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Milford is a city in southwestern New Haven Countymarker, Connecticutmarker, United Statesmarker, located between Bridgeportmarker and New Havenmarker. The population was 50,594 at the 2000 census. The city contains the incorporated borough of Woodmontmarker and the unincorporated village of Devon. The current mayor of Milford is James L. Richetelli, Jr.

The city has grown noticeably over the years, including rapid revitalization of the downtown and retail growth along Route 1, and today Milford faces the typical modern issue of deciding how much land to develop and how much to keep natural, especially in light of the city's location at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Laws favoring the preservation and restoration of older homes have helped maintain a traditional New Englandmarker town ambiance.

Further information: Economic development of Milford, Connecticut

History

Early history

The land which today comprises Milford, Orangemarker and West Havenmarker, Connecticut was "purchased" on February 1, 1639 from Ansantawae, chief of the local Paugussets (an Algonquian tribe) by English settlers affiliated with the contemporary New Haven Colony. Originally, the area was known as "Wepawaug", after the small river which runs through the town, and which has given its name to several streets in both Milford and Orange.

During the Revolutionary War the Milford section of the Boston Post Road, a vital route connecting Boston, New York and other major coastal cities, was blockaded by Continental forces and Fort Trumbull was constructed to protect the town. The site of the blockade is commemorated by the Liberty Rock monument.

By 1822, the town had grown large enough that residents in the northern and eastern sections of Milford chartered their own independent course as the town of Orange. During the next century and a half, the remaining section of Milford was known for shipbuilding, farming and oystering, although a small subset of industrial facilities also developed in town. During this time, Milford also became known as a beach resort for residents of New Haven and Bridgeportmarker.

Interestingly, the boundaries of the final town charter granted by the State of Connecticut in 1899 to Laurel Beach are contained entirely within Milford. Residents of Laurel Beach must therefore pay taxes to both Laurel Beach as well as Milford, and all mail to Laurel Beach residents is mailed to Milford.In 1903 the southeastern portion of the town was incorporated as the Borough of Woodmont. In 1959, the town of Milford including the Borough of Woodmont was incorporated as the City of Milford.'

Towns created from Milford

Map showing Milford and neighboring towns
Milford was one of the early settlements in south central Connecticut and, over time, gave rise to several new towns that broke off and incorporated separately. The following is a list of towns created from parts of Milford.



Post-World War II development

In the post-World War II period, Milford—like many other New England towns—underwent significant suburbanization. Interstate 95 was routed through town and the Milford section was completed in 1958.

The 1960s and '70s witnessed the construction of the Connecticut Post Mallmarker, one of the state's largest shopping malls, and the extensive commercial development of the town's stretch of the Boston Post Road. One notable small business located on the Boston Post Road during the 1970s was SCELBI Computer Consulting, credited by many as being the world's first personal-computer manufacturer.

The city became host to several headquarters of multinational corporations, including the Schick Shaving company [23476], Subway fast-food corporation. BIC Corporation was headquartered in Milford, but in March 2008, moved most of its operations to Shelton, CTmarker. Milford Hospital has also developed into an important health care resource for the area.

Government

Government in the city is set up with the mayor as chief executive and the Board of Aldermen as a legislative body. The mayor is permitted to propose legislation to the Board of Aldermen and introduces the city budget, but possesses no veto power over what the Aldermen choose to pass.

Elected positions

The following is a list of city government positions elected by city residents and the terms thereof:

  • Mayor: The mayor is the city’s chief executive and is elected in odd-numbered years. The mayor receives compensation for his or her services.


  • Board of Aldermen: The Board of Aldermen consists of 15 members elected in odd-numbered years, three from each of the city’s five political districts. Per City Charter requirements, only two of the three aldermen elected from each district may be from one political party to allow for minority representation on the board; voters are permitted to vote for any three aldermen in their district. Members of the Board of Aldermen receive no compensation for their services.


  • Board of Education: The Board of Education deals with educational matters in the city and consists of 10 members elected in odd-numbered years, two from each of the city’s five political districts. Members receive no compensation for their services.


  • Planning & Zoning Board: The Planning & Zoning Board deals with development and land use issues and consists of 10 members, two from each of the city’s five political districts. Members serve a four-year term, with one of the two members of each political district up for election during each odd-numbered year’s election cycle, ensuring that no more than half of the board is made up of new members at the start of a new session. Members of the Planning & Zoning Board receive no compensation for their services.


  • City Clerk: The city clerk is elected in odd-numbered years and receives a compensation for services provided.


