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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2018 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 brookfieldhistsoc@snet.net .  Our calendar continues to develop and additional programming details may be added from time to time.

 

March 5 - American Military Forum - A Visit To North Korea

  Geraldl Brooker    North Korea

Dr. Gerrard Brooker will share his experiences, and show screen photos of his diplomacy visit to North Korea, at the moment a most dangerous country which he refers to it as "Bizarro Land."

Brooker is a renowned author who has published 4 novels and over 350 articles and poems, mostly about social issues. He has spent his life as an educator and organizer of humanitarian programs and has been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He has given multiple presentations around the world at peace and educational development conferences. Among his many honors Dr. Brooker received an Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Service from Iona College in 1998, and was also the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi-Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award, in 1997. In 2007 he was bestowed the recognition as an Honorary Iwo Jima Marine by the government of Guam.

Time of Event:  Monday, March 5, 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 9 (second Monday this time) - American Military Forum - 143rd Military Police Co. in Iraq

Marc Youngquist  Military Police in Iraq Military Police in Iraq2

Former Army Master Sergeant Marc Youngquist will present a multimedia presentation about the Connecticut National Guard's 143rd Military Police Company and the unit's wartime experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The program will feature both the lecture and a book signing. 

The program will be both a lecture and book signing by author and former Army Master Sergeant Marc Youngquist of the 143rd Military Police Company which is part of the Connecticut National Guard.  It will focus on the unit’s wartime experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In his work, The 143rd in Iraq, Youngquist provides a firsthand narrative of the efforts to recruit, train and prepare an Iraqi Police Force in 2003-2004, and the dangers the soldiers of the 143rd faced as a result. From training for desert conditions in the dead of winter without appropriate gear to entering war zones without an adequate supply of soldiers, weapons or ammo,  this account  of just one company's experiences provides an eye-opening vision, putting the reader in the thick of the action with this unit’s brave men and women. 

 Youngquist has over 40 years’ experience in the military, law enforcement, and the investigative field. He served for six years in the United States Marine Corps, with four years on active duty all over the Western Pacific. After retiring from law enforcement, Marc enlisted in the Army Reserve, and later transferred to the Army National Guard. During this time he served in Panama, the Dominican Republic, as 9/11 airport security, and finally in Western Baghdad.

Time of Event:  Monday, April 9, (not the first 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 7 (Monday) - American Military Forum - Joe Cerreto Investigating War Crimes in Iraq

Joe Cerreto  War Crimes  War Crimes Iraq

Joeseph Cerreto will present a program recounting his personal experiences while serving in Iraq as a Senior Legal Advisor to the war crimes investigation team.  For eight months while in Iraq, Cerreto helped U.S. forces track down the most wanted Iraqi war criminals.  During the the presentation, he will give a brief history of military commissions and how they were used in the International War on Terror.

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 16 (Wednesday) - Home Front... A Memoir From WW II

Pete Petersen  Petersen's book  ration tickets WWII  black out kit WWII

Pete Peterson will feature a program and book signing on his recently published work, Home Front - A Memoir from WW II.  His presentation, accompanied by photos and music from the era, tells the true story of the turbulence confronting one American farm family's experiences dealing with black out drills, rationing, separation, fear patriotism, and much more during the war.  It also highlights the unity and exuberance in that brief, post-war period when America felt safe and when the middle class was born.

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 19 & 26, 27 - 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 19, 26, and Sunday May 27 (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 27 – 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 27, 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 4 - Theodore Roosevelt... Ambassador For Peace - Presentation & Book Signing

 Stan Wein    Roosevelt book  Teddy Roosevelt 2

The Museum will host a multi-media presentation and book signing on a recently published work by author Stan Wein entitled Teddy Roosevelt - Ambassador for Peace.

 Wein will lecture on how Teddy Roosevelt, as President, single handedly helped to end a bloody war between Russia and Japan in 1905.  His mediation efforts were instrumental in convincing the Czar of Russia and Emperor of Japan to sue for peace after almost two years of war.  It is also a relevant lesson to today's international affairs where diplomacy is an all important ingredient for lessening tensions between adversaries today. The book presents a compelling case for Roosevelt as an arbiter skilled in the craft of negotiation on an international stage as the negotiations between czarist Russia and imperial Japan played out in the weeks leading up to the Treaty of Portsmouth in September 1905.

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 9 - Saturday... Museum Open House

Connecticut Open House Day - June 9, 2018Museum buildinginside museum 2017

On Saturday, June 9, 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.

