Sunday, June 30, 2013

Celebrating 40 Years in 2013-2014; Tickets On Sale July 1

Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing on
Thursday, September 12 & Friday, September 13, 2013.
Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts announces the highlights of their 40th anniversary season in 2013-2014, including two world premieres, four New England premieres, and six Connecticut premieres.
See below the jump for detailed schedule:

Suspicious Object Found Near Synagogue

Police cordoned off streets Sunday morning, adjacent to Temple Adath Israel on Broad Street after a suspicious object was found near the synagogue and nearby First United Methodist Church.  Police were preventing vehicular and foot traffic on Broad Street in the block between Church and Williams Street.

At 11 a.m. the Hartford bomb disposal unit arrived.  First United Methodist moved their services to the gazebo on the South Green, and police could be seen entering and exiting the church.  By 11:30, the streets were being opened to traffic.

The Middletown Patch reports that the suspicious object turned out to be a sewing machine.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Xavier Announces Honor Roll

Headmaster Brother Brian Davis, C.F.X. and Principal Brendan Donohue have announced the Honor Roll for the fourth marking period. The criteria for a student to qualify for “high honors” are a grade point average of at least 3.75 and no grade lower than a B (limit one B only) in his major subjects. To attain “honors” in a given marking period a student must have at least a 3.25 grade point average and no grade lower than a C (limit one C only) in his major subjects. Physical Education and the SAT Prep Course are NOT included in the tabulation for Honor Roll.
The Eye congratulates the following boys from our city:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blast from the Past

Yesterday at Kidcity Children's Museum, we had some unexpected visitors!  Sister Lucille (left) and Sister Ann Marie (right) stopped at our front desk and asked if they could look around, because they used to live here when our building was the convent for St. Sebastian's Church!

I had a blast showing both of them around the older section of the museum, as they went from room to room saying "This was the Mother Superior's room"and "There used to be a stairway here down to the kitchen."   Apparently, our Fishery exhibit used to be something called the Rumpus Room.

Sister Lucille pulled out her smart phone at one point and called another nun, saying "I'm standing right now where the chapel used to be!"

Sister Ann Marie lived in Middletown for two years in the 1960's  - she said "Everyone here was from Melilli - I used to call them Mellillians".   Sister Lucille lived at the convent for two years in the 1980's. Both taught at St. Sebastian's School on Green Street and Sister Lucille remembered when the school moved to Eckersley Hall, which will soon be Middletown's senior center.

Here's a bit of the history of Kidcity's building:  The house itself was built on the corner of Broad and Washington in the 1860's as a duplex mansion for the Camp and Sterns families, and then became the convent for St. Sebastian's in the 1920's.  There was only 6 or 8 feet from the back of the house to the side of St. Sebastian's Church - an interesting thing to reflect on when you imagine what a huge endeavor it must have been to build the church, with a house sitting just a few feet away.

By 1997, the Church was planning to demolish the vacant convent, which had been declared a blighted building by the city.  After a plea from local preservationists, led by Jeff Bianco, the Church decided to donate the building to our new non-profit organization so that we could start Kidcity - a win-win for everyone.  We had to move the building down the street from the corner of Broad and Washington, on what was surely the coldest day of the year, only to have the building get stuck in the  middle of the street.  Two days later, the building finally made its way to the current location, a small piece of the public parking lot which was donated by the city for the new foundation.  The Connection was our angel investor at that point, taking out a mortgage from Citizens to pay for the move, and then selling the building to Kidcity on the first anniversary of our opening the museum.

As it looks now, the convent is Kidcity's blue building, which was rotated to face Washington Street during the move.  The yellow building is the addition that we built to the museum in 2003.

We sometimes have visitors who went to St. Sebastian's School as children and they tell us about going to the convent to clean - someone just wrote on our facebook page about her memories of polishing the banister.  But this is the first time in many, many years that we've had any of the Sisters stop by.

After leaving Middletown, Sister Ann Marie and Sister Lucille continued their teaching careers, and their love for children was clear as they walked through the museum and engaged kids as they played pretend.  We debated with one little boy about what kind of dinosaur he was carrying around (Stegosaurus?  Spinosaurus?)

Sister Ann Marie and Sister Lucille are currently retired in New Jersey, but they both had warm memories of Middletown and it was such a delight to visit with them.  