  • Constables: Seven constables are elected in odd-numbered years, though individual voters are only permitted to vote for any four of their choosing on the ballot. They are compensated on a case-by-case basis.


  • Registrar of Voters: Pursuant to Connecticut state law, each town must have a Republican and Democratic registrar of voters to serve as election administrators, though an additional third party registrar is permitted if they receive more votes than either of the major parties’ registrar. Registrars in Milford are elected to four-year terms, their election taking place during the same cycle as the Presidential Election. Registrars are compensated for their services. Voters may only vote for one choice for registrar.


Principal communities of Milford

Seaside Avenue, 1911 postcard


Other minor communities and geographic features are: Anchor Beach, Bayview, Bayview Heights, Burwells Beach, Cedar Beach, Ettadore Park, Far View Beach, Fort Trumbull, Gulf Beach, Laurel Beach, Merwin's Beach, Merwin's Point, Milford Point, Myrtle Beach, Naugatuck Gardens, Point Lookout, Pond Point Beach, Silver Beach, Wheelers Farms.

Culture

2006 Milford Oyster Festival Banner
Every year in August, Milford celebrates its annual Oyster Festival, which serves as a combination of a typical town fair with a culinary celebration of the town's location on historically shellfish-rich Long Island Soundmarker. This festival is held on the Milford Green, in the center of town, and features a wide variety of events including canoe and kayak races, musical performances, and classic car shows.

Milford is home to a substantial art community. The Milford Cultural Center, operated by the Milford Council for the Arts, offers various events throughout the year. The Firehouse Art Gallery was recently opened in Devon . The beach resort quality of the town lives on, with several beaches, Silver Sands State Parkmarker, the Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center at Milford Point, Charles Islandmarker, two golf courses, and numerous other recreational facilities available for residents and tourists, while the proximity to New Haven, rail transport to New York Citymarker, a good school system, and a shuttle bus service that traverses the town supply some urban conveniences.

Aerial view of Milford including Charles Island


Geography and environment

According to the United States Census Bureau, Milford has a total area of 23.7 square miles (61.5 km²), of which, 22.3 square miles (57.7 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.8 km²) of it (6.15%) is water.

Milford's Devon neighborhood is located at the mouth of the Housatonic River near Stratfordmarker, and features an Audubon Center overlooking the estuary.

A large portion of Milford's shoreline forms the Silver Sands State Park. Charles Islandmarker, also a part of the park, is a protected nesting ground. There is a sand bar, actually more correctly called a tombolo (since it is perpendicular, not parallel to the coast)accessible during low tide that people can walk on, from Silver Sands Beach, to Charles Island.

Demographics

Historical
population of
Milford
[23478]
1756 1,633
1774 2,127
1782 2,195
1790 2,098
1800 2,417
1810 2,674
1820 2,785
1830 2,256
1840 2,455
1850 2,465
1860 2,828
1870 3,405
1880 3,347
1890 3,811
1900 3,783
1910 4,366
1920 10,193
1930 12,660
1940 16,439
1950 26,870
1960 41,662
1970 50,858
1980 50,898
1990 49,938
2000 52,212
2002 53,472
(est.)[23479]
As of the census of 2000, there were 52,212 people, 20,138 households, and 13,613 families residing in Milford. The population density was 2,270.7 people per square mile (876.8/km²). There were 21,145 housing units at an average density of 949.0/sq mi (366.4/km²). The racial makeup of Milford was 93.55% White, 1.91% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.88% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.34% of the population.

There were 20,138 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 26.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.04.

In Milford the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household was $51,167, and the median income for a family was $61,175 (these figures had risen to $71,818 and $85,902 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $48,368 versus $36,770 for females. The per capita income was $28,773. About 2.4% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 28, 2008
Party Active Voters Inactive Voters Total Voters Percentage

Democratic 9,421 276 9,697 27.98%

Republican 7,223 236 7,459 21.52%

Unaffiliated 16,788 638 17,426 50.28%

Minor Parties 62 6 68 0.20%
Total 33,494 1,156 34,650 100%


On the National Register of Historic Places



Notable residents, past and present



Movies filmed in Milford

Movies filmed at least in part in Milford include:

References

  1. Village of Devon Official Web Site
  2. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=ChangeGeoContext&geo_id=16000US0947515&_geoContext=&_street=&_county=milford&_cityTown=milford&_state=04000US09&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null®=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=
  3. Internet Movie DataBase Web site's page for Milford, Connecticut


External links

Laurel Beach, 1910



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