Brookfield Museum and Historical Society
An Extended Learning and Research Center
165 Whisconier Road, P.O. Box 5231, Brookfield, CT 06804
Phone: 203-740-8140

Museum Hours of Operation - Saturdays noon - 4 p.m. & by appointment



 

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Click here to print the Calendar

2019 Calendar of Events

For more information about any of the events or other activities of the Brookfield Historical please call 203-740-8140 to speak to a representative (usually on any Saturday from noon - 4 pm) or leave a message from which we can call you back.  For a faster response, you may also contact us by email at info@brookfieldcthistory.org  Our calendar continues to develop and additional programming details may be added from time to time.

Antwerp  Greg Van Antwerp

 

 

March 4 - American Military Forum - The Urban Archeologist & Local History Hunter

Local history hunter Greg Van Antwerp, also known as The Urban Archeologist, will share his latest discoveries   in a multi-media presentation.  He will focus on unusual finds relating to American Military History and US Military Veterans. Greg has been searching the basements and attics of New York and New England for something more valuable than gold - a good story. Along the way he has documented his success into a presentation that features the humorous, poignant, unique and historically important discoveries.

Time of Event:  Monday, March 4, 7:30                                

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

All are welcome - the program is free of charge and refreshments will be served.

 

April 1 - American Military Forum - Their Own Lewis & Clark Expidition

   Stan Wein  Lewis and Clark

Join noted authors Stan Wien and Ryan Wien as they share their adventure following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark. The retracing of the trails will be brought to life in their multi-media presentation during which each will share personal experiences and unique insights into this historically significant event.

Time of Event:  Monday, April 1, 7:30                                

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees.

 

May 6 - American Military Forum - Mini-Submarines Throughout History

Bob Purssell  Mini SubmarineMini Sub

Noted Historian Bob Purssell will explore the use of mini- submarines throughout history in difficult strategic situations when other military options were not available. Purssell will highlight their implementation from as far back as the American Revolutions to today’s usage by Navy Seals.

Time of Event:  Monday, May 6, 7:30

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

May 18 & 25, 26 - Museum Exhibit Honors Fallen Brookfield Military Heroes

  Williams Park  Gene Roberts holds pix of Civil War vetVietnam wall memorial

             Memorial Day exhibit

Time of Event:  This Annual (Tribute) Exhibit will run on Saturday, May 18, 25, and Sunday May 26 (Brookfield's Memorial Day Parade)

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

(left) Staff Sergeant George Rajcula, a former Brookfield resident and machine gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, was killed in World War II during a bombing mission over Germany in January, 1944.  (right)  Gene Roberts, a Vietnam Veteran and Director of the Brookfield Museum & Historical Society, holds a photograph taken of a painting  of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Merwin, a former Brookfield resident, killed July 2nd, 1863 on the battlefield at Gettysburg. These photos and courageous stories are part of a Memorial Exhibit honoring the memory of former Brookfield town residents who gave their lives during many of our nation’s military campaigns from the American Revolution up to and including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Each year we pay tribute to Brookfield’s fallen military heroes but until recently, little was known about who they actually are. We have now been able to identify 44 former Brookfield residents who gave their lives, on the alter of freedom, in defense of our nation. This exhibit provides our community the opportunity to gain a more intimate understanding of the courageous servicemen we honor.  It not only contains the names of the fallen, but also background information, where available, on both their civilian and military lives as well as poignant images and photographs. It is a moving tribute to these men who have made so grave a sacrifice for our community and our nation.

