Milford, Delaware

Milford is a city in Kent and Sussex counties in the U.S. state of Delaware. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 9,559.[4]

The Kent County portion of Milford is part of the Dover, DE Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Philadelphia-Reading-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD Combined Statistical Area,[5] while the Sussex County portion is part of the Salisbury, MD-DE Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Milford, Delaware
Walnut Street in Milford in 2006
Walnut Street in Milford in 2006
Location of Milford in Kent County and Sussex County, Delaware.
Location of Milford in Kent County and Sussex County, Delaware.
Milford is located in Delaware
Location within the state of Delaware
Milford is located in the United States
Milford (the United States)
Coordinates: 38°54′45″N 75°25′41″W / 38.91250°N 75.42806°WCoordinates: 38°54′45″N 75°25′41″W / 38.91250°N 75.42806°W
Country United States
State Delaware
County Kent, Sussex
IncorporatedFebruary 5, 1807
 • TypeCouncil-manager government
 • MayorArchie Campbell
 • City ManagerEric Norenberg
 • Total9.87 sq mi (25.55 km2)
 • Land9.78 sq mi (25.33 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
13 ft (4 m)
 • Total9,559
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,122.71/sq mi (433.50/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)302
FIPS code10-47420
GNIS feature ID214308[3]
Mispillion River Milford
A pedestrian boardwalk parallels the Mispillion River in Milford
Milford Delaware
Walnut Street in Milford in 2006


Milford is located at 38°54′45″N 75°25′41″W / 38.91250°N 75.42806°W (38.9126129, −75.4279748),[6] along the Mispillion River, which runs through the city.[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.87 square miles (25.6 km2).

Sunset over Blair's Pond


The Kent County side of Milford was first settled in 1680 by Henry Bowan on what was known as the Saw Mill Range. A century later the Reverend Sydenham Thorne built a dam across the Mispillion River to generate power for his gristmill and sawmill. Around the same time, Joseph Oliver laid out the first city streets and plots nearby on a part of his plantation. Soon a number of homes and businesses appeared along Front Street. The city was incorporated February 5, 1807.[8]

In the 1770s, a ship building industry was already flourishing on the Mispillion River. Shipbuilding continued to be the major industry of Milford through World War I, bringing considerable prosperity to the town. The high point came in 1917 when the four-masted, 174-foot (53 m) long Albert F. Paul was launched from the William G. Abbott shipyard. At one point six shipyards were operating in the downtown area. When the last of the area’s giant white oaks was cut in the 1920s, the shipyards quickly went out of business, although the Mispillion ships sailed on for many years. (The Paul was sunk by a German torpedo in 1942 while sailing from the Bahamas.) The Vineyard shipyard was called into service in both World War I and II to build submarine chasers.[8]

During much of the twentieth century Milford served primarily as the commercial center for much of southern Delaware's large agricultural community.[8]

Seven of Delaware's governors have come from Milford: Daniel Rogers (who served 1797–99), Joseph Haslet (1811–14), William Tharp (1847–1851), Peter F. Causey (1855–59), William Burton (1859–63), William T. Watson (1895–97), and Ruth Ann Minner (2001–09).[8]

Abbott's Mill, Bank House, Carlisle House, Christ Church, Dr. Dawson House, Draper House, Egglinton Hall, Golden Mine, Grier House, Peter Lofland House, James McColley House, Milford New Century Club, Milford Railroad Station, Milford Shipyard Area Historic District, Mill House, Mispillion Lighthouse and Beacon Tower, North Milford Historic District, Old Fire House, Parson Thorne Mansion, South Milford Historic District Walnut Farm, Gov. William T. Watson Mansion, and J. H. Wilkerson & Son Brickworks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[9]

On Friday, May 30, 2003 at approximately 3:00 p.m. a fire started in a second floor apartment next to Wiley Hardware & Appliance on Walnut Street in the historic downtown section of Milford. More than 200 firefighters from Milford, Ellendale, Harrington, Felton, Dover, Smyrna, Houston, Frederica, Slaughter Beach, Bowers Beach, Greenwood, South Bowers, Farmington, Magnolia, Cheswold, Lewes, Georgetown, and Bridgeville in Delaware and Greensboro and Goldsboro in Maryland fought the blaze which destroyed seven businesses, a church, and three apartments, destroying an entire city block in the historic section of town. No one was killed in the blaze, but one civilian and six firefighters were injured.[10]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201811,353[2]18.8%

As of the census[11] of 2010, there were 9,559 people, 4,126 housing units and 2,356 family households in the City. The population density was 968 people per square mile (467.5/km²). There were 4,126 housing units at an average density of 418 per square mile (201.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65% White, 22.3% African American, and 12% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.8% of the population.

