Updated 24 Oct. 2016, by Ron Organek.
In late 2002, a group of Middletown area veterans got together to begin the process of forming a military museum as a tribute to all veterans and to preserve the rich military history of our local veterans, their units and the military history of the Greater Middletown area.
The group organized a Board of Directors of 15 members representing all branches of the services which included officers, enlisted and civilians. They elected a President, Vice-president, Secretary and Treasurer.
In October of 2003 the group was granted 501 (c) 3 status by the Internal Revenue Service. Around the same time the Secretary of State for the State Connecticut granted the organization Non-Profit status.
On the 7th of March 2011 a lease agreement was signed with the city of Middletown Connecticut for the Museum to use a modular building on the campus of a former school building known as Eckersley Hall located at 61 Durant Street. The building was sold to Saint Sabastian church to use as a school. In 2011 the city purchased the building from the church to use as a Senior Center. After several years the city asked the Museum to vacate the modular buildings so a parking lot could be built for the Center. At that time the Museum moved all the items into storage.
The Museum received funds from the State and the city to build a new building. On November 4th 2015 the Museum signed a lease agreement with the city for 6 acres of land in Veterans Park on Old Mill Road. The land was located at the entrance near Old Mill Road.
In 2016 the city and the Museum agreed to move the Museum farther in the park next to a Memorial called the Connecticut Trees of Honor. The Memorial is dedicated to those who gave their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was felt the Museum and the Memorial would complement each other.
In 2015 the Museum Architect started designing a building for the Museum which is about 3,000 square feet. In 2016 the design was approved by all of the cities commissions.
The Museum plans to have a ground breaking in the Spring of 2017 and have a Grand Opening in the Fall of that year.
To achieve its vision, the Museum Membership knew that establishing partnerships was key. They reached out to the Community Foundation of Middlesex County to help connect the dots and discovered that the Community Foundation has the ability to create a Project Fund – a Fund with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The Community Foundation accepts donations on behalf of a very particular project and ensures those funds are specifically used for that project. The Greater Middletown Military Museum Project Fund provides the support necessary for a special campaign such as this one. Monetary donations for the Greater Middletown Military Museum may be sent to Community Foundation of Middlesex County, 211 South Main Street Middletown, CT 06457, or online through their website.
The Greater Middletown Military Museum is registered as a nonprofit corporation (501 C 3) with the IRS and also registered as non-profit with the state of Connecticut.
Over the years, the Museum has worked very diligently to form various committees, such as building, membership, fundraising committees, etc., to help move the process forward.