Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 6:30 PM:  Joe Barney, Circus Magician

Annual Membership: (September thru August)

Join the Bridgeport Community Historical Society and help preserve the history of the entire Bridgeport community. Members receive a discount on walking tours.

- Please print out and fill in the BCHS 2018-2019 membership form and mail to:

          Bridgeport Community Historical Society
          P.O. Box 1956
          Bridgeport, CT 06601-1956

- Or you may bring the form to a meeting.

B.C.H.S. member, Paul Baudner, will speak about his extensive D. M. Read Department Store memorabilia collection from the 1940s. D.M. Read was located at the corner of Broad and John Streets and was known at the time for its classy and elegant merchandise. Who can remember the window displays on Thursday nights, or visiting the toy department or Santa at Reads?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 6:30 PM:  Shawn Peterson, PEZ Historian

Demolition of the historic Sanborn Library building, at the highly visible gateway intersection of Bridgeport's Fairfield Avenue and State Street, could happen as soon as November 20, 2018. Timely as it is urgent, this talk by local Architect Manny Machado, with presentation assistance by Boston Planning Consultant Michael Tyrrell, will cover the history of the building, its Architect, and the issues surrounding its potential demolition or development.

Mike Kachuba is a musician with a passion for telling stories through song.  He will share some songs, instruments and provide some information on his experiences using music to reach people of all ages and abilities.  It will be a fun, enjoyable, and relaxed evening!

​As the 1996 Connecticut State Troubadour, Mike used this passion to tell stories of people and places from Connecticut’s past.  This culminated in the CD, “It Happened In Connecticut”.  His second CD, “The Fisher Boy”, commissioned by the Florence Griswold Museum in Lyme, CT is a collection of songs he wrote based on selected 

paintings from the Hartford Steam Boiler Company’s art collection.  Mike is a multi-instrumentalist who currently provides therapeutic music at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and in the NICU at Hartford Hospital.  He does the same at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford.  In addition, he performs regularly with the Fairfield County based Bedlam Brothers String Band who have 2 CDs to their credit.

Monday, June 25, 2018 - 6:30 PM:  Mike Kachuba, Musician and Storyteller

​The event will take place at Captain’s Cove, One Bostwick Avenue in Bridgeport, CT Rain or shine - Please note: MONDAY evening.

Shelton educator and historian, Carolyn Ivanoff, presents “A Hard Road to Travel – From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863,” the story of four young men, friends from Stratford and Shelton, who served together in Connecticut’s 17th Regiment. She was previously named The Civil War Preservation Trust’s “Teacher of the Year.

​Joe Barney is a Bridgeport resident and award winning comedy magician. He has performed as a clown and once worked for Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus.  Joe will entertain and talk about the “circus”.

Join us for our Holiday gathering with light refreshments and the Annual Toy Drive for the Salvation Army – Please donate an unwrapped toy (no stuffed animals).

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 6:30 PM:  Carolyn Ivanoff, "A Hard Road to Travel – From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863"

Please submit your ideas for possible programs.

Inclement Weather Alert:  BCHS will make every effort to notify the media if we have to cancel.  If the library closes, they make the media notifications.  Check with WICC Radio and local TV stations or call Lorraine at 203-371-6435.

NOTE:  In an effort to "be green," the BCHS will not be sending monthly flyers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 6:30 PM:  Jay Misencik & Geralene Valentine

Poli's Palace & Majestic Theatres Memories Project

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 6:30 PM:  Manny Machado, Historic Sanborn Library Building

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 – 6:30 PM:  Carolyn Ivanoff, “A Hard Road to Travel – From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863”

Join the world's first and only official PEZ historian on a journey of sweet proportions for an inside look at the world's most cherished interactive candy. Shawn Peterson is the company archivist and historian at PEZ Candy, Inc. in Orange, Connecticut. He also manages the Visitor Center as well as the content for the company website, and he is responsible for the creative content in the Visitor Center.

