Intriguing History & Mystery
February 1, 1639, is the date the area then known as "Wepawaug" was purchased from Ansantawae, chief sachem of the Paugusset Tribe. Settlers began arriving shortly thereafter and began to build the town known as Milford. Townspeople played a part in the development of the United States. Adventurers from Milford reached out and founded several other communities and explored afar.
Buried treasure is said to exist on a small island the Indians called "Poquahaug", just a mile off Silver Sands Beach. It is a recognized fact that Captain Kidd and other pirates sailed and hid along the Connecticut coast. It’s no wonder that iron chests filled with "loot" are rumored to be buried on the land called Charles Island!
Three governors of Connecticut called Milford their home. Fort Trumbull was built to provide protection in the late 1700s during the Revolutionary War. Yes, George Washington dined and rested here! During the Civil War, Milford was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Although primarily agrarian, shipbuilding, oystering, small industry and trade on the open seas from the harbor were part of the local economy. The early 1900's brought the leather industry along with the making of boots, hats and shoes. Milford was also famous for carriages, which were sold throughout the centuries.
After World War II, the population swelled as GIs returned from the war and bought houses in the suburb of New Haven and Bridgeport called Milford. Industry also developed to support the war effort. Norden, Milford Rivet, U.S. Motors, and Edgecomb Steel were some of the familiar names of the time. Other industry followed most notably the consumer giants of Bic and Schick. Then the completion of I-95 in 1960, with its seven exits and entrances brought easy access. The Connecticut Post Shopping Center and other development followed rapidly. Development reached a peak in the 70s and 80s, leveled off in the early 90s and then picked up again in the late 90s until we reached our present population of over 52,000 and businesses that number over 2,000.
The Milford Historical Society safeguards three 18th century homes at its Wharf Lane Complex. Among their possessions is one of the finest collections of Native American artifacts.