and Bob, and his siblings, Meghan and Ryan, with the news of his engagement and his plans to marry his fiancé in Medfield shortly after Christmas!
With the cooperation of Cheryl O’Malley and the "Friends of the Dwight-Derby House”, the house was secured as the location of the ceremony. Town Clerk and Justice of the Peace, Carol Mayer, was asked to officiate and the groom’s immediate family and the bride’s mother were in attendance.
Standing in the Dwight-Derby House parlor, which dates back to 1697, with the glow of the fireplace behind them, a small Christmas tree beside them and the sound rain falling outside, the couple said their “I do’s”.
After they were pronounced man and wife the newlyweds posed for some photos behind the Colonial American cut-outs located in one of the upstairs rooms. The Ingram siblings joined in the fun! The couple also posed for pictures in the doorway of the Dwight-Derby House.
Many generations of history have been recorded about the occupants and events in this house, but the Ingram-Cathey wedding is the first wedding to take place in the home within the past few decades, and the only wedding since its purchase by the Town of Medfield in 1996.
Getting married in Medfield and especially at the Dwight-Derby House was very special to Chris Ingram. Years ago, when a student in Richard DeSorgher’s Medfield High School AP US History class, the students took part in the Reformers’ Dinner. Each student researched a reformer from the 1839-1860 time period and Chris took on the role of Thomas Jefferson. Each student dressed the part, debated other students on issues and shared a meal inside the Dwight-Derby House.
The wedding of Chris and Amy is now part of the history of the Dwight-Derby House and their marriage will be noted in the Medfield Historical Society Newsletter.
What makes this wedding special, in addition to its place in Medfield history, is that it is characteristic of many weddings from the WWII era; couples that married without delay due to war time. As both this bride and groom are currently in the Air Force and are serving our country, they chose to marry now.
The Dwight-Derby house has much history, mentioned below is just a small sampling of information about the Dwights and the Derbys.
Timothy Dwight was born in Woolverstone, England in 1609 and came to Medfield from Dedham. Dwight served on Medfield’s first board of selectman and continued to serve for a total of eighteen years. He was the first of the town to serve as the Representative of the General Court and was Chief Military Officer.
George Horatio Derby spent his childhood in Medfield. He had a remarkable memory and could quickly memorize books. He went on to become America’s first satirical writer. He became a topographical engineer for the U.S. Army, served in the Mexican-American War
and was assigned to map out some of the new California territory gained through the war.
The original occupants of this home were devoted citizens and public servants to the Town of Medfield and the United States of America. How appropriate that this house should be the wedding place for this loving and dedicated United States Air
Congratulations, Chris and Amy!
To learn more about the Dwight Derby House and its availability contact Cheryl O’Malley, President of the "Friends of the Dwight-Derby House" at firstname.lastname@example.org.