Milford, Connecticut
—  City  —
Milford City Hall, 110 River Street, sits along the Wepawaug River downtown. Built in 1916, it is the fifth town hall to occupy the site.
Official seal of Milford, Connecticut
Nickname(s): A Small City with a Big Heart
Location in New Haven County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°13′27″N 73°03′35″W / 41.22417, -73.05972
Country United States
State Connecticut
Region South Central Region
Settled 1639
Incorporated (city) 1959
 • Type Mayor-Board of Alderman
 • Mayor James L. Richetelli, Jr. (R)
 • Total 23.7 sq mi (67.9 km2)
 • Land 22.3 sq mi (58.5 km2)
 • Water 1.5 sq mi (9.3 km2)
Population (2005)
 • Total 54,802
 • Density 2,420/sq mi (936/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06460, 06461
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-47515

Milford is a city in southwestern New Haven County, Connecticut, United States, located between Bridgeport and New Haven. The population was 50,594 at the 2000 census. The city contains the incorporated borough of Woodmont and the unincorporated village of Devon. The current mayor of Milford is James L. Richetelli, Jr.

The city has grown noticeably over the years, including rapid revitalization of the downtown and retail growth along Route 1, and today Milford faces the typical modern issue of deciding how much land to develop and how much to keep natural, especially in light of the city's location at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Laws favoring the preservation and restoration of older homes have helped maintain a traditional New England town ambiance.

Further information: Economic development of Milford, Connecticut


Early history


Oyster Huts on Milford Point a sketch by John Warner Barber for his Historical Collections of Connecticut (1836). Barber wrote that he found 15 or 20 of these seaweed-covered huts along the shore when he visited the town in 1836. Oystermen used the huts in the winter.

The land which today comprises Milford, Orange and West Haven, Connecticut was "purchased" on February 1, 1639 from Ansantawae, chief of the local Paugussets (an Algonquian tribe) by English settlers affiliated with the contemporary New Haven Colony. Originally, the area was known as "Wepawaug", after the small river which runs through the town, and which has given its name to several streets in both Milford and Orange.

During the Revolutionary War the Milford section of the Boston Post Road, a vital route connecting Boston, New York and other major coastal cities, was blockaded by Continental forces and Fort Trumbull was constructed to protect the town. The site of the blockade is commemorated by the Liberty Rock monument.

By 1822, the town had grown large enough that residents in the northern and eastern sections of Milford chartered their own independent course as the town of Orange. During the next century and a half, the remaining section of Milford was known for shipbuilding, farming and oystering, although a small subset of industrial facilities also developed in town. During this time, Milford also became known as a beach resort for residents of New Haven and Bridgeport.

Interestingly, the boundaries of the final town charter granted by the State of Connecticut in 1899 to Laurel Beach are contained entirely within Milford. Residents of Laurel Beach must therefore pay taxes to both Laurel Beach as well as Milford, and all mail to Laurel Beach residents is mailed to Milford. In 1903 the southeastern portion of the town was incorporated as the Borough of Woodmont. In 1959, the town of Milford including the Borough of Woodmont was incorporated as the City of Milford.'

Towns created from Milford

Map showing Milford and neighboring towns

Milford was one of the early settlements in south central Connecticut and, over time, gave rise to several new towns that broke off and incorporated separately. The following is a list of towns created from parts of Milford.

  • Woodbridge in 1784 (also partly from New Haven)
    • Bethany created from Woodbridge in 1832
  • Orange (originally North Milford) in 1822 (also partly from New Haven)

Post-World War II development

In the post-World War II period, Milford—like many other New England towns—underwent significant suburbanization. Interstate 95 was routed through town and the Milford section was completed in 1958.

The 1960s and '70s witnessed the construction of the Connecticut Post Mall, one of the state's largest shopping malls, and the extensive commercial development of the town's stretch of the Boston Post Road. One notable small business located on the Boston Post Road during the 1970s was SCELBI Computer Consulting, credited by many as being the world's first personal-computer manufacturer.

The city became host to several headquarters of multinational corporations, including the Schick Shaving company [1], Subway fast-food corporation. BIC Corporation was headquartered in Milford, but in March 2008, moved most of its operations to Shelton, CT. Milford Hospital has also developed into an important health care resource for the area.


Government in the city is set up with the mayor as chief executive and the Board of Aldermen as a legislative body. The mayor is permitted to propose legislation to the Board of Aldermen and introduces the city budget, but possesses no veto power over what the Aldermen choose to pass.

