Milford, Pennsylvania

Milford is a borough in Pike County, Pennsylvania, United States, and the county seat. Its population was 1,021 at the 2010 census.[5] Located on the upper Delaware River, Milford is part of the New York metropolitan area.

Borough of Milford
Pike County Courthouse, built in 1874
Location in Pike County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location of Milford in Pennsylvania
Milford (the United States)
Coordinates: 41°19′27″N 74°48′10″W
CountryUnited States
  Total0.50 sq mi (1.30 km2)
  Land0.47 sq mi (1.21 km2)
  Water0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
499 ft (152 m)
  Density2,087.42/sq mi (806.06/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)570 and 272
FIPS code42-49400
Milford Historic District
Forester's Hall, designed by Calvert Vaux and Richard Morris Hunt[3]
LocationRoughly along Broad, Harford, Ann, Catharine, High, and Fourth Sts., Milford, Pennsylvania
Area22 acres (8.9 ha)
ArchitectGeorge Barton et al.
Architectural styleLate Victorian, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Mid-19th Century Revival
NRHP reference #98000898[4]
Added to NRHPJuly 23, 1998


The area along the Delaware River had long been settled by the Lenape, an Algonquian-speaking indigenous tribe that lived in the mid-Atlantic coastal areas, including western Long Island, and along this river at the time of European colonization. The English also called the people the Delaware, after the river they named after one of their colonial leaders.

Milford was founded in 1796 after the American Revolutionary War as a United States settlement on the Delaware River by Judge John Biddis, one of Pennsylvania's first four circuit judges. He named the settlement after his ancestral home in Wales.[6]

Milford has a large number of buildings of historical significance, many constructed in the nineteenth century and early twentieth centuries. Some are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while numerous others are included in the Milford Historic District, also listed on the NRHP. Of the 655 buildings in the district, 400 of them have been deemed to be historically significant.[7] The district is characterized by a variety of Late Victorian architecture.

Grey Towers National Historic Site, the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, the noted conservationist, two-time Governor of Pennsylvania and first head of the U.S. Forest Service, is located in Milford. It was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt has been designated a National Historic Site.

From 1904 to 1926, Grey Towers was the site of summer field study sessions for the Master's program of the Yale School of Forestry, together with the Forester's Hall, a commercial building that was adapted and expanded for this purpose.[8] Jervis Gordon Grist Mill Historic District, Hotel Fauchere and Annex, Metz Ice Plant, and Pike County Courthouse are also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nearby is Arisbe, the home of Charles S. Peirce, a prominent logician, philosopher and scientist in the late 19th century, and another NRHP property.[4]

The Pike County Historical Society Museum in Milford includes in its collection the "Lincoln Flag", which was draped on President Abraham Lincoln's booth at Ford's Theatre the night he was assassinated. The flag was bundled up and placed under the President's head, and still bears his blood. It was kept by stage manager Thomas Gourlay. He passed it down to his daughter Jeannie, an actress who had appeared in the play, Our American Cousin, at the theatre that night. She later moved to Milford and the flag was donated to the museum after her death.[9]

In September 2007, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel named Milford second on its list of "Ten Coolest Small Towns" in Pennsylvania.[10]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), all land.

Milford is located on the Upper Delaware River, which divides Pennsylvania's Poconos region from the Catskill Mountains in New York, in what was historically a heavily forested area. When Judge Biddis bought up the land of what was then known as Wells Ferry[3] and laid out the lots for the new town, he generally followed the urban plan of Philadelphia: he laid out High Street – the equivalent of what is now Market Street in Philadelphia – running to the Delaware River, while Broad Street runs perpendicular to High, creating a grid. At the intersection of Broad and High is a public square – just as there is at Broad and Market in Philadelphia – and most of Milford's official buildings are located there.[3][6] Within the grid, East-West streets are numbered, Second through Seventh, with Broad Street falling between Fourth and Fifth Streets, while North-South streets are named after Judge Biddis' children: Ann, Catherine, George, John, Sarah and Elizabeth.[3] In between both the named and numbered streets are alleys, named after berries and fruit.[3]

In contemporary Milford, Broad Street is also marked as U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 209. At its intersection with Harford Street, Route 6 continues north on Harford, while Route 209 continues south on the street.