May 26 – Museum's Annual Strawberry Festival

Strawberry Festival  Shortcake  Festival Overview

Billy Michaels band  Don Winkley and Al Cyr 

Time of the Event:  Sunday from 12:30 through 3:00

Location: Historical Society's Museum grounds, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Liz Roberts (top left), Kathy Rajcula and her mom Elaine Rajcula prepare strawberry shortcake during our Strawberry Festival. This year the Festival will take place on Sunday, May 26, between 12:30 and 3:00 P.M. It will be held outside the Brookfield Museum located at the intersection of Routes 25 and 133 in Brookfield Center, following the Town’s Memorial Day parade. The parade ends near the museum parking lot where strawberry shortcake and soft drinks will be sold to support future public programs of the Society.  The Billy Michaels’ Jazz for Juniors band, provided by Hegarty Realty, will be on hand in the park behind the Historical Society building to entertain and a display of antique and vintage automobiles will also featured in the parking lot. At the same time, within the Society’s Museum, the third annual Brookfield War Memorial exhibit will be open to the public. It is a moving display, which honors 44 former Brookfield residents who gave their lives while in the military, in service to the United States.

 

June 3 - American Military Forum - Revolutionary War... Peter Zenger Trial

 Zenger trial 1    Zenger trial 2  Zinger trial 3

Joe Cerrito will conduct a multimedia presentation in period courtroom dress reliving the events of the famed Peter Zenger trial.  Zenger, a printer by trade, was accused of LIBEL which in those days occurred when on published information opposing the government.  Andrew Hamilton defended Zinger.  He demanded the prosecution prove the printed charges false and pleaded for his new client's release.  "It is not the cause of one poor printer," he claimed, "but the cause of liberty."  The judge ordered the jury to convict Zenger if they believed he printed the stories, but the jury returned in less than ten minutes with the verdict of NOT GUILTY.

Zenger and Hamilton were hailed as heroes and another building block of liberty was in place.  Although true freedom of the press was not known until the passage of the FIRST AMENDMENT, newspaper publishers felt freer to print their honest views.  As the American Revolution approached, this freedom would become ever more vital.

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

June 8 - Saturday... Museum Open House

Open house signMuseum buildinginside museum 2017

On Saturday, June 8, between Noon and 4 PM the Brookfield Museum will join cultural institutions all over the state, in welcoming visitors as part of the State wide 11th Annual Open House Day celebrating Connecticut’s culture and history. The Museum, which is part of the Brookfield Historical Society, will feature a local history exhibit to help residents and visitors discover or rediscover the unique character of the community.

Admission to the Open House is free.  Docents will be on hand to inform visitors of the important roll Brookfield played in shaping the State’s History. They will also learn about many of the famous people with historical ties to this beautiful community located at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains.  Early images, photographs, artifacts, paintings and stories will be shared including the saga of the Town’s Copperhead Flag which is situated over the Museum Fireplace and is one of only two existing in the state. Visitors will be given a flyer on the History of Brookfield to take with them when they leave. 

The annual event is coordinated by the Connecticut Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Economic & Community Development.

 

July 1 - American Military Forum - Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution

Robert Hubbard Putnam 1 Robert Hubbard Putnam 2 Robert Hubbard Putnam 3 Robert Hubbaard Putnam 4

Author Robert Hubbard will conduct a multimedia presentation and book signing on his work Major General Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution.  A colorful figure of 18th century America, General Putnam, second in prominence to General Washington during the War for Independence, played a key role in both the French and Indian wars and the Revolutionary War.  In 1758, while serving with the storied Roger's Rangers, he barely escaped being burned alive by Mohawk warriors and reportedly gave the command during the Revolution, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" at the Battle of Bunker.

Hubbard will focus much of his presentation on the Continental Army's encampment in Redding during the winter of 1788 and 1789 and the role Putnam played during the Battle of Long Island.

Time of Event:  Wednesday, 7:30

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

July 13 (Saturday) - Sixth Annual Patriotic Concert - Outside in the Museum's Formal Garden

  Patriotic concert 1  Partriotic concert 2   crowd at summer concert

The Brookfield Historical Society and Brookfield's VFW JASON D. LEWIS BROOKFIELD MEMORIAL POST 10201 will present its sixth annual Summer Concert in the Formal Garden behind the Brookfield Museum.   All  attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs. The concert will combine the music of local favorite musician and singer Billy Michael and female vocalists Arianna Carlo, Anna Bishop, and Maddy Oldham. The program will feature traditional patriotic songs and popular favorites. Admission is free to this fun filled event. The program is tailored for family members of all ages.

