1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Milford (Connecticut)

MILFORD, a township of New Haven county, Connecticut, U.S.A., on Long Island Sound, separated from the township of Stratford on the W. by the Housatonic river, and about 10 m. S.W. of New Haven. Pop. (1890), 3811; (1900), 3783, including 541 foreign-born and 173 negroes; (1910), 4366. Area, about 16 sq. m. Milford is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad, and by an electric line connecting with Bridgeport and New Haven. Within its borders are various popular beaches, including Woodmont (incorporated as a borough in 1903), Pond Point, Bay View, Fort Trumbull Beach (where a fortification, named Fort Trumbull, was erected in 1776), Myrtle Beach, Meadow's End, Walnut Beach and Milford Point. The township is traversed by the Wepowaug river, which here empties into the Sound. Milford is a typical old New England town, and many of the permanent inhabitants are descendants from the first settlers. The burying-ground includes the tomb of Robert Treat (1622–1710), commander of the Connecticut troops in King Philip's War, leader of the company that founded Newark, New Jersey, governor of Connecticut (from 1683 to 1698) at the time its charter was demanded by Governor Andros in 1686–1687, and deputy-governor in 1676–1683 and 1698–1708; and also that of Jonathan Law (1674–1751), governor of Connecticut from 1742 to 1751. Spanning the Wepowaug river near a gorge and not far from its mouth is a granite bridge and tower, built, as a memorial to the first settlers, in 1889, in connexion with the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the town. Milford has a beautiful green of about four acres, containing a soldiers' monument. It has also the Taylor Library (founded in 1894), and along the Sound are many summer residences. Named after Milford, England, it was founded in 1639 by Rev. Peter Prudden and his followers from New Haven and Wethersfield. The land was purchased from the Indians for 6 coats, 10 blankets, 1 kettle, 12 hatchets, 12 hoes, 24 knives and 12 small mirrors. A “ church-state ” was immediately organized after the model of that of New Haven, but two or three years later the town bestowed suffrage on six of its inhabitants who were not church members. These citizens were an obstacle to the town's admission to the New Haven Jurisdiction, which was formed in 1643, but in the following year a compromise was effected and Milford was admitted on condition that, in the future, suffrage should be granted only to church members and that none of the objectionable six should be elected to any office of the Jurisdiction. In 1664 Milford, with the other members of the jurisdiction, was absorbed by Connecticut; this caused considerable dissatisfaction and some of the inhabitants under the lead of Robert Treat removed to New Jersey and assisted in the founding of Newark. The regicides Whalley and Gone were concealed in Milford from 1661 to 1664.

See M. Louise Greene, “ Early Milford,” in the Connecticut Magazine, vol. v. (Hartford, 1899).