Programs & Events

1942 Ford GPW Jeep Featured at Middlesex County Historical Society
 32nd Annual Car Show

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Palmer Field (adjacent to Washington Street and Route 66
Middletown, CT 06457

The Middlesex County Historical Society is proud to honor our servicemen and women by featuring a 1942 GPW Jeep owned by Bill Cross at its 32nd Annual Car Show and Flea Market. The show will be held at Palmer Field adjacent to Washington Street, Route 66, in Middletown on Sunday, October 1. Car registration begins at 8:30 am and judging starts at 11:30 am. Trophies made by the committee will be awarded to the top 30 vehicles at 2:30 pm. General admission is $3 and children 12 and under are free. Car registration is $10. Although cars registered for judging must be dated 1992 or older, there is no cut-off date for cars being placed in the car corral.

Washington’s military planners, eyeing Germany’s highly mechanized army, determined what was needed was a 4-wheel drive lightweight reconnaissance utility vehicle that could carry weapons and ammunition, travel difficult terrain, and serve as a scout car. During the WWII period, 1941 through 1945, 643,000 Jeeps were built. Willy’s-Overland produced 363,000 of their model MB and Ford produced 280,000 model GPW (General Purpose Willy’s). Both models were virtually identical and had a 3-speed transmission, 2-speed transfer case and a 4-cylinder engine capable of producing 54 horsepower.

Jeeps saw action in all theaters of war across the globe from Europe, Asia, North Africa and the islands of the Pacific, and won praise from the military’s highest ranks. General George C. Marshall US Army Chief of Staff at the time called it “America’s greatest contribution to modern warfare.” The owner’s father rode across France in a Jeep as a front-line medic from Omaha Beach to the fall of Germany and this was a key factor in his decision to restore this vehicle.

In the event of rain, the show will be held Sunday, October 8. Flea market spaces are $15 and the market opens at 7 am. For more information, call the Society at 860-346-0746.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 7pm
“General Israel Putnam, Connecticut Revolutionary War Hero”

A talk by Robert Hubbard, author of Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution
Russell Library
123 Broad Street
Middletown, CT 06457

A colorful figure of 18th-century America, Israel Putnam (1718–1790) played a key role in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. In 1758, while serving with the storied Rogers’ Rangers, he barely escaped being burned alive by Mohawk warriors. He later commanded a force of 500 men who were shipwrecked off the coast of Cuba, and reportedly gave the command “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Recounting these stories, and more, in a program sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society, Robert Hubbard will speak about his recently published book, Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution, on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm in the Hubbard Room at Russell Library. Detailing his close relationships with Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, and John and Abigail Adams, this first full-length biography of Putnam in more than a century re-examines the life of a revolutionary whose seniority in the Continental Army was second only to that of George Washington.

Hubbard is a retired professor of Albertus Magnus College in New Haven and an adjunct faculty member in the college’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program. For over 20 years, he has been webmaster of websites on Israel Putnam as well as entertainer Phil Silvers. He, along with his wife Kathleen Hubbard, is the author of Images of America Middletown, and Legendary Locals Middletown.  He will have copies of his book available for purchase and inscription.

Russell Library is located at 123 Broad Street in Middletown and is handicap accessible. For more information on this presentation, please call 860-346-0746 or see


MCHS March 2011 Wild women tour 1

Past events and programs