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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2014 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.  You may also contact us by email at .  The calendar for 2012 continues to develop and additional programming details may be added from time to time.


March 3 - American Military Forum - Pearl Harbor... A Japanese Disaster

Bob 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 entitled Pearl Harbor... A Japanese Disaster. Purssell will address how Pearl Harbor, which has long been characterized as an unqualified success of great benefit to Japan’s ambitions for conquest of the pacific basin, gave rise to Japanese shortcomings in conducting a protracted war against the United States with twice its population and possessing  overwhelming material and technical superiority. He will address the reasoning which led the Imperial Japanese High Command to decide in favor of the attack and the warnings they chose to ignore. The presentation will focus on Japan’s perspective both tactical and strategic in carrying out this unprovoked act of aggression.

The program is free of charge and refreshments will be served.


April 7 - American Military Forum - WWII Battle of Saipan

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30                                

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

Pete Cronin will present this history program.  This presentation will  follow the U.S. Marine campaigns in the Pacific up through the Solomon Islands to Bougainville, then over to the Gilbert and Marshalls Islands and finally across the Pacific to the Marianas. The main focus will be on the Battle of Saipan and America's resolve to meet the incredible challenges they faced early on in the war against Japan.

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


May 5 - American Military Forum - "Nam Sense" Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division

Art Witnik

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Former US Army Staff Sergeant Arthur Wiknik Jr., is seated on right with actor and host Lou Diamond Phillips on the Military Channel TV Series, An Officer and a Movie. Wiknik will conduct a presentation and book signing on his autobiographic work, NAM SENSE: Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division.

He served as an infantry squad leader and will recount his wartime experiences during his tour of duty in Vietnam. The book provides for the reader a glimpse of the Vietnam War through the soldier’s eyes. Commenting on NAM  SENSE , former Connecticut Congressman and Vietnam Veteran, Colonel Gene Sherron, called it, "...the best, most accurate portrayal of the life of an Infantryman in Vietnam. If you read only one book about a soldier's life in Vietnam, read Nam Sense!" In the book Wiknik offers a perfect blend of candor, sarcasm, and humor - and he spares nothing and no one in its attempt to accurately convey what really transpired for the combat soldier during this unpopular war. Wiknik, who fought in the gruesome ten day battle on Hamburger Hill in the A Shau Valley, is a recipient of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Today he lives with his wife Betty Jean and three daughters in Hingham, Connecticut.  He also participated in the six hour History Channel production Vietnam in HD.

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


May 10- May 31 - Museum Exhibit Honors Fallen Brookfield Military Heros

Time of Event:  Every Saturday from noon - 4 p.m. with extended hours on Sunday, May 25 (Brookfield's Memorial Day Celebration)

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

Sergeant Rajcula

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.  His photo and courageous story is 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 May 10, 2014 at noon in the Brookfield 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 1 and will also be open during the Brookfield’s Memorial Day parade on Sunday, May 25, 2014. 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.

Strawberry FestivalShortcakeFestival Overview

May 25 – 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 25, 2014, 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 2 - American Military Forum - "Forsaken Heroes of the Pacific War" One Man's True Story

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

The Museum will host a lecture and book signing in conjunction with the Town's recent Memorial Day commemoration. Danbury authors, Don Morrow and co-writer Kevin Moore, will discuss the story of WWII Japanese captive, U.S. Army Major Albert Brown, whose life and wartime experiences are documented in their publication,Forsaken Heroes of the Pacific War: One Man’s True Story.

As a prisoner of war Brown survived beatings, torture and being stabbed with a bayonet. His back and neck were broken, and he suffered about 15 serious tropical diseases. He passed away at the age of 106, and until his death in 2011 Brown was the nation’s oldest confirmed living World War II veteran at the time and also the oldest confirmed survivor of the Bataan Death March of 1942.   According to Morrow, “We felt his story was so incredible that it needed to be told”.

Morrow, also a WWII veteran, for more than 60 years was in show business behind a mic and in front of a camera. As an announcer he has been called the “Voice of God” having done some of TVs most memorable ads and some of Hollywood’s most famous film trailers such as Saving Private Ryan and Titanic.  He met Major Brown in the 1980s in California. They became friends and Brown, who lived in Illinois, shared some of his past with Morrow, who then asked Moore, a public relations professional and an official videographer for the Veteran’s History Project, to join him in writing Brown's story.  Morrow observed "His story is one of hope for today's returning wounded warriors. His determination to survive, his lesson of recovery, his resolve and desire to plunge back into life after the war is a story as relevant for today's veterans as it is for those of his generation.” 

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


Museum Open House - Flag Day

June 14 - Flag Day - Museum Open House

On Flag Day, June 14, 2014, 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 10th 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 28 - Museum Exhibit Opening - Ladies Historic Apparel       Ladies historic apparel  

exhibit open every Saturday from noon - 4 pm  through September

Barbara Golde left, Director of Exhibits and Carol Gurski, Museum Curator at the Brookfield Historical Society appear next to period dresses once worn by Brookfield Women. The clothing is part of an exhibit featuring vintage ladies wear.

