Seventy-five cents paid by firemen contributed toward the purchase Milford's first fire engine in 1838

Wilcox Park deeded to the city by Clark Wilcox in 1909.

In 1928 $10,000 is set aside to build the West Main Street bridge over the Wepawaug.
colonial writer
colonial writer with laptop

The Milford Historic community

This site celebrates Milford History while attempting to stay relevant to 2015. You are reading this on the internet from a device that has an indirect historic tie to Milford. Not too long ago news would have been printed in the newspaper, in an earlier era it would have been spread by someone riding on horseback from town to town or by the Town Cryer on the central town green. Milford has a beautiful green surrounded by historic landmarks.

laced pants
laced pants
We found joy in discovering for ourselves several of the stories presented here that weren't well-known even within Milford's greater historic community. History is not limited to a time when women's dresses were longer than the men's pants. The modern zipper is less than 100 years old. Colonial era pants had buttons in the front with the size adjusted using laces in the back instead of a belt and buckle which were decorative items on hats and shoes. The early Puritans wore black but dyes using clay and every part of plants such as the leaves, berries, nuts, flowers, bark and roots created a variety of colors from yellows and blues to deep maroon for colonial clothing. Although a common plant color, green faded easily requiring combinations such as yellow followed by blue to create it. Plant based dyes may not match from batch to batch often involving several dunkings to achieve the desired color.

This site tries to gather the little known Milford tales into one place. Rare photos including President Kennedy in front of a White House fireplace believed to be of Milford marble and a poster for a 1916 movie shot in Milford were located. Pictures of a poster for a hundred year old movie that no longer exists and the first advertisement for a computer both made in Milford are here.

We're open to alternative perspectives besides the official version of events written by the winners or modern retellings meant to sell books or an agenda. This site is a starting point for visitors to explore interesting topics on their own using multiple sources. Any first or second-hand stories will be welcome. In an attempt to separate facts from opinions we have highlighted them with a slightly different look. Contact info with spam control will be added in the future to allow feedback.

dated sidewalk
crafted sidewalk
click to see detail
We aim to encourage saving the charm of simpler times when when people took the time to craft quality work before the remaining Milford artifacts fall into disrepair. In the past people took pride in the details of quality craftsmanship instead of Good Enough For Now. Fine details are custom carvings or building a stair railing that hundreds of years later feels as solid as a fully grown tree. A recent example from the last century is people were proud of the artistry and attention put into their work even for something as mundane as laying a sidewalk. They would add decorative stones or color then sign it with a brass plaque (this also advertised their services) or simply list the year of installation.

We are not against progress, Milford can boast of numerous technological advances. Elsewhere in the country, even some Amish have adapted to technology such as cell phones for business with the rest ofthe public by.Besides forging new ground, bravery and self-sacrifice was exhibited time after time of working towards the greater good over political or personal connections. We hope the pioneers and innovators of Milford from 238 years ago serve as inspiration for the people of today to create tomorrow's history that years from now will be written about us. We encourage visitors to have a lifelong curiosity to ask questions in order to learn more about any topic. By listening we can begin to understand the answers that experts give us to not waste their time.

There are about 17 historical groups in and around Milford. That includes informal groups like geneology and others that either meet infrequently or are only online serving only to educate. Any family, neighborhood, state, nation or group is bound to have differences but it all comes back as we are all one big family. We seek to serve what is common among the supporters and those interested in the Milford Historic community. We are independent of any organization. We love to share what we have discovered ourselves about Milford including interviewing those that contributed to recent history.

Research Methodology

All writers have a viewpoint or lack of awareness on a topic based upon their experiences or lack of familiarity that may influence how they frame a story. An early stage of my varied background was volunteering at an Ivy league college's radio station as the Training Director responsible for teaching students to fact check news stories before airing them. 2 decades at a nationally known entertainment business put the author in contact with thousands of professionals and note how the successful ones acted. Drawing from the similarity that modern websites are arranged using absolute and relative positioning, we put stories in perspective relative to their era rather than an absolute judgement by today's standards. To lessen this author's own bias, multiple sources are utilized for a fuller picture of each story.

We fact-checked as best as we possible older anecdotes or any relatively recent memorable Milford stories with those closely tied to them. Subjects are presented along with anecdotes from as close to the original sources as possible. This provides historical context so they are better judged by their times instead of being filtered by today's viewpoints. Recent events will wait to provide a fairer historical perspective. Links to websites such as Snopes are provided to assist readers in understanding an idea, provide collaborating evidence or more information. We do not link to non-authoritive websites to avoid giving them credibility.

Features such as a search box on the original site this is based upon will be added later. A few paragraphs are repeated due to some subjects being relevant both to a group of people and the locations where they happened. We plan to eventually reduce duplication as this site is expanded and further organized.


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design and photographs by Daniel Ortoleva
editorial content is marked as opinions