 

June 20 - Program - Greg Van Antwerp... The Urban Archeologist

Greg Van Antwerp  Greg Van Antwerp logo

Local history hunter Greg Van Antwerp, also known as The Urban Archeologist, will share his latest discoveries along with some tips and tricks on how to uncover them in a multi-media presentation.  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.  More than anything else, Greg wants to raise awareness for the local history that is sold or tossed each weekend. “Becoming an Urban Archeologist means taking an interest in your own and your community’s story and working to preserve it before it’s gone forever.”  You can follow him for updates on twitter @UrbnArcheology or call (203) 994-8382

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 9 (Monday) - American Military Forum - Operation Downfall... the Planned Invasion of Japan

Bob Purssell    military planning end to WWII

Bob Purssell will focus on the challenges facing the United States and its allies in executing an invasion of the Japanese mainland near the war's end which would be very costly in terms of lives lost.  He will discuss many of the scenarios put forth by the military services, which one was finally selected and the preparation undertaken to accomplish this "final" mission.

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

 

July 14 (Saturday) - Fifth Annual Patriotic Concert - Outside in the Museum's Formal Garden

Garden concert  Billy with 3 girls  crowd at summer concert

The Brookfield Historical Society and Brookfield's VFW Post 10201 will present its fourth 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. A 50/50 raffle will be held as well as the opportunity to win one of many door prizes!

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!

 

July 18 - Program to be announced...

    

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 6 - American Military Forum - The Whaleboat Wars on Long Island Sound

 Ed Hynes  whaleboat war pix2  whaleboad war pix

Ed Hynes will discuss one of the many approaches by Patriots to take the war to the British during the American Revolution by capturing vitally needed supplies and war material.  On the sea, the war was fought with intensity and sometimes a dire bitterness as the whaleboat men did their share to protect our independence.  On Long Island Sound, their main intent was to prevent unauthorized commerce and traffic between Connecticut and Long Island.  A more aggressive goal was land on Long Island and there take all British property.  Hynes will bring this unknown story of the American Revolution to the forefront.  

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 1 & 8 - 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 1st & 8th - noon to 4 p.m.

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

 

September 10 - American Military Forum - A Journey to the Gallows...

      Tom Coetti and Vic Butsch  journey to gallows

During this lecture, followed by a book signing, Tom Coletti and Vic Butsch will elaborate about the amazing life of Norwich Connecticut native, Aaron Dwight Stevens (1829-1860), whose soldiering and anti-slavery stand propelled him from the war against Mexico, through Bloody Kansas, and finally to Harper's Ferry.  He joined with John Brown and the two of them made a formidable team from that point on, and helped our country change forever.

 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 1 - American Military Forum - a lecture by Peter Markle on his father serving as a WWII Army Air Corps veteran...   

Peter Markle  P-40 WarhawkP-47 Thunderbolt

Peter Markle is no stranger to the Brookfield Historical Society. He made a presentation last year as we closed out our WWI exhibit on his 2 grandfathers both of whom served with the American Expeditionary Force during the War. He is a former Brookfield Resident and was in the last class of Brookfield students that attended Danbury High School. Today he lives with his wife Maryanne in Shrewsbury Massachusetts  and has 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

With the war in Vietnam raging, he entered the Air Force ROTC program at UCON and upon graduation was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant.  He entered the Air Force pilot training at Vance AF Base in Oklahoma.  He received his “Wings” and while on active duty flew Lockheed, C-141 Starlifter Transports.  His mission assignments took him to South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, including Viet Nam.  In civilian life since 1976 until his retirement, he served with the Federal Highway Administration – part of the US Department of Transportation, as a Civil Engineer.

Tonight  Peter will advance his family history to WWII and talk about his dad, Gordon Markle.  Gordon was  a member of the Army Air Corps and served throughout the war with a pursuit fighter group initially in the Middle East and later as a crew chief for P-40 Warhawks and P-47 Thunderbolts in North Africa, the Mediterranean and Italy. He will highlight his presentation with war-time images and vintage family photos as part of a PowerPoint presentation.

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 13 - 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 24 – 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 or email.  Cocktails at 6:30 and dinner served at 7.

 

November 3 –  24th 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 4  – 15th Annual Veteran’s Day Program & Concert

Time of Event:  Sunday, 2:00 p.m..

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 14th 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

 

December 8th & 9th  – 7th Annual Traditional Christmas Open House

 Christmas train layoutChristmas Santa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas at MuseumChristmas merry sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time of the Event:  Saturday and Sunday 11-4 pm

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

Santa will be stopping 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. A holiday scavenger hunt for the children is among the planned activities. Boy and Girl mannequins from Macy’s New York store front, displayed in the 1940s, will be on exhibit. Also antique toys dating back from the turn of the century to the 1950s, along with 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 cider.  In addition some hand crafted items will be on sale from our gift shop, The Brookfield Museum is located at 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.

 

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