**UPDATED:  My apologies for the first draft of this article, which listed the Sisters of Mercy instead of the Sisters of St. Lucy Fillippini as the order of Sister Lucille and Sister Ann Marie.

Steer Off The Road

A young steer left his barn on the corner of Higby and Country Club road this morning, for a short walk-about in Westfield. He did not go far before he found some delightful fresh grass.

The police were waiting for the owner to arrive, and were less concerned about the steer than they were about stupid motorists stopping to take pictures. 

Eric Kuhn Group at Cypress, 6pm Sun June 30

In it to win it: Eric is absolutely running for president in 2016. Festivities will include innovative policy proposals, (like using Gitmo as the set for for a reality TV show called Moot Court), and exciting staff announcements: Palin for Secretary of Defense!

Eric Kuhn Group with
Anitra Brooks
Bruce Elder
Tim Gaylord
Joseph Getter
Lars Selberg
Kate TenEyck 

Sunday, June 30 at 6pm
The Cypress Grill
1265 South Main Street, Middletown CT
Out on the deck, weather permitting.
No cover. 
Hope to see you there!

Salvation Army Hosts Summer Camp

From Deborah Kleckowski

The Middletown Salvation Army is hosting a summer camp from July 8-August 16 for kids ages 7-12. The program hours are 9-3pm (8:30am early arrival and 3:30 extended stay). Breakfast and lunch are included.

An exciting program is planned including arts & crafts, hiking, swimming, fitness, music, dance, tours and trips!

Cost is $20 per week 1st child, $15 2nd child and $10 3rd child. Financial assitance may be available.

REGISTER NOW! Please contact Deborah Kleckowski- Summer Progam Director or 860-347-7493.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Power of the Purse

The Middlesex United Way Women’s Initiative is hosting its fifth annual ‘Power of the Purse’ benefit at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 27 at the Mattabesett Canoe Club, 80 Harbor Drive, Middletown.
The event features hors d’oeuvres, women’s networking and a silent auction with themed handbags, totes, purses and more. Proceeds benefit the work of the Women’s Initiative to strengthen the lives of women and children in Middlesex County.
You can also help by bringing gently used purses and handbags for local programs helping women get back on their feet.
For more information about the Middlesex United Way Women’s Initiative, visit
Tickets are $30 each and are available at

Connecticut Ballet Returns to Middlesex Community College on July 21

Photo by Connecticut Ballet

For the third year in a row, Middlesex Community College will host the Connecticut Ballet’s Summer Dance Caravan on Sunday, July 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Narrated by Artistic Director Brett Raphael, this year’s program is entitled ‘Fabulous Duets for a Summer Day’ featuring exciting classical and contemporary works performed by the company’s stellar professional dancers.

"We at Middlesex are thrilled to have the Connecticut Ballet perform here for free,” said Professor John Shafer, who helped coordinate this event.  “It is a terrific opportunity for people in the community who have never seen a ballet performance before to experience a sample of what it's like — the beauty, grace, and style. They may discover that they really like it.  The performance offers short segments of a variety of different types of ballet and dance styles, from classical to modern, by very talented, professional-level artists."

The performance is free and will be held in Chapman Hall at 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown. The event is also sponsored by the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Price Chopper, and Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts. For more information, visit

Community Health Center Participating In "Take the test. Take control."

The Oasis Wellness Center – which falls under the umbrella of services at Community Health Center, Inc. – is offering free HIV testing on Thursday, June 27th to mark National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). The testing will be available at CHC, Inc.’s Peace and Health Building, located at 675 Main Street. This year’s NHTD slogan is “Take the test. Take control.” and the testing offered at CHC, Inc. will be quick, confidential, and free-of-charge. Testing will be available during regular business hours.

Fireworks Festival!

This year's annual Independence Day Fireworks Festival takes place on July 3rd with a music festival on the lawn of City Hall in advance of, and coinciding with, the fireworks display over the Connecticut River. The Festival begins at around 6 p.m. and ends with fireworks splashing the night sky beginning around 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Planning And Zoning Commission Meeting

The Commission approved a new sewage pumping 
station on South Main Street. The plan was presented
by Fred Mueller.

Planning Director Bill Warner briefed 
the Commission on the progress of the 
Riverfront Redevelopment Commission.