The median age within Milford is 37.9 years old. 7.8% of the population is under the age of 5, 18.9% between 5 and 19 years of age, 49.7% between 20 and 59 years of age, and 23.6% 60 years of age and older.

The median household income according to the 2010 census is $52,274, and the median family income is $59,365. 13.1% of families are below poverty level, which is slightly higher than the national average of 11.5%, and higher than the Kent County and Sussex County average of 9.7% and 9.1% respectively.


Milford School District operates public schools.



Milford is served by several state roads connecting it to other points in Delaware. Delaware Route 1 bypasses Milford to the east along the Milford Bypass and heads north to Dover and southeast to the Delaware Beaches. A business route of DE 1, Delaware Route 1 Business, passes through the city along Rehoboth Boulevard and North Walnut Street. U.S. Route 113 begins at DE 1 at the north end of the Milford and heads south through the city on Dupont Boulevard, continuing south to Georgetown. Delaware Route 14 runs east-west through the city on Northwest Front Street and Northeast Front Street, heading west to Harrington and east to its terminus at the DE 1 bypass. Delaware Route 36 runs east-west through the city on Lakeview Avenue, Causey Avenue, and Southeast Front Street, heading southwest to Greenwood and east to Slaughter Beach. Delaware Route 15 begins at DE 14 west of Milford and heads northwest to Canterbury. Delaware Route 30 begins at DE 1 and DE 1 Business southeast of Milford and heads south toward Milton and Millsboro.[12] DART First State provides bus service to Milford along Route 210, which runs through the city between the Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus and the Walmart in the northern part of Milford; Route 303, which runs north to Dover and south to Georgetown; and Route 307, which runs north to Dover and south to Lewes.[13] The Indian River Subdivision line of the Delmarva Central Railroad passes through Milford.[14]


The City of Milford Electric Department provides electricity to the city, operating a substation and over 100 miles (160 km) of overhead lines and over 50 miles (80 km) of underground lines.[15] The city's electric department is a member of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC) and purchases its power from the PJM Power Grid. The City of Milford Electric Department serves about 6,500 customers.[16] The Public Works department provides trash and recycling collection to Milford.[17][18] The Engineering department provides water and sewer service to the city. The city's water system draws from groundwater with 4 well facilities that each consist of 11 wells.[19] Natural gas service in Milford is provided by Chesapeake Utilities.[20]

Milford is home to the Milford Solar Farm, a 15 MW, 80 acre solar power farm that is owned by the Public Service Enterprise Group and is the largest solar power farm in Delaware. DEMEC purchases the power generated from the solar farm.[21]

Health care

Bayhealth Medical Center operates the Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus in Milford.[22] The hospital offers various inpatient services include a birthing room and cardiovascular and cancer services. The Sussex Campus also offers numerous outpatient services, patient and family support services, community outreach, and imaging services. The hospital has a 24-hour emergency room with a Level III trauma center.[23][24] On May 27, 2016, Bayhealth Medical Center broke ground on the Bayhealth Sussex Campus to replace the former Milford Memorial Hospital. The six-story hospital cost between $275 million and $300 million to build.[25] Bayhealth Sussex Campus opened on February 5, 2019.[26] Milford Memorial Hospital will be converted by Nationwide Health Services into a multi-use healthcare-focused community that would include a nursing home.[27]

Notable people


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 25, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018". Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  3. ^ "Milford". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  4. ^ "The Delaware Census State Data Center". Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-19. Retrieved 2013-04-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ DeLorme (2004). Maryland Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer. p. 52. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-279-X.
  8. ^ a b c d "History of Milford, Delaware". Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  9. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  10. ^ "Fire Hits Block In Historic Milford, Delaware". Firehouse. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ Delaware Department of Transportation (2008). Delaware Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation.
  13. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  14. ^ "Delmarva Central Railroad". Carload Express. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  15. ^ "Electric Utility Service - About Our System". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  16. ^ "Electric Utility Service". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  17. ^ "Trash Collection". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  18. ^ "Recycling Collection". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  19. ^ "Engineering". City of Milford. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  20. ^ "Delmarva Service Territory". Chesapeake Utilities. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  21. ^ "Governor Markell helps dedicate PSEG Milford Solar Farm" (Press release). Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. April 17, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  22. ^ "Locations & Contact". Bayhealth. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  23. ^ "Bayhealth Medical Center Stats & Services". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
  24. ^ "Emergency Care". Bayhealth. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  25. ^ Rini, Jen (May 27, 2016). "Bayhealth breaks ground on Milford campus". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  26. ^ Bavaro, Angelo (February 5, 2019). "Bayhealth Hospital Sussex Campus opens". Salisbury, MD: WBOC-TV. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  27. ^ "Re-imagining Clarke Avenue". Bayhealth. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  28. ^

External links

Media related to Milford, Delaware at Wikimedia Commons

Bank House (Milford, Delaware)

