Milford, Delaware

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Milford, Delaware
Walnut Street in Milford in 2006
Walnut Street in Milford in 2006
Location of Milford in Kent County and Sussex County, Delaware.
Location of Milford in Kent County and Sussex County, Delaware.
Milford is located in Delaware
Milford is located in the US
Location within the state of Delaware
Coordinates: 38°54′45″N 75°25′41″W / 38.91250°N 75.42806°W / 38.91250; -75.42806Coordinates: 38°54′45″N 75°25′41″W / 38.91250°N 75.42806°W / 38.91250; -75.42806
Country United States
State Delaware
County Kent and Sussex
Settled 1680
Incorporated February 5, 1807
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Bryan Shupe
 • Total 9.87 sq mi (25.55 km2)
 • Land 9.78 sq mi (25.33 km2)
 • Water 0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation 13 ft (4 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 9,559
 • Estimate (2016)[2] 10,979
 • Density 1,122.71/sq mi (433.50/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19963
Area code(s) 302
FIPS code 10-47420
GNIS feature ID 214308[3]
A pedestrian boardwalk parallels the Mispillion River in Milford
Walnut Street in Milford in 2006

Milford is a city in Kent and Sussex counties in the U.S. state of Delaware. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,559.[4]

The Kent County portion of Milford is part of the Dover, DE Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD Combined Statistical Area,[5] while the Sussex County portion is part of the Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Milford is located at 38°54′45″N 75°25′41″W / 38.91250°N 75.42806°W / 38.91250; -75.42806 (38.9126129, −75.4279748),[6] along the Mispillion River, which runs through the city.[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.6 square miles (15 km2), of which 5.6 square miles (15 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (1.07%) is water.

Sunset over Blair's Pond


The Kent County side of Milford was first settled in 1680 by Henry Bowan on what was known as the Saw Mill Range. A century later the Reverend Sydenham Thorne built a dam across the Mispillion River to generate power for his gristmill and sawmill. Around the same time, Joseph Oliver laid out the first city streets and plots nearby on a part of his plantation. Soon a number of homes and businesses appeared along Front Street. The city was incorporated February 5, 1807.[8]

In the 1770s, a ship building industry was already flourishing on the Mispillion River. Shipbuilding continued to be the major industry of Milford through World War I, bringing considerable prosperity to the town. The high point came in 1917 when the four-masted, 174-foot (53 m) long Albert F. Paul was launched from the William G. Abbott shipyard. At one point six shipyards were operating in the downtown area. When the last of the area’s giant white oaks was cut in the 1920s, the shipyards quickly went out of business, although the Mispillion ships sailed on for many years. (The Paul was sunk by a German torpedo in 1942 while sailing from the Bahamas.) The Vineyard shipyard was called into service in both World War I and II to build submarine chasers.[8]

During much of the twentieth century Milford served primarily as the commercial center for much of southern Delaware's large agricultural community.[8]

Seven of Delaware's governors have come from Milford: Daniel Rogers (who served 1797–99), Joseph Haslet (1811–14), William Tharp (1847–1851), Peter F. Causey (1855–59), William Burton (1859–63), William T. Watson (1895–97), and Ruth Ann Minner (2001–09).[8]

Abbott's Mill, Bank House, Carlisle House, Christ Church, Dr. Dawson House, Draper House, Egglinton Hall, Golden Mine, Grier House, Peter Lofland House, James McColley House, Milford New Century Club, Milford Railroad Station, Milford Shipyard Area Historic District, Mill House, Mispillion Lighthouse and Beacon Tower, North Milford Historic District, Old Fire House, Parson Thorne Mansion, South Milford Historic District Walnut Farm, Gov. William T. Watson Mansion, and J. H. Wilkerson & Son Brickworks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[9]

On Friday, May 30, 2003 at approximately 3:00 p.m. a fire started in a second floor apartment next to Wiley Hardware & Appliance on Walnut Street in the historic downtown section of Milford. More than 200 firefighters from Milford, Ellendale, Harrington, Felton, Dover, Smyrna, Houston, Frederica, Slaughter Beach, Bowers Beach, Greenwood, South Bowers, Farmington, Magnolia, Cheswold, Lewes, Georgetown, and Bridgeville in Delaware and Greensboro and Goldsboro in Maryland fought the blaze which destroyed seven businesses, a church, and three apartments, destroying an entire city block in the historic section of town. No one was killed in the blaze, but one civilian and six firefighters were injured.[10]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,178
1870 1,150 −2.4%
1880 1,240 7.8%
1890 2,555 106.0%
1900 2,500 −2.2%
1910 2,603 4.1%
1920 2,703 3.8%
1930 3,719 37.6%
1940 4,214 13.3%
1950 5,179 22.9%
1960 5,795 11.9%
1970 5,314 −8.3%
1980 5,366 1.0%
1990 6,040 12.6%
2000 6,732 11.5%
2010 9,559 42.0%
Est. 2016 10,979 [2] 14.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 6,732 people, 2,665 households, and 1,700 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,210.2 people per square mile (467.5/km²). There were 2,897 housing units at an average density of 520.8 per square mile (201.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.97% White, 23.26% African American, 0.34% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 4.25% from other races, and 2.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.82% of the population.