Warner invited P&Z Commissioners to attend the meetings of the Riverfront Redevelopment
Commission. The next meeting is Tuesday, July 2nd, in Council Chambers

Sean Clapis Trio with Henry Lugo and Noah Baerman

Noah Baerman squareJune 28, 2013
8 - 10 pm, $10

Jazz pianist, composer, educator and author Noah Baerman grew up in Connecticut, studying jazz at New Haven’s Educational Center for the Arts and at Jackie McLean’s Artists’ Collective in Hartford. In the 1990s, he earned B.M. and M.M. degrees in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University, where his mentor was Kenny Barron. Aside from Barron, his instructors included Ted Dunbar, Joanne Brackeen, Bill Fielder, Ralph Bowen, Larry Ridley and Michael Mossman. He also discovered a broad range of music through studies in jazz history with Phil Schaap and Lewis Porter. While at Rutgers, he performed extensively in and around New York with jazz artists including Bowen, Charles Fambrough, Stefon Harris, Rufus Reid, Akira Tana, Mark Turner and many others. From 1994-1999, he co-led the quartet Positive Rhythmic Force, performing throughout the east coast and recording two CDs.

Sean Clapis1
Sean Clapis is a young jazz guitarist from Hartford, Connecticut. While attending the Academy of the Performing Arts High School in Hartford, and the Artist’s Collective, founded by the late, great Jackie McLean, Sean studied with prominent jazz figures such as Paul Brown and Jimmy Greene.
He graduated from the prestigious Hartt School of Music as a Jazz Studies Major. Under the intense tutelage of the illustrious Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Randy Johnston, Rich Goldstien, Rene McLean and The Great Andy LaVerne, Sean has made a name for himself on the Connecticut jazz scene.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NPS Playscape Dedication

I swear that a full half of the friends I have in Middletown, are friends because we met when our children were attending Neighborhood Preschool.

On Thursday, June 27, NPS will be dedicating and celebrating the opening of its brand new playscape with a dedication ceremony, and a potluck dinner.  The fun begins at 4 PM at 20 Lawn Street.  All are welcome.

Legalize Ginseng Now! -- Popcorn by The Colonel #50

The northbound marauding wild boars have not yet perfected their newly evolved shape-shifting abilities, witness the above laughably crude attempt to reproduce the late actor William ("The Babe Ruth Story"; "The Life of Riley") Bendix (1908-1964) (picture below). These boars are the worst thing since Bambi's Mom returned as a zombie doe. There is still time to stop them, if we can but summon the will. Who goes there?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro Convenes a Roundtable

Nary a dissenting opinion was heard today when U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro convened a round-table discussion on the crisis in student loan interest rates. Everyone – the Congresswoman, Mayor Daniel Drew, State Representatives Matt Lesser and Mary Mushinsky, four college students, numerous parents and college administrators – agreed that the lingering effects of the recession and the constantly rising costs of tuition can only be exacerbated by the potential increase in Federal student loan interest rates from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Mayor Dan Drew, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, CT State Rep. Lesser
Seated in the Wadsworth Room of  deKoven House, the Congresswoman from the Third District explained, with Congress adjourning next week, only a few days remain in which to act on Representative Joe Courtney’s amendment, which would stabilize interest rates for another two years.

While Connecticut’s delegation can be counted on to vote to control loan rates, students, parents, faculty and administrators need to urge their colleagues in other states to impress their representatives of the importance of this legislation.

Even as the costs of tuition have increased nearly 400 per cent over the last thirty years, middle class families have been pinched by economic conditions to fund their children’s educations. As Professor Brian Stewart of Wesleyan explained, the doubling of interest from 3.4% to 6.8% will mean that unpaid student debt will actually double over a ten year period; a student going on to graduate school could be burdened with debt equivalent to a mortgage.

When the interest rate goes up on July 1, seven million students will be affected, 73,000 of them in Connecticut. Currently, the average four-year college graduate leaves with $26,000 in debt.

There was consensus among the adults on the value of a college education: Rep. DeLauro described how her parents, neither of whom graduated from high school, worked hard to send her and her siblings through college. Current data suggests that a college graduate will earn $22,000 more per year than a high school graduate -- or about one million dollars in a lifetime. Four out of five jobs lost in the recent recession belonged to non-college graduates.

But as students who are now faced with perhaps one thousand dollars more per year in loan interest look to their future, there is some doubt: the high cost of tuition and the uncertainty of a job upon graduation combine to raise stress levels for all concerned.

