Middletown Life Fall/Winter 2023Aug 18, 2023 11:49AM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Middletown Life Fall/Winter 2023
WELCOME to the 30th OLDE TYME PEACH FESTIVAL
A generation ago the recently formed Middletown Historical Society and a band of Main Street merchants got together to try to come up with a way to showcase Middletown by attracting people to the historic downtown. What they came up with was the Olde Tyme Peach Festival. That was in 1994.
Much of this year’s festival follows the traditions of our early years, like naming a Little Miss Peach. It’s delightful to learn that this year’s Little Miss Peach is the daughter of the very first Little Miss Peach of 1994! We are also returning to the tradition of a new t-shirt each year. Be sure to pick up one at the Historical Society booth on Cochran Square.
Often new festival attendees are surprised to learn that the Peach Festival is sponsored by the Middletown Historical Society, founded in 1985. We have come a long way since then. We were homeless for over 20 years, collecting artifacts and storing them in various spread-out locations that made displaying them totally impossible. At one time we hoped to make our home in the old Berkman’s Variety Store on East Main Street next to the ‘Four Corners’. An engineering study found the cost of stabilizing and renovating the century-old building would be prohibitive. But in 2006, the fates smiled on us: Mayor and Council offered to rent us the newly vacated 180 year-old Academy Building on North Broad Street when they moved into the new Town Hall on Green Street. The Academy was especially appropriate because it had been built as an educational institution and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, with so many visitors crowding the museum for the Peach Festival, it will be impossible to absorb all the stories interpreted and displayed in the seven rooms of the museum. There are two new exhibits and five continuing ones. But we urge you to return. Make the Society a frequent destination for yourselves, your children, your guests and friends. Please stop at the Society booth on Cochran Square and join our Society by buying a family ($20), or individual ($10) annual membership. It’s important to the community for you to support this and all our Middletown cultural activities! Enjoy your day!
The Peach Festival Committee of the Middletown Historical Society