General Mansfield House
151 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457
Phone: (860) 346-0746

Deborah Shapiro, Director

Museum House
Mon. - Thurs., 10am-2pm
1st Sat. of the month noon-3pm


Genealogy and research in archives by appointment only.

 

  Get Lost - in CT history!

 

 

 

 

 

 

           Middletown, circa 1899; courtesy of Patrick Shugrue.

Community Survey

The online survey is now closed; thanks to all who participated!   In early April we will post a summary of the results here on our website, and present them at our annual meeting on April 30 at 6:15pm in the Hubbard Room of Russell Library. 

If you have questions or comments, please contact Pat Tully at pres@middlesexhistory.org

 

Our Mission: Dedicated to preserving the history of Middlesex County and providing programs for adults and children to increase their understanding of the area's past.

 

Exhibitions  

 

Hard and Stirring Times: Middletown and the Civil War

Within These Walls:

One House, One Family, Two Centuries

Their Own Stories: Voices from Middletown's Melting Pot

Their Own Stories:

Voices from Middletown's Melting Pot (Online exhibit)

 

New exhibit! Juxtaposing Likeness: Fashion Accessories From the Collection of the Middlesex County Historical Society.  Emma Rothberg, Wesleyan Class of 2015, served as guest curator for this display of items from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Read more about the exhibit from the Hartford Courant.

Society activities 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014:  Annual membership meeting and premiere of Legendary Locals, a book with biographies of famous Middletown residents past and present.  The business meeting starts at 6:15pm with election of new officers, results of the community survey, and a brief ouline of the state of the Society.  The program, featuring Legendary Locals author Bob Hubbard, starts at 7pm. Join us in the Hubbard Room of Russell Library.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014: Talk by Prof. Victor Triay of Middlesex Community College on the Cuban Revolution and the Bay of Pigs invasion.  Prof. Triay is the author of many books of history and historical fiction on these events; please plan to attend this fascinating talk!  Note location:  7pm at Middlesex Community College's Chapman Hall, Jean Burr Smith Library, Periodical Room. 

Middletown history online and on the air...

John Bank's Civil War Blog has a series of posts on General Joseph Mansfield and Robert Hubbard, Middletown natives who served in the war. http://john-banks.blogspot.com/

Wesleyan Assistant Professor of Anthropology Sarah Croucher has created a site, Middletown Materials, on local archaeological digs and the research her students are doing on the artifacts recovered: http://middletownmaterials.research.wesleyan.edu/

Our blog, '150 years ago in Middletown, Connecticut', allows you to experience life in Middletown as it happened, through excerpts from The Constitution, Middletown's Republican newspaper. 

Follow MCHSCT on Twitter   For updates on events and information about the Society, follow us on Twitter

 

Past events and stories

April 1, 2014: Middletown native and first Connecticut Troubadour Tom Callinan launched his new CD with classic and original songs of the War of 1812, as the becentennial commemoration of the war continues. Thanks to all who attended!

March 4, 2014:  Talk by local historian James Sarbaugh on Native American tribes in the Middletown area and their interactions with British settlers. Wonderful exploration of the clash and combining of cultures in the colonial era, with a lively Q&A afterward.  Thanks to everyone who attended and participated!

November 29, 2013.  Holiday on Main at the Mansfield House.  Thanks to all who stopped by to visit!

November 19, 2013.  Allegra di Bonaventura talk on her new book, For Adam's Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England, exploring the complex relationship between masters and slaves in 18th century Connecticut.  A wonderful talk and a great discussion afterward!

October 22, 2013. Talk by Peter Gedrys, "Furniture Finishes: Past and Present."  It was standing room only at the Mansfield House for Peter Gedrys' talk and demonstration.  Thanks to Peter for sharing his knowledge and expertise, and to all who attended! 

October 13, 2013:  28th Annual Antique and Classic Car & Truck Show.  We had 95 vehicles entered and a beautiful day!  Thanks to all the entrants and attendees, and congratulations to our winners.  For photographs of the feature car and the winners, go to our Facebook page

September 7, 2013:  Civil War Day at the Mansfield House.  Thanks to everyone who attended, and members of Company F of the 14th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, musical group Back Swamp, speaker Bob Larkin, and author John Banks!

August 25, 2013 Wadsworth Mansion Open Air Market. Thanks to all who visited our table and played our trivia game!.

August 10, 2013Summer Jazz on the Lawn, Mansfield House Gardens. The Mike Augeri Jazz Project gave a wonderful concert to benefit the Middlesex County Historical Society in the beautiful back garden of the Mansfield House.  Musicians Mike Augeri, Sinan Bakir, Orice Jenkins, Paul Fuller, Jim Bosco and Rich Tortorigi performed jazz standards as well as original compositions by Sinan Bakir. See photos on our Facebook page

 

July 28, 2013: Connecticut Jane Austen Society visit.  The Society's annual convention was held in Middletown this year, and members of the Society visited the Mansfield House where Executive Director Debby Shapiro gave them a tour of the house and gardens. 

 

July 24, 2013. Luncheon in the Mansfield House Gardens. A beautiful day, just in time for the event!  Thanks to all 80 people who attended.  See photos on our Facebook page.

 

June 29, 2013:  Reception at Highlawn.  An Historical Society fundraiser at the beautiful home of George and Camille Camp.  It was a wonderful evening; thanks to everyone who attended!  David Bauer's photographs of the event are on our Facebook page.

June 8, 2013:  Connecticut Open House Day at the Mansfield House. Over 50 visitors on a beautiful day in Middletown.

 

2013 Sheedy winners.  Photo by Maureen O'Connor.

June 6, 2013:  Sheedy Contest Award Ceremony and Reception.  Congratulations to the winners and their families!  Click here for more on the contest and this year's winners.

May 27, 2013:  Middletown Memorial Day Parade.  A beautiful day for a parade, after a cold weekend! 

 

April 23, 2013: Middlesex County Historical Society Annual Meeting, at Congregation Adath Israel, Middletown.  The business meeting was followed by Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor Lois Brown from Wesleyan University.  Her talk was entitled: 'So at any cost I will go": Nineteenth-Century African American Journeys to the Civil War South, a fascinating and lively exploration of the lives and writings of Harriet Tubman and Charlotte Forten, two women of very different backgrounds who shared a passion for helping others to freedom and independence. Professor Brown's talk was accessible and very engaging!

For previous events, see our Past events and stories page.

Connecticut Civil War Commemoration 

Over the next four years, Connecticut will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with lectures, re-enactments, workshops and programs.  Click here for a list of upcoming events.

Awards for Hard & Stirring Times exhibit

The American Association for State and Local History awarded the Middlesex County Historical Society a 2010 Award of Merit for the exhibit: Hard & Stirring Times: Middletown & the Civil War.

 

The Connecticut League of History Organizations awarded the Middlesex County Historical Society a 2010 Award of Merit for the exhibit  Hard & Stirring Times: Middletown & the Civil War, the online version of the exhibit, and the development of curriculum using the Society's Civil War archives for local middle and high schools.

 

Thank you for your support!

 

The Middlesex County Community Foundation awarded the Society a grant for the upgrade of this website.

 

The Connecticut Humanities Council provided support for the development of the Civil War section of the website.

 

Thanks to the Middlesex County Historical Society's Antique & Classic Car Show Committee for their continued support of the Society.

And most of all, thanks to our members for giving their time, talents and donations to the Society. Your support is essential to the work we do, and we deeply appreciate it!

 

 

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