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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2016 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 or leave a message.  For a faster response, you may also contact us by email at brookfieldhistsoc@snet.net .  Our calendar continues to develop and additional programming details may be added from time to time.

 

March 7 - American Military Forum - The Engagements at Lexington and Concord

    Lexington & ConcordBob Purcell

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30 

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

Robert Purssell of Brookfield, a retired engineer and research writer, will conduct a power point presentation on the first major battles of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.

Purssell’s talk will explore the events of April 18th and 19th, 1775.  He will discuss why the Provincial militia and minutemen proved so capable and further examine the reasons the British Army were unable to launch a more effective counter offensive operation.  Purssell will discuss how this military reverse, though small in scale, had immediate and immense political consequences including: the total destruction of British control and Loyalist support in New England; the convincing demonstration that Provincial forces could prevail against British regulars; and the encouragement of the separatist movement throughout the American colonies.

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

 

April 12 - American Military Forum - WWII Battle for Tarawa - rescheduled from April 4th

 Gerard Brooks    Battle of Tarawa

The Brookfield Historical Society will sponsor a power point presentation on the WWII Battle of Tarawa in the Pacific Theater in late November 1943. The program will take place at the Brookfield Museum located at 165 Whisconier Road (Junction of Routes 25 and 133) in Brookfield Center. The presenter, Dr. Gerard Brooker of Bethel, has visited the island and his lecture will include an examination of the costly struggle to secure the island and the importance of the battle. He will show photos he took on the island of the major battle sites, including Red Beach 2, a major Marine landing area and Japanese defenses and pill boxes.  In addition, he will share a later experience during his visit last September to Knoxville, Tennessee. There, at a reburial ceremony, he delivered a eulogy honoring Marine 1st Lieut. Alexander Bonnyman, a Medal of Honor recipient, who was killed on Tarawa.   

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.

 

May 2 - American Military Forum - Operation Iraqi Freedom

     Mike Zacchea and GeneralMike Zaccheabattlel of Falusia

Retired Marine Officer Mike Zacchea, of Brookfield, will deliver a power point presentation presentation on Operation Iraqi Freedom and his involvement as a Marine Officer leading an Infantry unit made up of Iraqi soldiers during the 2nd Battle of Falusia.

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

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

memorialWilliams ParkGene Roberts holds pix of Civil War vet

May 21- Jun 4 - Museum Exhibit Honors Fallen Brookfield Military Heroes

Time of Event:  Every Saturday from noon - 4 p.m. with extended hours on Sunday, May 24 (Brookfield's Memorial Day Celebration)

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.

The Exhibit will open on Saturday at noon in the Museum located at 165 Whisconier Road,  (intersection of Routes 25 and 133) in Brookfield Center. It will continue each Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. through June 4th and will also be open during the Brookfield’s Memorial Day parade on Sunday, May 29. 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.

Strawberry FestivalShortcakeFestival Overview

Billy Michaels bandDon Winkley and Al Cyr

May 29 – Museum's Annual Strawberry Festival

Time of the Event:  Sunday from noon through 3:00

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

Liz Roberts 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 29, 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 43 former Brookfield residents who gave their lives while in the military, in service to the United States.

 

June 6 - American Military Forum - the WWI Soldiers from Washington, CT

  Stephen Bartkus    WWI soldiers

Stephen Bartkus, Curator of the Gunn Historical Museum in Washington, Connecticut will present a program on Washington, CT and World War One. In 2015, The Gunn Museum featured an award winning exhibit, Over There: Washington and the Great War, a community-curated effort, largely researched and constructed by local volunteers to commemorate the centennial of World War One.  Bartkus, who organized the exhibit, will present an innovative video that provides the attendees with a virtual tour through the Exhibit. It will first give an overview of America’s participation in the war.  As one continues through, the sounds of period music, vignettes, floor to ceiling enlargements and even a life-size trench will transport visitors back in time and illustrate the impact that the Great War had on this small town.

History students from the local high school, The Gunnery, also participated in the Museum’s commemoration by researching their school’s contributions to WWI and sharing their research in the exhibit.

