Grassroots Historians

What you will find here are interpretations of Bridgeport history based on sources found in the department’s holdings. Local authors and history enthusiasts, “Grassroots Historians,” have used these materials to write articles on a variety of popular topics associated with Bridgeport history.

People like you have used the Bridgeport History Center to learn more about local history, create school projects or exhibits, produce films, write books, articles, and even novels.

The Bridgeport History Center has a rich and varied collection. Visit us and find out more.


Mary K. Witkowski is the Bridgeport City Historian and the Department Head of the Bridgeport History Center. She is the author of Bridgeport at Work, and the co-author with Bruce Williams of Bridgeport on the Sound. Mary had a newspaper column in the Bridgeport News and a current blog for the Connecticut Post.56 Articles


Bridgeport History Center26 Articles

Eric Lehman

Eric D. Lehman teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Bridgeport, and is the author of several books, including Bridgeport: Tales from the Park City; Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum and the Dawn of American Celebrity; Afoot in Connecticut: Journeys in Natural History; and A History of Connecticut Wine; and ; A history of Connecticut food : a proud tradition of puddings, clambakes and steamed cheeseburgers. You may contact him at Articles

Andy Piascik

Bridgeport native Andy Piascik is an award-winning author who writes for many publications and websites. He is the author of three books the most recent of which, the novel In Motion, was published earlier this year by Sunshine Publishing. He can be reached at Articles

Steve Thornton

Steve Thornton is a retired union organizer and community activist who has led strikes and organizing campaigns in Connecticut for the past 35 years. He has trained hundreds of people in nonviolent direct action and thousands of workers to become rank and file leaders. Steve has worked to build coalitions between various groups working on economic, racial, and environmental justice. His international work includes making solidarity connections with working peoples' struggles in Havana, Belfast, Managua and Oslo. His work as an organizer is featured in Social Movements and Activists in the USA by Stephen Valocchi.6 Articles

Michael Bielawa

Michael Bielawa is a baseball historian and poet. He is the author of Bridgeport Baseball; Wicked Bridgeport; Wicked New Haven; and From Fairfield to Newfield: the Baseball Dream of Orator Jim O’Rourke. He is a Youth Services Librarian at the Bridgeport Public Library.4 Articles

Robert J Novak

Robert Novak has been studying local history for over 20 years, and is currently an independent community historian at He is employed as a lieutenant in the Bridgeport Fire Department, is an officer in the Bridgeport Firefighters' Historical Society, and wrote four books including "Images of America - Bridgeport Firefighers".3 Articles

Richard Sattanni

Richard Sattanni has been a writer for over nine years. He did an editorial column entitled “Remember When” for the “Bridgeport News” and a column for “The Fairfield Independent. “ He has published two books with and recently was published by “The Senior Newsletter” of Bridgeport. He has posted numerous stories on that readers can enjoy free of charge. Sattanni is retired and looks forward to many more writing endeavors.3 Articles

Charles Brilvitch

Charles Brilvitch is the former Bridgeport City Historian and is the foremost expert on the architectural history of the City of Bridgeport. He is the author of Walking Through History: The Seaports of Black Rock and Southport, and A History of the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe.2 Articles

Robert Foley

Robert Foley is an independent scholar working on Bridgeport history topics. He is an advocate of preserving primary source documents and using new media to generate awareness on local history.2 Articles

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