Milford is located on an escarpment above the Delaware River. All waterways there which drain into the river fall the 100-foot (30 m) difference in height, creating what is known as a fluviarchy, a network of waterfalls, putatively the most notable one east of the Rocky Mountains.[7] These also provided water power to mills, which contributed to Milford's economy in the 19th century.

Historical population
Est. 2017979[2]−4.1%


As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 1,021 people, 491 households, and 236 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,042 people per square mile (797.7/km²). There were 580 housing units at an average density of 1,160 per square mile (453.1/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 95.2% White, 0.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.5% of the population. Pike County has one of the highest concentration of same-sex households of any county in Pennsylvania.

There were 491 households out of which 19.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 42.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.01 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the borough the population was spread out with 16.3% under the age of 18, 59.9% from 18 to 64, and 23.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.3 years.

The median income for a household in the borough was $33,571, and the median income for a family was $46,136. Males had a median income of $40,500 versus $28,333 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $21,011. About 4.0% of families and 9.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.


Milford is served by the Delaware Valley School District.

Cultural activities

Milford is home to Pike County Arts and Crafts, an art education organization that was chosen by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts as winner of the 2007 Pennsylvania State "Creative Community Award.".[15] Since 1950, Pike County Arts and Crafts has also hosted an annual art show each July in Borough Hall.[16]

The Pike County Chess Club was founded in 2011. Games played at these tournaments are submitted for rating by the United States Chess Federation (USCF), with which the Club is affiliated.

Annual festivals include the Black Bear Film Festival, Milford Readers & Writers Festival, Milford Music Festival, Festival of Wood and DanceFest Milford. Throughout the year there are "Artwalks" and other events celebrating artists in the area.


Milford is home to several camps operated by the Jewish organization NJY Camps: Camp Nah-Jee-Wah, Cedar Lake Camp, and Teen Age Camp. Nah-Jee-Wah is for younger campers, Cedar Lake Camp caters to middle-school-aged campers, and Teen Age Camp is for teens. All three camps have activities in and around their two lakes.

Annual events

The Black Bear Film Festival is an annual independent film festival, which has taken place the weekend after Columbus Day in October every years since 2000. Held primarily at the historic Milford Theater, the festival also includes many free films and lectures in a Film Salon, as well as feature films for an admission fee. In recent years, stars participating in the film festival have included Farley Granger, Tab Hunter, Marge Champion, Lorna Luft, Arlene Dahl, Larry Kramer and others.[17]

The Milford Music Festival takes place each June. It is a free weekend event sponsored by, which also produces Septemberfest, Share The Harvest and the annual Tree Lighting. The 2009 Milford Music Festival was headlined by Vanessa Carlton, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter/pianist who is from Milford. In 2013, the festival featured Pete Seeger.

The Milford Readers and Writers Festival, inaugurated in 2015, is held in September each year and focuses on facilitating conversation between readers and writers. Recent featured guests have included Lee Child, John Berendt, Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, Tim Murphy, Tim Teeman, M.K. Asante, Alan Alda, Billy Goldstein, Brooke Warner, Amy Ferris, Suzanne Braun Levine, Anne-Christine d'Adesky, Sean Strub, Mary Badham, Robert Moor, Susan Faludi, Julie Barton, Carol Jenkins, Lucian Truscott IV, Frances FitzGerald, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Phil Klay, John Leland, Ducan Hannah, Bob Eckstein, and others.

DanceFest Milford,, was launched in May 2018 by Johanna LjungQvist-Brinson.

Notable people

See also


  1. "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  2. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. "2001 Guide to Pike County Pennsylvania", Pike County Chamber of Commerce
  4. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  5. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. Historical marker on monument in Milford, erected by the Pike County Historical Society in July 1965.
  7. "A Tour of Milford, Pennsylvania" Travel and Leisure (March 2009)
  8. "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes Betz Steiner; Leon Husson & Carson O. Helfrich (December 1982). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Forester's Hall" (PDF). Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  9. "Pike County Historical Society". Archived from the original on September 8, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
  10. Limsky, Drew. "10 Coolest Small Towns, Pa." Budget Travel (September 2007)
  11. "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  14. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  15. PCA – Governor's Arts Awards Archived June 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. Upcoming PCAC Events – 2009
  17. Black Bear Film Festival, Official website
  18. Quinlan, James E. "Tom Quick The Indian Slayer and the pioneers of Minisink and Wawarsink" Monticello, N.Y.: De Voe & Quinlan, Publishers (1851)
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