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December 04, 2016
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On the Road to Milford: History, elegance and charm

The Forest Hall Building was the original home of the Yale School of Forestry.

If you like to explore the past and imagine how people lived in another century, take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful residential section of town that lies tucked north and west of the main thoroughfares, Harford and Broad. The borough was actually a planned community long before that became the in-thing in late 20th-century America. Community developer and Philadelphia circuit court Judge John Biddis bought and developed that section of town in 1796. He divided the property into plots and laid out the street map, naming the east-west streets after his children and the short alleys after fruits and berries. He then promoted the settlement on his trips to Philadelphia, seeking out support from the wealthy there. The result is a community of charming old homes on large lots, some colonial and some Victorian, which all seem to be well cared for. It has the flavor of a New England village. Take an autumn walk along Ann or Catharine streets and you will see large old trees, gardens, flowers and picket fences.

The commercial section of town is built around Harford (Route 6/209) and Broad streets, and quaint alleys and little gardens are hidden behind many buildings there. Here Milford has the flavor of both the past and the present. Imposing old buildings have been restored and house the government offices of the current county seat. Several old hotels, which were built in the early- and mid-19th century for the summer resort customers from New York City and Philly, have been restored. They are always bustling, and Milford continues to please vacationers from those regions.