Richard DeLuca, the author of "Post Roads and Iron Horses: Transportation in Connecticut from Colonial Times to the Age of Steam," will deliver the Arthur M. Schultz Memorial Lecture at the annual meeting of the April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Hubbard Room of the Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, Middletown.
Post Roads & Iron Horses is the first book to look in detail at the turnpikes, steamboats, canals, railroads and trolleys that helped define Connecticut and shape New England. Advances in transportation technology during the 19th century transformed the Constitution State from a rough network of colonial towns to an industrial powerhouse of the Gilded Age.
From the race to build the Farmington Canal to the shift from water to rail transport, historian and transportation engineer DeLuca will tell engaging stories and trace the significant themes that emerge as American innovators and financiers, lawyers and legislators, struggle to control the movement of passengers and goods in southern New England. Highlights of the talk will address the intense competition between the Farmington and Enfield canals and the attempt by the Connecticut River Company to use steamboats on the river above Hartford.
Richard DeLuca has 10 years experience in the field of engineering as a transportation planner. He also spent 20 years researching and writing about aspects of California history.
After returning to Connecticut in 1998, DeLuca has been working on a two-volume history of Connecticut transportation while also serving on the editorial board of the journal, Connecticut History. After the talk, the author will answer questions and have books available for sale and signing.
The Middlesex County Historical Society is in the General Joseph Mansfield House, 151 Main St. Current exhibits, Hard & Stirring Times: Middletown and the Civil War and Within These Walls: One House, One Family, Two Centuries, along with an exhibit on World War II are available for viewing during museum hours, Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. to noon, and the first Saturday of the month, noon to 3 p.m.
The Society will hold its annual business meeting at 6:15 pm prior to the talk. For information www.middlesexhistory.org or call (860) 346-0746.