Walnut Street in Milford in 2006
Location of Milford in Kent County and Sussex County, Delaware.
|Incorporated||February 5, 1807|
|• Type||Council-manager government|
|• Mayor||Archie Campbell|
|• City Manager||Eric Norenberg|
|• 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)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,122.71/sq mi (433.50/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||214308|
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, while the Sussex County portion is part of the Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.87 square miles (25.6 km2).
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.
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.
During much of the twentieth century Milford served primarily as the commercial center for much of southern Delaware's large agricultural community.
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).
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.
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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,559 people, 4,126 housing units and 2,356 family households in the City. The population density was 968 people per square mile (467.5/km²). There were 4,126 housing units at an average density of 418 per square mile (201.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65% White, 22.3% African American, and 12% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.8% of the population.
The median age within Milford is 37.9 years old. 7.8% of the population is under the age of 5, 18.9% between 5 and 19 years of age, 49.7% between 20 and 59 years of age, and 23.6% 60 years of age and older.
The median household income according to the 2010 census is $52,274, and the median family income is $59,365. 13.1% of families are below poverty level, which is slightly higher than the national average of 11.5%, and higher than the Kent County and Sussex County average of 9.7% and 9.1% respectively.
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. DART First State provides bus service to Milford along Route 210, which runs through the city between the Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus and the Walmart in the northern part of Milford; Route 303, which runs north to Dover and south to Georgetown; and Route 307, which runs north to Dover and south to Lewes. The Indian River Subdivision line of the Delmarva Central Railroad passes through Milford.
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. 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. The Public Works department provides trash and recycling collection to Milford. 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. Natural gas service in Milford is provided by Chesapeake Utilities.
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.
Bayhealth Medical Center operates the Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus in Milford. The hospital offers various inpatient services include a birthing room and cardiovascular and cancer services. The Sussex Campus 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. On May 27, 2016, Bayhealth Medical Center broke ground on the Bayhealth Sussex Campus to replace the former Milford Memorial Hospital. The six-story hospital cost between $275 million and $300 million to build. Bayhealth Sussex Campus opened on February 5, 2019. Milford Memorial Hospital will be converted by Nationwide Health Services into a multi-use healthcare-focused community that would include a nursing home.
- Clarence Bailey, a former American football running back in the National Football League for the 1987 Miami Dolphins
- Mike Bagley, commentator for Motor Racing Network and co-host of The Morning Drive on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio
- Jeff Baldwin, baseball player
- Robert Crumb, a famous cartoonist, lived in Milford for a few years and attended high school there
- Simmie Knox began to teach himself to paint while living in Milford as a young man; he later became the first African-American to paint an official presidential portrait – that of President Bill Clinton
- John Lofland (1798–1849), widely known as the "Milford Bard", was a prolific and widely read writer of prose, verse and speeches; he grew up and spent much of his life in "The Towers" on North West Front Street
- Ruth Ann Minner, Governor of Delaware 2001–2009
- Harold Peterman, state legislator
- Luke Petitgout, former American football offensive tackle played in the National Football League for the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Chris Short, star baseball pitcher for Philadelphia Phillies in 1960s, was born in Milford
- Alfred Thomas Archimedes Torbert, Union General in the civil war and diplomat
- William T. Watson, 49th Governor of Delaware
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 25, 2017.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018". Retrieved July 4, 2019.
- "Milford". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "The Delaware Census State Data Center". delaware.gov. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-04-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- DeLorme (2004). Maryland Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer. p. 52. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-279-X.
- "History of Milford, Delaware". cityofmilford.com. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Fire Hits Block In Historic Milford, Delaware". Firehouse. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Delaware Department of Transportation (2008). Delaware Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation.
- "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
- "Delmarva Central Railroad". Carload Express. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
- "Electric Utility Service - About Our System". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "Electric Utility Service". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "Trash Collection". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "Recycling Collection". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "Engineering". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- "Delmarva Service Territory". Chesapeake Utilities. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- "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.
- "Locations & Contact". Bayhealth. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- "Bayhealth Medical Center Stats & Services". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- "Emergency Care". Bayhealth. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Rini, Jen (May 27, 2016). "Bayhealth breaks ground on Milford campus". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- Bavaro, Angelo (February 5, 2019). "Bayhealth Hospital Sussex Campus opens". Salisbury, MD: WBOC-TV. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- "Re-imagining Clarke Avenue". Bayhealth. Retrieved August 8, 2017.