There were 2,665 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 16.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,525, and the median income for a family was $40,333. Males had a median income of $29,271 versus $23,164 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,181. About 10.4% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.1% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.


Milford School District operates public schools.


The city of Milford has a crime rate higher than the national average in some categories, much higher in rape, assault, and theft, and lower in others.

Milford Nation
Murder 0.0 6.9
Forcible Rape 97.22 32.2
Robbery 166.7 195.4
Aggravated Assault 1333.3 340.1
Burglary 1027.8 814.5
Larceny Theft 5500.0 2734.7
Vehicle Theft 291.7 526.5

Formula used for chart: ((Crimes Reported) / (Population)) X 100,000)[13]



Milford is served by several state roads connecting it to other points in Delaware. Delaware Route 1 bypasses Milford to the east along the Milford Bypass and heads north to Dover and southeast to the Delaware Beaches. A business route of DE 1, Delaware Route 1 Business, passes through the city along Rehoboth Boulevard and North Walnut Street. U.S. Route 113 begins at DE 1 at the north end of the Milford and heads south through the city on Dupont Boulevard, continuing south to Georgetown. Delaware Route 14 runs east-west through the city on Northwest Front Street and Northeast Front Street, heading west to Harrington and east to its terminus at the DE 1 bypass. Delaware Route 36 runs east-west through the city on Lakeview Avenue, Causey Avenue, and Southeast Front Street, heading southwest to Greenwood and east to Slaughter Beach. Delaware Route 15 begins at DE 14 west of Milford and heads northwest to Canterbury. Delaware Route 30 begins at DE 1 and DE 1 Business southeast of Milford and heads south toward Milton and Millsboro.[14] DART First State provides bus service to Milford along Route 303, which runs north to Dover and south to Georgetown.[15] The Indian River Subdivision line of the Delmarva Central Railroad passes through Milford.[16]


The City of Milford Electric Department provides electricity to the city, operating a substation and over 100 miles (160 km) of overhead lines and over 50 miles (80 km) of underground lines.[17] The city's electric department is a member of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC) and purchases its power from the PJM Power Grid. The City of Milford Electric Department serves about 6,500 customers.[18] The Public Works department provides trash and recycling collection to Milford.[19][20] The Engineering department provides water and sewer service to the city. The city's water system draws from groundwater with 4 well facilities that each consist of 11 wells.[21] Natural gas service in Milford is provided by Chesapeake Utilities.[22]

Milford is home to the Milford Solar Farm, a 15 MW, 80 acre solar power farm that is owned by the Public Service Enterprise Group and is the largest solar power farm in Delaware. DEMEC purchases the power generated from the solar farm.[23]

Health care[edit]

Bayhealth Medical Center operates the Bayhealth Milford Memorial hospital in Milford.[24] The hospital offers various inpatient services include a birthing room and cardiovascular and cancer services. Bayhealth Milford Memorial also offers numerous outpatient services, patient and family support services, community outreach, and imaging services. The hospital has a 24-hour emergency room with a Level III trauma center.[25][26] On May 27, 2016, Bayhealth Medical Center broke ground on a new hospital campus at a new site in Milford that would replace Milford Memorial Hospital. The six-story hospital, which is to cost between $275 million and $300 million, is expected to be open in 2019.[27] The current Milford Memorial Hospital will be converted by Nationwide Health Services into a multi-use healthcare-focused community that would include a nursing home.[28]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 25, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Milford". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  4. ^ "The Delaware Census State Data Center". Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ DeLorme (2004). Maryland Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer. p. 52. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-279-X.
  8. ^ a b c d "History of Milford, Delaware". Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  9. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  10. ^ "Fire Hits Block In Historic Milford, Delaware". Firehouse. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Crime Rate Comparison - Compare US City Crime Rates". 
  14. ^ Delaware Department of Transportation (2008). Delaware Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation. 
  15. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Delmarva Central Railroad". Carload Express. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Electric Utility Service - About Our System". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Electric Utility Service". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Trash Collection". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Recycling Collection". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Engineering". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Delmarva Service Territory". Chesapeake Utilities. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Governor Markell helps dedicate PSEG Milford Solar Farm" (Press release). Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. April 17, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Hospitals & Facilities". Bayhealth. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Bayhealth Medical Center Stats & Services". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Emergency Services". Bayhealth. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  27. ^ Rini, Jen (May 27, 2016). "Bayhealth breaks ground on Milford campus". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Re-imagining Clarke Avenue". Bayhealth. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  29. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Milford, Delaware at Wikimedia Commons