Elected positions

The following is a list of city government positions elected by city residents and the terms thereof:

  • Mayor: The mayor is the city’s chief executive and is elected in odd-numbered years. The mayor receives compensation for his or her services.
  • Board of Aldermen: The Board of Aldermen consists of 15 members elected in odd-numbered years, three from each of the city’s five political districts. Per City Charter requirements, only two of the three aldermen elected from each district may be from one political party to allow for minority representation on the board; voters are permitted to vote for any three aldermen in their district. Members of the Board of Aldermen receive no compensation for their services.
  • Board of Education: The Board of Education deals with educational matters in the city and consists of 10 members elected in odd-numbered years, two from each of the city’s five political districts. Members receive no compensation for their services.
  • Planning & Zoning Board: The Planning & Zoning Board deals with development and land use issues and consists of 10 members, two from each of the city’s five political districts. Members serve a four-year term, with one of the two members of each political district up for election during each odd-numbered year’s election cycle, ensuring that no more than half of the board is made up of new members at the start of a new session. Members of the Planning & Zoning Board receive no compensation for their services.
  • City Clerk: The city clerk is elected in odd-numbered years and receives a compensation for services provided.
  • Constables: Seven constables are elected in odd-numbered years, though individual voters are only permitted to vote for any four of their choosing on the ballot. They are compensated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Registrar of Voters: Pursuant to Connecticut state law, each town must have a Republican and Democratic registrar of voters to serve as election administrators, though an additional third party registrar is permitted if they receive more votes than either of the major parties’ registrar. Registrars in Milford are elected to two-year terms, their election taking place during each even-year state election cycle. Registrars are compensated for their services. Voters may only vote for one choice for registrar.

Principal communities of Milford

Seaside Avenue, 1911 postcard

Other minor communities and geographic features are: Anchor Beach, Bayview, Bayview Heights, Burwells Beach, Cedar Beach, Ettadore Park, Far View Beach, Fort Trumbull, Gulf Beach, Laurel Beach, Merwin's Beach, Merwin's Point, Milford Point, Myrtle Beach, Naugatuck Gardens, Point Lookout, Pond Point Beach, Silver Beach, Wheelers Farms.


2006 Milford Oyster Festival Banner

Every year in August, Milford celebrates its annual Oyster Festival, which serves as a combination of a typical town fair with a culinary celebration of the town's location on historically shellfish-rich Long Island Sound. This festival is held on the Milford Green, in the center of town, and features a wide variety of events including canoe and kayak races, musical performances, and classic car shows.

Milford is home to a substantial art community. The Milford Cultural Center, operated by the Milford Council for the Arts, offers various events throughout the year. The Firehouse Art Gallery was recently opened in Devon . The beach resort quality of the town lives on, with several beaches, Silver Sands State Park, the Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center at Milford Point, Charles Island, two golf courses, and numerous other recreational facilities available for residents and tourists, while the proximity to New Haven, rail transport to New York City, a good school system, and a shuttle bus service that traverses the town supply some urban conveniences.

Aerial view of Milford including Charles Island

Geography and environment

According to the United States Census Bureau, Milford has a total area of 23.7 square miles (61.5 km²), of which, 22.3 square miles (57.7 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.8 km²) of it (6.15%) is water.

Milford's Devon neighborhood[1] is located at the mouth of the Housatonic River near Stratford, and features an Audubon Center overlooking the estuary.

Islands and coastline

A large portion of Milford's shoreline forms the Silver Sands State Park. Charles Island is also a part of the park and is a protected bird nesting ground. There is a sand bar (more correctly called a tombolo since it is perpendicular, not parallel to the coast) accessible during low tide that people can walk on from Silver Sands Beach to Charles Island.

The island is a part of the Hamonasset-Ledyard Moraine and was formed as glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age. The Wisconsin glaciation formed drumlins in Milford: Clark, Burwell, Eels, Bryan and Merwin hills.[2]

Milford also owns three islands in the Housatonic River: Fowler Island, just to the south of the Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Bridge, Duck Island and Nells Island, both near the mouth of the river.


population of
1756 1,633
1774 2,127
1782 2,195
1790 2,098
1800 2,417
1810 2,674
1820 2,785
1830 2,256
1840 2,455
1850 2,465
1860 2,828
1870 3,405
1880 3,347
1890 3,811
1900 3,783
1910 4,366
1920 10,193
1930 12,660
1940 16,439
1950 26,870
1960 41,662
1970 50,858
1980 50,898
1990 49,938
2000 52,212
2002 53,472

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 52,212 people, 20,138 households, and 13,613 families residing in Milford. The population density was 2,270.7 people per square mile (876.8/km²). There were 21,145 housing units at an average density of 949.0/sq mi (366.4/km²). The racial makeup of Milford was 93.55% White, 1.91% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.34% of the population.

There were 20,138 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.04.

