Milford, Pennsylvania

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Coordinates: 41°19′27″N 74°48′10″W / 41.32417°N 74.80278°W / 41.32417; -74.80278
Borough of Milford
Borough
Pike County Courthouse Milford PA.jpg
Pike County Courthouse, built in 1874
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Pike
Elevation 499 ft (152.1 m)
Coordinates 41°19′27″N 74°48′10″W / 41.32417°N 74.80278°W / 41.32417; -74.80278
Area 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
 - land 0.5 sq mi (1 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 1,021 (2010)
Density 2,042 / sq mi (788.4 / km2)
Incorporated 1874
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 18337
Area code 570 Exchange: 296
Location of Milford in Pennsylvania
Website: http://milfordpa.us/
Milford Historic District
Forest Hall Milford PA.jpg
Forester's Hall, designed by Calvert Vaux and Richard Morris Hunt[2]
Location Roughly along Broad, Harford, Ann, Catharine, High, and Fourth Sts., Milford, Pennsylvania
Area 22 acres (8.9 ha)
Architectural style Late Victorian, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Mid-19th Century Revival
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 98000898[1]
Added to NRHP July 23, 1998

Milford is a borough in Pike County, Pennsylvania, United States, and the county seat. Its population was 1,021 at the 2010 census.[3] Located on the upper Delaware River, Milford is part of the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, as well as the larger New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The area along the Delaware River had long been settled by the Lenape, an Algonquian-speaking indigenous tribe that lived in the mid-Atlantic coastal areas, including western Long Island, and along this river at the time of European colonization. The English also called the people the Delaware, after the river they named after one of their colonial leaders.

Milford was founded in 1796 after the American Revolutionary War as a United States settlement on the Delaware River by Judge John Biddis, one of Pennsylvania's first four circuit judges. He named the settlement after his ancestral home in Wales.[4]

Milford has a large number of historical significant buildings, many constructed in the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Some are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while numerous others are included in the Milford Historic District, also listed on the NRHP. Of the 655 buildings in the district, 400 of them have been deemed to be historically significant.[5] The district is characterized by a variety of Late Victorian architecture, as well as Mid-19th Century Revival, and Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals.

Grey Towers National Historic Site, the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, the noted conservationist, two-time Governor of Pennsylvania and first head of the U.S. Forest Service, is located in Milford. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

From 1904 to 1926, Grey Towers was the site of summer field study sessions for the Master's program of the Yale School of Forestry, together with the Forester's Hall, a commercial building that was adapted and expanded for this purpose.[6] Jervis Gordon Grist Mill Historic District, Hotel Fauchere and Annex, Metz Ice Plant, and Pike County Courthouse are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nearby is Arisbe, the home of Charles S. Peirce, a prominent logician, philosopher and scientist in the late 19th century, and another NRHP property.[1]

The Pike County Historical Society Museum in Milford includes in its collection the "Lincoln Flag", which was draped on President Abraham Lincoln's booth at Ford's Theatre the night he was assassinated. The flag was bundled up and placed under the President's head, and still bears his blood. It was kept by stage manager Thomas Gourlay. He passed it down to his daughter Jeannie, an actress who had appeared in the play, Our American Cousin, at the theatre that night. She later moved to Milford and the flag was donated to the museum after her death.[7]

In September 2007, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel named Milford second on its list of "Ten Coolest Small Towns" in Pennsylvania.[8]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), all land.

This is located in the Poconos Mountains, in what was historically a heavily wooded area. When Judge Biddis bought up the land of what was then known as Wells Ferry[2] and laid out the lots for the new town, he generally followed the urban plan of Philadelphia: he laid out High Street – the equivalent of what is now Market Street in Philadelphia – running to the Delaware River, while Broad Street runs perpendicular to High, creating a grid. At the intersection of Broad and High is a public square – just as there is at Broad and Market in Philadelphia – and most of Milford's official buildings are located there.[2][4] Within the grid, East-West streets are numbered, Second through Seventh, with Broad Street falling between Fourth and Fifth Streets, while North-South streets are named after Judge Biddis' children: Ann, Catherine, George, John, Sarah and Elizabeth.[2] In between both the named and numbered streets are alleys, named after berries and fruit.[2]

In contemporary Milford, Broad Street is also marked as U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 209. At its intersection with Harford Street, Route 6 continues north on Harford, while Route 209 continues south on the street.