As Alicia Waldner, a recent Middletown High graduate stated, she doesn't want her college education to deplete her parents’ resources – in fact, she wants her degree so she can help them, not so she can be a burden. Adrienne Maslin, Dean of Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College, offered her perspective on what increasing costs in interest will mean to the average community college student: “A thousand dollars can mean the difference between staying in school and having to take a semester off to pay for an auto repair.”   

Further, Rep. DeLauro pointed out, the Ryan budget would cut $100 billion over ten years from Pell Grant funding, the greatest source of student loans. Rep. DeLauro contrasted how the G.I. Bill of the 40s and 50s supported both education and home-buying with the shortsightedness of Congress today in making education prohibitively expensive for the middle and lower classes. “The G.I. Bill was genius,” she said.

She went on, “Congress should be working to make college more available and affordable to students, not cutting programs that help them obtain an education. Every American should have the opportunity to get an education and make a better life. Without access to college there is no middle class and the compact between generations is broken. If you work hard, it pays off and you do better than your parents; that is the deal in America. Congress needs to act this week to ensure millions of Americans still have a chance at that reality by keeping student interest rates low.”

Congress’s current approach, Mayor Drew suggested, could make all the difference in the United States’ role in the world economy. Where once we led the world in college graduation rates, we are now seeing declines which can only be a detriment to our economy. “We will lose our competitive edge in the world economy if we don’t support education for the middle class,” he stated.

As Christine O’Grady, mother of three and herself a graduate student, said in describing the $220,000 cost of sending one child to a private college, “I’m a little discouraged.”

The Keating Wheel Legacy

Photo Courtesy of Bill Flood
The following commentary was originally posted by R. Keating as a comment on an Eye article about a recent tour of the City's business incubator building on Johnson Street. The building is commonly known as the Remington Rand building, because the Remington Rand Typewriter Company was the last occupant of the building before it became vacant. R Keating writes that calling it the Remington Rand building diminishes the great historic significance of the building and that the name of the building should more correctly reflect the legacy and history of the Keating Wheel Company which operated out of the building. 

Middletown's history and the history of that remarkable historical asset on Johnson street is not about typewriters. It's about 19th century industrial innovation in America. Specifically, it's all about the pioneering efforts that forever changed the nation's transportation history. No exaggeration. Middletown owns that distinction and should celebrate it. With some creative thinking and planning (what Keating would have called "Yankee Ingenuity"), that distinction might also be branded to attract interests (and dollars) towards historic preservation, tourism and economic development.

Keating's 1901 motorcycle puttered down Main Street in Middletown the same time that Oscar Hedstrom was working out the kinks of his own machine -- the prototype that would become the Indian [motorcycle]. At the time, Middletown was the undisputed Motor City when it came to the American motorcycle. Keating's machine went to market months before Hedstrom's prototype and became popular enough to force Hedstrom and George Hendee of Indian fame to "borrow" key features to make their product competitive. As Gary noted, Harley and Davidson would later borrow the same components. 

Keating was also one of the nation's earliest commercial automobile manufacturers -- both electric and gasoline powered. The historic parade that celebrated Middletown's 250th birthday, held in October of 1900, included four Keating Company vehicles -- including a motorized runabout. It would be another year before Henry Ford started building his historic machines. (R.M.Keating family lore has it that Keating spent some time with Ford, helping him with factory design and assembly line production such as that already occurring in Middletown.) The factory then went on to host the Eisenhuth Compound automobile, one of the most innovative machines of the "brass era." Indeed, Middletown was one of the few American cities in the nation that was actively engaged in building automobiles. In CT, Middletown was second only to Hartford's Pope Company which was arguably the biggest in the nation at the time.

Editor's notes: 

Readers, what do you think? Do you agree that the name Keating should be reflected in the building name? Please submit a comment!

Beth Emery wrote about the name of this building nearly four years ago in this Eye commentary:

Editorial: Clearing up a name while cleaning up at the Keating Wheel factory; AKA: Remington Rand!

The Keating Wheel Company - where is it now?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kayak and Canoe Trip to "Floating Meadows"

Over 60 adults and a children, including many from Macdonough School, participated in the Jonah Center's Annual River Paddle yesterday.  The weather was perfect and smiles were abundant, especially on the faces of North End youth.  We had experienced paddlers, some who were stepping into a canoe for the first time, and many in-between.  Biology Professor Barry Chernoff gave short talks on the ecology and biodiversity of the area. 