In Milford the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household was $51,167, and the median income for a family was $61,175 (these figures had risen to $71,818 and $85,902 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[4]). Males had a median income of $48,368 versus $36,770 for females. The per capita income was $28,773. About 2.4% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 28, 2008[5]
Party Active voters Inactive voters Total voters Percentage
  Democratic 9,421 276 9,697 27.98%
  Republican 7,223 236 7,459 21.52%
  Unaffiliated 16,788 638 17,426 50.28%
  Minor parties 62 6 68 0.20%
Total 33,494 1,156 34,650 100%

On the National Register of Historic Places

  • Buckingham House — 61 North St. (added in 1977)
  • Eells-Stow House — 34 High St. (added in 1977)
  • Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont — 15 and 17 Edgefield Ave. (added in 1995)
  • Housatonic River Railroad Bridge — Amtrak right-of-way at Housatonic River (added in 1987)
  • Milford Point Hotel — Milford Point Road (added in 1988)
  • River Park Historic District — Roughly bounded by Boston Post Road, Cherry St. and Amtrak, and High St. (added in 1986)
  • St. Peter's Episcopal Church — 61, 71, 81 River St. (added in 1979)
  • Taylor Memorial Library — 5 Broad St. (added in 1979)
  • US Post Office-Milford Main — 6 W. River St. (added in 1986)
  • Washington Bridge (Connecticut) — Spans the Housatonic River to Stratford. (added in 2004)

Notable residents

  • Dylan Bruno, actor.[6]
  • Anne Griffin, actress.[7]
  • Doug Henry, National Champion motocross & snowmobile racer.[8]
  • Simon Lake (1866–1945), inventor and naval engineer.[9]
  • Jonathan Law (1674–1750), colonial era judge, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut between 1741-1750.[10]
  • Brad Lockerman, actor.[11]
  • Joseph Plumb Martin (1760–1850), a Revolutionary War Soldier, was raised by his grandparents in Milford.[12]
  • Abigail Merwin (1759–1786), a Colonial-era wife and mother who alerted the local militia of a raid by British forces arriving from the warship HMS Swan (1767).[13]
  • David Miles (1871–1915), early movie actor & director.[14]
  • Ellen Muth, actress.[15]
  • Erin Pac, 2010 women’s bobsled Olympic bronze medalist[16]
  • Dan Patrick (Pugh), NBC's Football Night in America co-host, ESPN SportsCenter anchor, and senior writer for Sports Illustrated.[17]
  • Jason Peter, Collegiate All-American defensive tackle (1997) & defensive end for the Carolina Panthers attended Milford Academy.[18]
  • Catherine Pollard (c. 1918 - 2006), first female Scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America
  • Peter Pond (1739/40?–1807), the first explorer of the Athabasca region of North America in the 1780s & founding member of the North West Company.[19]
  • Peter L. Pond (1933–2000), human rights activist and philanthropist who adopted 16 Cambodian orphans[20].
  • Charles H. Pond (1781–1861), judge of the New Haven County Court, sheriff of New Haven, Lieutenant Governor & 37th Governor of Connecticut.[21]
  • Christy Carlson Romano, actress.[22]
  • Dan Rusanowsky, NHL radio broadcaster for the San Jose Sharks.[23]
  • Ryan Sartor, actor, director, writer & producer.[24]
  • Al Scaduto (1928–2007), cartoonist They'll Do It Every Time[25]
  • Frank J. Sprague (1857–1934), inventor who helped develop the electric motor, electric railways, and electric elevators.[26]
  • Robert Treat (1624?-1710), colonial era deputy & military officer, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut between 1683-1698.[27]
  • Jonathan Quick, NHL goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings.[28]
  • Heidi Alice Voight, Miss Connecticut 2006.[29]

Movies filmed in Milford

Movies filmed at least in part in Milford include:[30]

  • A Dance for Grace (2010)
  • This Wretched Life (2010)
  • Sad Sack Sally (2009)
  • Righteous Kill (2008)
  • December Plans (2007)
  • Furious Fish (2005)
  • Save the Forest (2005)
  • The Hero (2003)
  • Daylight (1996)
  • Man on a Swing (1974)


  1. ^ Village of Devon Official Web Site
  2. ^ Skehan, James W., Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island, p 218, Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 2008, ISBN 9780828425471
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 28, 2008" (PDF). Connecticut Secretary of State. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Finley, Bill (February 12, 2006). "IN PERSON; When the Cheers Aren't Enough". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Mooney, Tom, "Peter Pond's War," Providence Journal, Oct 15, 1989 p. M-06.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Internet Movie DataBase Web site's page for Milford, Connecticut

External links

Laurel Beach, 1910

Coordinates: 41°13′34″N 73°03′46″W / 41.22623, -73.06263

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Milford, Connecticut. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.