Milford is located on an escarpment above the Delaware River. All waterways there which drain into the river fall the 100-foot (30 m) difference in height, creating what is known as a fluviarchy, a network of waterfalls, putatively the most notable one east of the Rocky Mountains.[5] These also provided water power to mills, which contributed to Milford's economy in the 19th century.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 746
1880 983 31.8%
1890 793 −19.3%
1900 884 11.5%
1910 872 −1.4%
1920 768 −11.9%
1930 886 15.4%
1940 901 1.7%
1950 1,111 23.3%
1960 1,198 7.8%
1970 1,190 −0.7%
1980 1,143 −3.9%
1990 1,064 −6.9%
2000 1,104 3.8%
2010 1,021 −7.5%
Est. 2012 1,007 −1.4%
Sources:[9][10][11]

As of the census[12] of 2010, there were 1,021 people, 491 households, and 236 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,042 people per square mile (797.7/km²). There were 580 housing units at an average density of 1,160 per square mile (453.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.2% White, 0.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population.

There were 491 households out of which 19.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 42.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the borough the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age of 18, 59.9% from 18 to 64, and 23.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.3 years.

The median income for a household in the borough was $33,571, and the median income for a family was $46,136. Males had a median income of $40,500 versus $28,333 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $21,011. About 4.0% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.

The Hotel Fauchère, established in 1852, has hosted guests such as William Tecumseh Sherman, Rudolph Valentino, Sarah Bernhardt, Andrew Carnegie, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Babe Ruth, Robert Frost, Ogden Nash and Presidents Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.[2][5] On the National Register of Historic Places since 1980, the hotel was restored in 2006.[2]

Education[edit]

Milford is served by the Delaware Valley School District.

Cultural activities[edit]

Milford is home to Pike County Arts and Crafts, an art education organization that was chosen by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts as winner of the 2007 Pennsylvania State "Creative Community Award.".[13] Since 1950, Pike County Arts and Crafts has also hosted an annual art show each July in Borough Hall.[14]

The Pike County Chess Club was founded in 2011. Although attendees no longer meet weekly for casual games, the Club organizes at least one tournament per month at the Patisserie Fauchere. Games played at these tournaments are submitted for rating by the United States Chess Federation (USCF), with which the Club is affiliated.

Camps[edit]

Milford is home to several camps operated by the Jewish organization NJY Camps: Round Lake Camp, Camp Nah-Jee-Wah, Cedar Lake Camp, and Teen Camp.

Annual events[edit]

The Black Bear Film Festival is an annual independent film festival, which takes place the weekend after Columbus Day in October primarily at the historic Milford Theater. It includes many free films and lectures in the Film Salon, as well as feature films for an admission fee.[15]

The Milford Music Festival takes place each June. It is a free weekend event sponsored by Milfordmusicfest.org, which also produces Septemberfest, Share The Harvest and the annual Tree Lighting. The 2009 Milford Music Festival was headlined by Vanessa Carlton, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/pianist who is from Milford. The 2013 edition featured Pete Seeger.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Milford served as setting for a number of silent films directed by D.W. Griffith in the early 1900s, including The Informer starring Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish and Lionel Barrymore. It was also the original location of the Milford Science Fiction Writers Workshop, founded in 1956 by Damon Knight, James Blish and Kate Wilhelm, all residents of Milford at the time.

Gallery[edit]

A view of Milford from "The Knob", looking east down Broad Street

See also[edit]

The Milford Branch of the Pike County Public Library, located in the Community House

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "2001 Guide to Pike County Pennsylvania", Pike County Chamber of Commerce
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b Historical marker on monument in Milford, erected by the Pike County Historical Society in July 1965.
  5. ^ a b c "A Tour of Milford, Pennsylvania" Travel and Leisure (March 2009(
  6. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes Betz Steiner, Leon Husson, and Carson O. Helfrich (December 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Forester's Hall" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  7. ^ Pike County Historical Society
  8. ^ Limsky, Drew. "10 Coolest Small Towns, Pa." Budget Travel (September 2007)
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  13. ^ PCA - Governor's Arts Awards
  14. ^ Upcoming PCAC Events - 2009
  15. ^ Black Bear Film Festival, Official website

External links[edit]