For visitors, it will be like witnessing images out of turn of the century hand tinted Godey girl fashion prints. A Formal dress worn by Brookfield’s Eleanor Stuart Terrill in 1892 still looks as if it just came  out of a box purchased last week  The items are mainly part of the Museum’s collection with some loaned from private parties. They  include vintage, wedding and morning dresses, formal evening wear, early high button and dress shoes, lingerie, veils and Victorian and early ladies handkerchiefs.  

Golde in retrieving the garments from the collection found it “…unbelievable that the women were so small during that era. Some dress waists measure as low as eighteen inches and foot sizes only 5 inches. The dress, veil and handkerchief designs are extremely detailed and beautiful to see.”   


July 7 - American Military Forum - Lincoln

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

Paula Hopewell, a native of  Northern Kentucky, will deliver a lecture on Abraham Lincoln. The presentation is entitled Lincoln’s Legacy in Words: His Addresses, Stories and Letters. Her presentation will provide an overview of Lincoln’s writing, a powerful tool he used throughout his presidency. She will focus on notable books and authors that influenced Lincoln's writing, and highlight his most memorable oral deliveries from speeches such as that made at Cooper Union in New York City, the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. Hopewell will share some of the jokes and stories he loved to tell, "medicine" that he often used while carrying the weight of the Civil War and the fate of the Nation on his shoulders.

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. Last summer, she visited Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln practiced law, and has attended "Symposia" held annually at Gettysburg.  She has an MBA degree from the University of Cincinnati and worked for ten years in marketing research. Hopewell has two children and has lived in Brookfield since 1997. 

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

Following his presentation, complimentary refreshments will be served. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.


July 19 - Patriotic Concert Outside in the Museum Garden

Time of Event:  Saturday, 7 p.m.

Tom Callihan troupador

Tom Callinan, Connecticut’s 1st Official State Troubadour through legislation by the General Assembly in 1991, will present a Concert in the formal Garden behind the Brookfield Museum, Saturday July 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM. The program is being sponsored by the Town’s Historical Society and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Callinan will play a selection of patriotic songs spanning our country’s history.  As this year continues to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War he will feature a number of tunes and relate stories from that period. Young men representing 10 percent of Brookfield’s population back then, either volunteered or were conscripted to serve for the North in an effort to preserve the Union.  

Annually Callinan presents several hundred performances for tens of thousands of people.   A former Marine,  his credits include: ABC's "Good Morning America" ; PBS' "Shining Time Station" , starring Ringo Starr; CNN's"Earth Matters" ; and National Public Radio. Excerpts from two original songs, "Glasnost To Go" and "They're Not Evil Anymore" were included in Connecticut Public Television's Emmy Award-winning documentary "A Connecticut Yankee In Red Square".  In 1999, he was selected to represent Connecticut at the John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts' Millennium Stage State Days Series in Washington D.C.

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 as Callinan is an expert at getting the audience to take part in the performances.


August 4 - American Military Forum - The Changing Rights of Enemy Combatants Under American Military Law and the Civil Justice System With "Rules of Engagement"

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

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

The Brookfield Historical Society, as part of their American Military Forum, will host a multi-media presentation on the President’s War Powers under the Constitution and how our last two Presidents, Bush and Obama, have implemented them. This lecture will focus on (1) the surveillance of the National Security Agency, which is a military agency under the Department of Defense; (2) Drone Strikes against Americans,  and (3) the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the President to detain indefinitely with out trial any American Citizen he labels as a terrorist supporter. The impact of the Bill of Rights on these Presidential War Powers will be discussed.  The speaker will be local attorney and retired probate judge, Joseph Secola, also a member of the Society’s Board of Directors.

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


September 6 - Brookfield Museum Honors Memory of 4 Victims with Ties to Community Who Perished on 9/11 - Memorial Exhibit               

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

 Museum for 9/11


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 13th anniversary of the tragic event and area residents are encouraged to visit.

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


September 15 - American Military Forum - The American Revolution in Ridgefield, CT

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30

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

Representatives from the Ridgefield Historical Society will present this program.

Admission if free and refreshments will be served


September 20 - Brookfield's Third Annual Farmfest - Blacksmithing Demonstration and much more!


   gurski barn    gurski front houst   Merwin Brook Cemetery   tractor  Ryan Blessey

Time of Event:  Saturday, 10-4 p.m.

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

The Brookfield Museum and Historical Society together with the Brookfield Conservation Commission is presenting the communities second annual Farmfest on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. 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.




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


October 6 - American Military Forum - The Civil War "1864 In Review"                   

Time of Event:  Monday, 7:30                         

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

Peter Cronin will present this program.

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


October 11 - Special Exhibit opening

Time of Event:  Saturday, noon - 4 p.m.

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



October 22 – 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 1 –  22nd Annual “Festival of Crafts” Craft Fair 

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 19th 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 9  – 10th 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                                      

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.


December 13 and 14 - Museum Annual Family Christmas Open House

Time of Event:  Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Barb Golde XMas


     Emily Dlugozima of Brookfield watches Howdy Doody as he enjoys riding in his vintage Mercedes Benz peddle car. He will return once again this year as the Brookfield Historical Society, hosts its fourth annual Traditional Christmas Open House Weekend at the Brookfield Museum, Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, 2013 from 10 am to 4 pm. 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. 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.