Time of Event:  Saturday, 7 p.m. in the Garden

Admission to the concert is free and the program is a tailored for all family members both young and old!

 

July 15 - Dwight Eisenhower and his Ascension from Soldier to President

           Please note the date - this is not a "first Monday" - this is a "third Monday"!

 Ike  Ike 2  Ike 3

Local Historian Martin Tuite will give a power point presentation of Dwight David Eisenhower's presidency. He will focus on the 1952 presidential election and the long road up to the Republican convention in Chicago. How he pursued the women vote and his effective use of TV during the campaign. Finally his policy on Civil Rights will be discussed.

Time of Event:  Wednesday, 7:30

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Admission if free and refreshments will be served

 

August 5 - American Military Forum - The British Raid on Danbury

   Ed Hynes 1     Ed Hynes 4  Ed Hynes 2 Ed Hynes 3

On the evening of April 26, 1777, British forces raided Danbury, Connecticut and destroyed a large American supply depot and burning many of the homes and public buildings of the rebels.  Danbury was a staging ground for patriot activities against the British in New York.  Because of its inland location it was considered a fairly safe area.

Historian Ed Hynes will cover the events leading up to the raid, the subsequent battle that ensued in Ridgefield, and high cost the British paid on their return trip to the sound.

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

August 19 - American Military Forum - Enduring a Confederate Prison

                            "Not for the weak of heart" 

     Please note the date - this is not a "first Monday" - this is a "third Monday"!

  Thomas and Victor 1  Thomas and Victor 2

Book signing and multimedia presentation on Connecticut Union soldier Dorence Atwater who endured 9 Confederate prison camps.  Thomas Collette and Victor Butsch, who collaborated on the novel "In the Crossfire Between Heaven and Hell" will present a lecture and book signing.  The work is based on a true series of events and they will deliver a multimedia presentation on Dorence Atwater who served with the Union Army during the Civil War, was captured by the secessionists and imprisoned in 9 Confederate prisons including Andersonville and survived.  Clara Barton, the other main character becomes acquainted with Dorence and each helps the other become distinguished in American History.

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

 September 7 - Brookfield Museum Honors Memory of 4 Victims with Ties to Community Who Perished on 9/11 - Memorial Exhibit               

911 Exhibit     9/11 night image

The Brookfield Historical Society will honor the memory of four victims with ties to Brookfield who perished during the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. There will be a memorial display as well personal testimonials and recorded acts of courage by Brookfield first responders. This year marks the 14th anniversary of the tragic event and area residents are encouraged to visit.

Time of Event:  Saturday, September 7th - noon to 4 p.m.

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

 

September 9 - American Military Forum - Misery, Military, Money, and Music

 Ray Sullivan 1  Ray Sullivan 2  Ray Sullivan 3

Dr. Ray Sullivan will give an presentation on Alexander Hamilton entitled Misery, Military, Money, and Music.  Using excerpts from the current Broadway musical Hamilton, Dr. Sullivan will expand on them to give an insightful presentation on the many phases of Hamilton's amazing life.  Among the accomplishments of this founding father, Sullivan will highlight he role Hamilton played during the American Revolution as the Aide to General Washington and a Military Field Commander.

 Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133)

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

October 7 - American Military Forum - My Experience in Vietnam as a Regular Soldier

    Danang air base  Danang overview

Former U.S. Specialist 5th Class Jim Hudak served in Da’ Nang during the War in Vietnam not as a combatant but in a combat service support role as a finance clerk and auditor with the 64th Finance Section.  He shares his experience while in Da Nang and its history as it grew from a community of 20,000 after WWII to over one million during the war as Marines were stationed to defend a major strategic US Airbase there.  Hudak speaks to the daily routine of life on a military base in a combat zone as well as the impact the war had for soldiers working in what was thought to be secure areas.  His experiences cover a wide range of activities from barracks life to working alongside locals to manning the bunkers during rocket attacks. He will share  both humorous and sad events that occurred during his tour of duty.  For every soldier on the front line in combat there were 10 like Jim serving in multiple support capacities which contributed in a significant way to the war effort.  