Visit the Jonah Center for Earth and Art Facebook page to see more photos by Olivia  Bartlett Drake and Trevor Davis.

From 1953: A Mayor Practices What He Preaches

The following article is from 60 years ago, published on June 21, 1953 in the New York Times. It was written by David Anderson.

Bailey was born in 1916 and died in 1982 (NY Times obituary). He moved to Middletown in 1946, served as Mayor from 1950 to 1952, and moved to Princeton in 1954. 

His biggest legacy was the destruction of the four-story city hall on Main Street, and replacement of a thriving Sicilian neighborhood on Center Street with Riverview Plaza, anchored by a Sears store (the current police station is on the site of Center Street, and its architecture echos that of the old city hall).

For more on the history of Bailey's downtown redevelopment, and the destruction of what Bailey called the "East Side slums," see Vijay Pinch's excellent Eye article from 2009.
Dr. Bailey Wears Path of Good Government From Campus to Connecticut City Hall
Dr. Stephen Kemp Bailey, Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University, hangs his cap and gown on a peg in the campus faculty room and strides down to the musty old brownstone Town Hall here, where he marches confidently into the Mayor's office, rolls up his sleeves and wastes no time at all putting into practice what he preaches.

The Mayor of Middletown, at 37 years of age, is only one of several successful characters rolled into the slender, energetic person of Stephen Bailey. There is, for instance, the distinguished Rhodes Scholar of 1937-39 who won a number of awards in the pursuit of political science. There is the young naval lieutenant who became chief of Balkan intelligence with the Office of Strategic Services. And the Government expert who served the Hoover Commission in Washington.

Mayor Bailey tries to play his role as he expects it ought to be, yet there are undertones of more than the average city father might bring to his job.

"I'm spending a lot of dough, there's no doubt about it," he said today. "There's been plenty of dirt swept under the rugs in the last twenty years."

The technician within Dr. or Mr. or Professor or Mayor Bailey, depending on who you are and the time of day, has recommended as part of the cleansing process three new schools, a revitalized park and playground program, a solution for the parking problem, a revision of the city's charter and more efficient financial planning.

He Can't Afford to Lose
Elected last October as a Democrat by a sizable plurality of 1,000 over a divided Republican opposition, the Mayor is in office for two years. This taste of politics does not mean that he will abandon the cloister for the clubhouse.

"I can't afford to lose, that's the trouble," he said, adding, "no dough."

City Hall experiences of the Mayor have opened the professor's eyes. In this community of 30,000, which is so typical of the nation at large that Dr. Bailey likes to refer to it as "Middletown, U.S.A.," the theory of government has been surprisingly useful in running the town. Furthermore, he testifies, "It is awful doggone useful in the field of ethics."

In the classroom up on the hill, Professor Bailey has been telling students that ethical behavior rules out absolutely the kickback or pay-up, the split and such doings. In practice, he lectures, you simply ought not to go in for it. But soon after assuming office he was advised that in the case of a certain purchase, say, a fire engine (although that industry is not involved), it had long been the custom for so-and-so to receive such-and-such.

"It seemed pretty darn easy for me to slip into the pattern," the Mayor recalled. "What I did was this. I told that fellow I'd raise the amount he wanted some other way. I'd no idea how, still it didn't matter, for he went away and has never come back."

Alumni Form An Honor Roll
Dr. Bailey concedes that when he first stepped forward in the mayoralty race, many people suspected he "must be some sort of wild-eyed guy" wh had wasted too much time hanging around Washington and traveling abroad. He believes he has allayed these fears.

The course he charted is not a new one. Woodrow Wilson was an instructor in government at Wesleyan University before he entered public life, the late Gov. James L. McConaughy of Connecticut was president of the university and former Gov. Wilbert Snow a professor of English.

G. Albert Hill, State Commissioner of Highways, was head of the Chemistry Department. Chief Justice Ernest Inglis of Connecticut and Justice Raymond E. Baldwin are both alumni and trustees of Wesleyan. Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson is a native of Middletown.