The presentation will also feature images that were displayed of the extensive array of artifacts, photos, uniforms, field equipment and other related paraphernalia that emerged and was on hand during the exhibit. Considered in 2015, the best viewing of items related to the Great War in Connecticut, it is a timely presentation as we continue to commemorate the centennial of conflict.

Mr. Bartkus is a professional archaeologist also employed with Archaeological Consulting Services in Guilford and has participated in numerous excavations throughout the Northeast. He is the former curator of the Watertown Historical Society and currently serves on their board of directors. He is also on the board of the Connecticut League of History Organizations.

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

 

Open HouseMuseum building

June 11 - Museum Open House

On June 11, 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 11 - American Military Forum - Evolution of the Monroe Doctrine in American Foreign Policy

Joe SecolaMonroe Doctrine cartoon

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. foreign policy regarding domination of the Americas in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention.

The Brookfield Museum will host a multi-media presentation on the subject the Monroe Doctrine presented by local attorney and retired Probate Judge, Joseph Secola.  Secola will focus on the history of this landmark doctrine which was intended to safeguard the western hemisphere from foreign intervention since its inception and discuss its current and changing interpretation in the 21st Century.  

Time of Event:  Monday, 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

 

July 16 - Patriotic Concert Outside in the Museum Garden

Garden concertBilly and singerscrowd at summer concert

The Brookfield Historical Society will present its second annual Summer Concert in the Formal Garden behind the Brookfield Museum. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. The concert will combine the music of local favorite musician and singer Billy Michael and female vocalists Anna Bishop and Maddy Oldham. The program will feature traditional patriotic songs and popular favorites.

Time of Event:  Saturday, 7 p.m.

Admission to the concert is free and ice cream sales will be available during the concert. The program is a tailored for all family members both young and old!

 

August 1 - American Military Forum - The Battle of Bunker Hill  

Bob PurcellBunker Hill battle

Bob Purssell of Brookfield, a retired engineer and research writer and also a Museum board member, will conduct a presentation on the Battle of Bunker Hill which took place  during the American Revolution. 

Although the British had won, yet the battle was a significant morale-builder for the inexperienced Americans, convincing them that patriotic dedication could overcome superior British military might. Additionally, the high price of victory made the British realize that the war with the colonies would be long, tough and costly. He  will also recount the British siege of Boston after  the battles of Lexington and Concord, Washington’s rise to prominence, the creation of the Continental Army and the eventual expulsion of British influence from New England.

Purssell has uncovered little known facts about the conflict, its outcome and the overall effect it had on future events during the Revolution.

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 8 -  exhibit to be announced

 

September 3-10 - Brookfield Museum Honors Memory of 4 Victims with Ties to Community Who          Perished on 9/11 - Memorial Exhibit               

Museum for 9/11 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 3-10 - noon to 4 p.m.

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

 

September 12 - Valley Forge... The Myth and the Reality

Joe Cerreto Revolutionary Renactor  Valley Forge troops

Joseph Cerreto, will feature a program on the encampment at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania by Washington’s Continental Army in the winter of 1777. Although popular myth depicts Valley Forge as the pinnacle of human misery, Cerreto will highlight how during this period the army matured into a more professional fighting force primed and ready to move onto the next level.

Cerreto, is a  reenactor in the 2nd NY Regiment, a recreated Revolutionary War Continental Line unit, and part of the Brigade of the American Revolution.  The 2nd was an actual combat regiment, formed in 1775.  Elements of the regiment took part in most of the major combat actions in the Revolutionary War. He will appear in his period Regimental Uniform complete with musket and field equipment.

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 (watch for the date) - Brookfield's Fifth Annual Farmfest

Blacksmithing Demonstration and much more!

 

   gurski barn    gurski front houst   Merwin Brook Cemetery   tractor  Ryan Blessey

             Gurski Farmfest

Time of Event:  Saturday, noon-4 p.m.

