Dewey Memorial Hall, a wonderful fieldstone, marble and shingle structure built in 1887, stands proudly among the other historic buildings on the Sheffield Green. Since its inception it has served as a popular gathering place and center of activities for residents of Sheffield and neighboring communities. The hall was named for Orville Dewey, born in Sheffield in 1794. Educated at Williams College and later ordained as a Unitarian minister, he preached in Boston, New Bedford and New York. Upon retiring to his farm in Sheffield, Dewey founded the Sheffield Friendly Union Library Association, whose goal was “to increase good and kindly feelings and to promote intelligence and cheerfulness.” When he died in 1882, family of the sometimes controversial but always highly respected thinker raised $10,000 to build the Hall in his honor.
In keeping with the original goal and Dewey’s philosophy, our mission is to preserve Dewey Memorial Hall as a precious resource for the community. Its wood-paneled interior, a large space with a soaring beamed ceiling, raised stage and updated kitchen, is used for lectures, art shows, committee meetings, concerts, private parties and weddings, as well as contra dances and the Dewey Hall Folk Series. We hope that everyone who comes here will continue to support and enjoy this gift to our community for years to come.