 

Location: Historical Society's Museum, 165 Whisconier Road  (at the junction of CT Routes 25 and 133

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Admission to this presentation is free and complimentary refreshments will be available for attendees

 

October (date not yet determined) - Brookfield's 6th Annual Farmfest

Blacksmithing Demonstration and much more!

 

   gurski barn    gurski front houst   Merwin Brook Cemetery   tractor  Ryan Blessey

 

Time of Event:  Saturday, 11-3 p.m.

Location: Gurski Farmstead forge area just a quarter mile north of the Museum on Route 133 heading toward Bridgewater.

The Brookfield Conservation Commission, in collaboration with the Brookfield Museum and Historical Society is presenting the community's fourth Annual Farmfest on Saturday, October 15th, 2016 from 11 to 3 p.m. at the Gurski Farmstead on Route 133. There will be vintage tractors and trucks, Fire trucks, and antique machinery, as well as exhibits by the Historical Society, Conservation Commission and Brookfield Girl Scouts.  Farmfest organizer Ryan Blessey, will give a hands-on blacksmithing demonstration at the restored Gurski Farmstead forge.   Lorraine Ballato of Brookfield along with others Master Gardeners will field questions from attendees at the Ask the Master Gardener booth on gardening and flower related concerns. In addition, tours, of the Merwin Brook Cemetery, Brookfield’s second oldest cemetery, situated next to the blacksmith shop, will be held. In recent years a number of headstones at this site, buried by time, were discovered with the help of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), the locations of grave markers obscured over the years were discovered and subsequently uncovered as well as markers identifying the parameters and boundaries of the Cemetery. Food will also be available along with a bake sale. The Gurski Farmstead is located on the west side of Route 133 approximately 1/4 mile from the intersection of Routes 25 and 133 in Brookfield Center.

Admission is free.

 

 

October 23 – The Museum's Annual Meeting & Dinner

Time of the Event: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Location: Agora Restaurant, 834 Federal Road, Brookfield (the old Christopher's restaurant)

This event is open to Historical Society members only and features an original presentation and dinner.  Please RSVP to the Museum's phone (203-740-8140) or our email at  info@brookfieldcthistory.org     Cocktails at 6:30 and dinner served at 7.

 

November 2 –  25th Annual “Festival of Crafts” Craft Fair 

Craft Show 1Craft Show 2

Time of the Event:  Saturday, 9 – 3

Location: Brookfield Whisconier Middle School, 17 West Whisconier Road, Brookfield

The Brookfield Museum and Historical Society will sponsor its 28th Annual “Festival of Crafts” Craft Fair at the Brookfield Middle School on West Whisconier Road.  Among New England’s largest craft shows, this year’s Festival will offer for sale jewelry, artwork, textile products, holiday treasures, toys, gourmet foods and many other uniquely hand crafted items by highly recognized northeast artisans perfect for gift or home use.  More than sixty juried crafters will be on hand.  Admission is $5 without discount coupon for adults and children over 12 years of age.  Click here for more information and a discount coupon.

 

November 3 – 17th Annual Veteran’s Day Program & Concert

Time of Event:  Sunday, NEW TIME - 1 PM

Location: Brookfield Public Library 182 Whisconier Road (Rt. 25)      

Jazz for Jrs. Arianna Carlo   Veterans concert 1 Veterans salute

Musician Billy Michael will perform at a free concert to honor local Brookfield and area veterans. The performance will be held in the community room of the Brookfield Public Library, located at 182 Whisconier Road (Rt.25). The event is part of the Community’s 17th annual Veteran’s program, “A Musical Salute to Veterans”, sponsored by the Brookfield Historical Society and the Brookfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10201. Michael will present a selection of popular and patriotic music.  Also joining the group will be Soprano Arianna Carlo a recent graduated from Western Connecticut University and  the Jazz for Juniors female singers  In addition, two wartime area veterans will be honored for their military service.  Following the performance complimentary refreshments will be served. The public is invited to attend to support our veterans and the local men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served