It is clear that the present Mayor thinks as an expert and writes as a scholar, notwithstanding his interest in the folksy touch.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Altrusa International of Central CT Installation of Officers

Front  row, Stef Labbe (Vice President)), Elsie Mathews (President)
Back row, Angela Lambriola (Director), Linda Kranyik (Director),
Ellen Paris (Secretary), Hilda Schmidt (Treasurer),
Cathy Boone (Foundation), Pat Jackowski (Foundation)
From Altrusa International of Central CT

Altrusa International of Central CT has worked in our city and surrounding communities for more than 55 years. Altrusa International is a not-for-profit international association of professional women and men who volunteer their energies and expertise in projects dedicated to community betterment. Ongoing special focus: Literacy, the environment, HIV/AIDS.

Altrusa International of Central CT current projects include:
Literacy Volunteers, ABC Books (Altrusa Books for Community), LFL (Little Free Library)High School Scholarship, Middlesex Community College Scholarship, Gerard F. Melito Senior Citizens Poetry Contest, Make A Difference Day-Jane Tarca Womans Health Awareness Day & Remembering our Woman Veterans, Hungry Babies are a Reality-year-round bay food & diaper drive.

For additional inforamtion, to attend a meeting, to assist with one of the projects contact:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Funds Promised For Gun Range Noise Abatement

About 25 Westfield residents came to the Fire Station last night to discuss the city's plans to reduce noise from the Dingwall Horan Joint Training Facility, which both the Police Department and the FBI use for firearms training. Mayor Dan Drew, and Councilmen Tom Serra and Todd Berch promised those assembled that the city would provide funding for alterations to the facility to reduce the noise.

The Training Facility was built in 1982 on the shore of the lower of two city reservoirs at the base of Mt. Higby in Westfield. For 27 years there were few, if any, complaints about noise, this changed after about 2009. This was when the FBI paid $250,000 to upgrade the facility, building a small building to serve as a classroom, as well as very modestly expanding the length and width of the shooting range.

Captain Moriarty and Sergeant Fuchs, the former and current shooting instructors, said that they suspect that something about the FBI upgrade caused the noise to travel into the neighborhoods. The city has hired an engineering firm, AI Engineering, to determine the cause of the noise increase, and to determine the feasibility of reducing it. The engineering firm has retained Bennett Brooks, of Brooks Accoustics, to help with the noise analysis.

Drew expressed optimism that the AI Engineering feasibility study would find the answer to why Westfield "sounds like Beirut or Baghdad."  When the study is complete, Drew said the information would be shared with the public in an open forum at the Westfield Fire Station, as well as in meetings of the Public Safety Commission.

The Common Council can approve bonding of up to $750,000 without holding a referendum, and the three elected officials all agreed to support funding for the noise abatement up to that level.  Mayor Drew said that he would ask the FBI to contribute additional money towards the cost of any changes to the facility.

DeLauro To Visit City Monday, Will Discuss College Costs

From DeLauro's office.
Our Congresswoman, Rosa DeLauro, will host a discussion on the impact of the increasing cost of higher education this Monday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m., in the DeKoven House Community Center on Washington Street. She will join local parents and students, who will talk about how the pending increase in the student loan interest rate and federal cuts to higher education programs hurt middle class families.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fireworks Festival

Middlesex County Historical Society Garden Luncheon

Beautiful Brimming Blossoms at Our House” Luncheon at the General Mansfield House

The Middlesex County Historical Society invites members, friends, and the general public to gather together for a relaxing luncheon under the 120 year old ginkgo tree that is at the center of the back yard of the Society’s headquarters, the General Mansfield House.  The gardens, which have recently been expanded, will be at their best in this oasis of tranquility in downtown Middletown.  Along with the sounds of the Spear Park fountain, it is a perfect place to beat the July heat and get away from the stresses of the day.  Guests are encouraged to wear their summer hats. 

The garden luncheon features a summer salad plate, with fruit and cookies, iced tea and lemonade and will be held on Wednesday, July 24, rain or shine.  Two seatings are offered at 11:30 and 1:00.  Reservations are $20 per person and are required; group bookings are welcome.  Takeout orders will be accepted.  For additional information or to make reservations, call the Middlesex County Historical Society, 151 Main Street, Middletown, CT 06457 at 860-346-0746.  Past luncheons have been well attended, so early reservations are encouraged.  Proceeds will benefit the renovation of the two century-old Mansfield House.  Connecticut Underwriters, Inc. is a sponsor of this event.