​​PEZ is an American classic and a staple of many childhood memories. Yet it originated in Austria, where PEZ began in 1927 as compressed peppermint tablets marketed as an alternative to smoking. ​Upon arrival in the United States in 1952, PEZ quickly took a new direction, adding fruit flavors and three-dimensional character heads to top the dispensers.

The Bridgeport Community

Historical Society

P.O. Box 1956

Bridgeport, CT 06601-1956

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 6:30 PM:  Paul Baudner, D.M. Read Department Store

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 6:30 PM:  Rick Abramson,“Penn Station New York: From Corporate Jewel to Corporate Vandalism"

D. M. Read store, built in 1925 at Broad and John Streets

Photographers, Jay and Geralene, will show a "slide presentation" and narrate an interactive discussion with the audience. Their “Poli’s Palace & Majestic Theatres Memories Project” brings to life the two magnificent dormant theatres on Bridgeport’s Main Street. The theatres, built by Sylvester Z. Poli, opened in 1922 and quickly became a downtown social center. The theatres hosted live entertainment and silent movies before offering “talkies” toward the end of the Vaudeville era. They closed in the 1970s.


For Bridgeport history, contact Elizabeth VanTuyl at the Bridgeport History Center in the

Burroughs-Saden Library, 925 Broad Street in downtown Bridgeport.


      TEL: 203-576-7400, ext. #7
      EMAIL: hclibrarian@bridgeportpubliclibrary.org
      HOURS:  Thursday – 12 to 8 PM; Friday-Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM

Recent 2018/2019 Monthly Programs:​​​​​​​ 

​​​​Retired railroad engineer and historian, Rick Abramson, will present the rich history of “Penn Station New York: From Corporate Jewel to Corporate Vandalism,” from its beginning to its demolition and the reasons for both. The demolition was the start of New York City’s Landmarks Preservation actions.

Shelton educator and historian, Carolyn Ivanoff, presents “A Hard Road to Travel – From Connecticut to Gettysburg 1863.” A story about four young men, friends from Stratford and Shelton, who served together in Connecticut’s 17th Regiment.

Carolyn was previously named The Civil War Preservation Trust’s “Teacher of the Year.”

Monday, June 24, 2019 – 6:30 PM: 

Join us at 6:30 at Captain’s Cove, 1 Bostwick Avenue, for a fun evening.

Please note this event will be held on a Monday night!

TL3 will provide music for our final program of the season. They are an amazing acoustic guitar and upright bass duo. Bring some trivia to stump the members! Paid members receive a $3 voucher for food.  In case of inclement weather the program will be held inside.

Bridgeport Community Historical Society

Upcoming 2019 Monthly Programs:​​​​​​

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – 6:30 PM:  Educator and historian Carolyn Ivanoff will lead a virtual tour through Arlington National Cemetery, the nation's most noted military cemetery, with stories of U. S. History and of some of the over 275,000 people buried there. 

Bridgeport’s substantial inventory of aging and decayed buildings weigh down on the city’s image. However, razing and removing the Sanborn Library will only amplify that profile. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, “The Sanborn” was designed by award-winning German-Jewish American Architect Leonard Asheim in 1922. Asheim also designed the well-known Klein Memorial Auditorium, area school buildings, and the West End Congregation/Achavath Achim Synagogue on the national register of historic places.

A candidate for landmark designation through the State

Historic Preservation Office, the Sanborn possesses a civic

decorum more representative of the Park City in the early

20th Century. Please join us in reflecting on this important

landmark whose role could very well be extended into this


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Mission Statement

The purpose of the Bridgeport Community Historical Society is to enhance the image of the

City of Bridgeport by providing historical education programs and a preservation voice in the community.


The Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational, charitable organization.

Programs and events are open to the public.

Free programs are usually held on the last Tuesday of each month . . .  excluding January, February, July, August and December . . . from 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.  The June program is the last Monday of the month at Captain's Cove Seaport.


The Bridgeport Public Library - North Branch

3455 Madison Ave.

Bridgeport, CT 06606