A visit to the Borough of Milford is a must for the visitor interested in history and architecture. Perched above the Delaware River at the confluence of US Routes 6, 209 and 206, the village was established in 1796 and laid out by Judge John Biddis. He named the streets after his children and family, and the lanes after his favorite fruits and berries. Judge Biddis took his inspiration from the design of Philadelphia, the nation's first capitol. Some say the name Milford came from Milford Haven in Wales, where John Biddis' father William was born. Others say the Wells' mill and the spot where the Delaware was forded resulted in the name Mill-Ford. The street plan is based on Philadelphia with accessible alleys that has immediate visual and symmetrical appeal to a visitor and traveler.
During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Milford was known as a summer resort and trading center. The historic community’s commercial life was associated with recreation, entertainment, government, education and tourism.
Milford has numerous historically significant buildings, mostly constructed in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Of the 655 buildings within the less than 1 square mile boundaries of the Borough, over 400 structures have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a historic plaque has been installed on about 200. Many buildings were built before 1900. Some of the most significant include: Forest Hall, the Hotel Fauchere, the Pike County Courthouse, Grey Towers, The Columns Museum, the Upper Mill, the Community House, the Callahan House, the Dimmick Inn and Tom Quick Inn. Published by the Historic Preservation Trust of Pike County and available throughout town and online, the Milford Walking Tour Guide provides the traveler with details of many of the architectural wonders of Milford.
Buildings and their preservation stories:
1. Kenworthey House (c.1898).
2. The Pinchot Legacy Buildings: Forest Hall and Original Milford Post Office (1904, 1863): the Community House (c.1820); Normandy Cottage (1903).
3. The Fauchère (c.1880). A relais & Chateaux Hotel, comprised of the Delmonico Room, Bar Louis, Patisserie, and Spa.
4. The Upper Mill (1882). A short drive or walk from the center of Milford is a separate historic district of three buildings known as The Upper Mill. It has one of the only turning waterwheels in PA, a vestige of the town's milling history. It is viewable inside the main building, which also houses a busy bakery-café-bar, a general store gift emporium, and a smart women's apparel boutique.
More information on the historic architecture can be found at the website for the Historic Preservation Trust of Pike County (histprestrustpikepa.org).