Location: Gurski Farmstead forge area just a half 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 4th, 2015 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Gurski Farmstead on Route 133. There will be vintage tractors and 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 1/2 mile from the intersection of Routes 25 and 133 in Brookfield Center.

Admission is free.

 

 

October

Time of Event:  Wednesday, 7:30

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

 

 

October 10 (second Monday of the month) - American Military Forum - Lincoln's Presidency

        Paula Hopewell

Paula Hopewell, a native of Kentucky, has delivered numerous lectures on Lincoln at various venues throughout the state. She is a member of the Lincoln Symposia which meets annually in Gettysburg, PA.  Her presentation will cover her visit to  Abraham Lincoln's birthplace where she toured the Lincoln Homestead and nearby Lincoln Family Cemetery in Linville VA. She will share her encounter with Ernie Lincoln, a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln's great-grandfather and the last Lincoln living in the Shenandoah Valley. Paula's presentation will include highlights of Lincoln family history and some of the fascinating people she met while in the Shenandoah Valley.  She interviewed Ernie Lincoln about his one of his Confederate ancestors, and a cousin of President Abraham Lincoln, who shot at Yankees as they marched past the Lincoln Inn in Lacey Spring, Virginia;  Paula will end her evening's presentation with the video of this interview with Ernie Lincoln, fitting testimony to the Lincoln family in Virginia.

Since visiting Lincoln’s birthplace in Hodgenville and his boyhood home in Knob Creek (both in her home state of Kentucky), Hopewell’s interest in Lincoln has developed into a passion. She has visited Lincoln’s burial site in Springfield, Illinois, as well as the offices where Lincoln practiced law. Hopewell holds an MBA degree from the University of Cincinnati and worked for ten years in marketing research.

Time of Event:  Monday, 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

 

October 19 – The Museum's Annual Meeting & Dinner

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

Location: The Hearth Restaurant, Federal Road, Brookfield

This event is open to Historical Society members only and features an original presentation and dinner.  Please RSVP to the Museum's phone or email.  Cocktails at 6:30 and dinner served at 7.

 

November 5 –  23rd 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 23rd 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 6  – 11th Annual Veteran’s Day Program & Concert

Time of Event:  Sunday, 2:00 p.m..

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

J & B Lite band   Veterans concert 1   Veterans salute

The well known area vocal and musical Group J and B Lite will appear at a free concert to honor area veterans. The event is part of the community's 9th annual veteran's program, "A Musical Salute to Veterans", sponsored by the Brookfield Museum and Historical Society. Billy Michael, who will lead the group, will present a selection of popular music which emerge during the war years with particular emphasis on the music of the two World Wars. In addition three area veterans will be honored for their wartime service to our country. The program and concert are free.  Refreshments will be served.

Admission if free and refreshments will be served

 

December 10 and 11 - Museum Annual Family Christmas Open House

Time of Event:  Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. each day.

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

Barb with Xmas treeSanta WinkleyXmas display case

    

Barb Golde holds Howdy Doodie relating an "old time" Christmas atmosphere at the Museum as Santa waits to hear from another anxious child. All will return once again this year as the Brookfield Historical Society, hosts its fifth annual Traditional Christmas Open House Weekend at the Brookfield Museum, Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11, 2016 from noon to 4 pm. Santa will be ready by with his helpers bearing complimentary treats for the kids.

     The sight of operating Model trains in a winter display, will entertain children of all ages, while the sound of antique music boxes will fill the air with well-known Christmas musical classics. Vintage toys dating back to the 50s and beyond along old time Christmas decorations will bring back memories of holidays past. It’s all free and attendees will be treated to complimentary homemade Christmas cookies and assorted pastries, as well as hot chocolate and mulled cider.

     Additionally, some hand crafted items will be on sale from our gift shop and local craft artisans. The Brookfield Museum is located at the 165 Whisconier Road (junction of Routes 25 and 133) in Brookfield Center.  This event is "must-see" visit for adults and children that is guaranteed to get everyone into the spirit of the season.

Admission if free and special "Holiday" refreshments will be served

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