Bank House is a historic home located at Milford, Kent County, Delaware, United States. It was built between 1854 and 1857, and is a three-story, five-bay, brick Greek Revival-style dwelling. It measures 42 feet by 34 feet and has a two-story, "L"-shaped wing measuring 40 feet by 18 feet. It has a flat roof and features an entrance portico supported by classic Corinthian order fluted columns. It was designed to be the banking house for the Bank of Milford, and included bank operations and housing for the cashier of the bank and his family. The bank failed before the building was complete, then completed by a physician who completed it as his residence and medical office.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Chris Short

Christopher Joseph Short (September 19, 1937 – August 1, 1991), nicknamed "Styles", was an American professional baseball pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies (1959–1972), and Milwaukee Brewers (1973). He threw left-handed, and batted right-handed.

Christ Church, Milford, Delaware

Christ Church is an historic Episcopal church and cemetery located at 3rd and Church Streets in Milford, Kent County, Delaware. The original section was started in 1791, with construction continuing until 1835. Between 1863 and 1894, the church underwent several alterations and additions. It is a brick structure in the Gothic Revival style. The adjacent cemetery has a number of notable burials including Delaware governors William Burton (1789–1866), Peter F. Causey (1801–1871), and William Tharp (1803–1865).It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Daniel Rogers (politician)

Daniel Rogers (January 3, 1754 – February 2, 1806) was an American miller and politician from Milford, in Sussex County, Delaware. He was a member of the Federalist Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.

James R. Lofland

James Rush Lofland (November 2, 1823 – February 10, 1894) was an American lawyer and politician from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party, who served as U. S. Representative from Delaware.

John M. Clayton

John Middleton Clayton (July 24, 1796 – November 9, 1856) was an American lawyer and politician from Delaware. He was a member of the Whig Party who served in the Delaware General Assembly, and as U.S. Senator from Delaware and U.S. Secretary of State.

John W. Causey

John William Causey (September 19, 1841 – October 1, 1908) was an American lawyer and farmer from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as United States Representative from Delaware.

Jonathan S. Willis

The reverend Jonathan Spencer Willis (April 5, 1830 – November 24, 1903) was an American minister, farmer and politician, from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Republican Party, who served as U. S. Representative from Delaware.

Joseph Haslet

Joseph Haslet (1769 – June 20, 1823) was an American planter and politician from Cedar Creek Village in Cedar Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, who served twice as Governor of Delaware.

Kayla Martell

Kayla Martell (born June 27, 1989) is an American beauty queen from Milford, Delaware and the winner of the Miss Delaware 2010 pageant. Martell placed in the Top 10 at the Miss America 2011 pageant. In the fifth grade, Martell was diagnosed with alopecia areata and subsequently lost all her hair. Martell had competed in the Miss Delaware pageant four other times; three times without a wig. Martell plans to use her platform to raise awareness for alopecia areata. Martell had previously won Miss Kent County in order to compete in the Miss Delaware competition. During the state competition, she also won the pageant community service award, the state community service award, and the Thursday evening gown and Friday swimsuit competitions. Martell made it to a semifinalist round in the 2011 Miss America pageant, becoming the first bald contestant in Miss America history.

Luke Petitgout

Lucas George Petitgout (born June 16, 1976) is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League. He was drafted by the New York Giants 19th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. He played college football at Notre Dame. Petitgout also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played a total of 9 seasons in the NFL.

Milford School District

Milford School District (MSD) is the school district of Milford, Delaware, United States.

Peter F. Causey

Peter Foster Causey (January 11, 1801 – February 15, 1871) was an American merchant and politician from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the American Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.

Ruth Briggs King

Ruth Briggs King (born March 8, 1956) is an American politician. She is a Republican member of the Delaware House of Representatives, representing District 37. After losing a primary race in 2000, she was elected to replace Republican Joseph Booth, who had won a special election to a seat in the Delaware Senate, in 2009. Briggs King earned her AA in medical technology from Delaware Technical Community College and her BA and MA in human resources from Wilmington College.


WAFL (97.7 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a Top 40 format. Licensed to Milford, Delaware, United States, the station serves the Dover, Delaware area. The station is currently owned by Delmarva Broadcasting Company. The station is also broadcast on HD radio.


WNCL (101.3 FM, "Cool 101.3") is a radio station licensed to serve Milford, Delaware. The station is owned by Delmarva Broadcasting Company and is programmed by Operations Manager and PM drive host Steve Monz and features personalities Dana McDonald in Morning Drive and Paula Sangeleer from 10am to 3pm. It airs a classic hits music format.The station has been assigned these call letters by the Federal Communications Commission since January 6, 2004.

William Burton (governor)

William Burton (October 16, 1789 – August 5, 1866) was an American physician and politician from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served as Governor of Delaware.

William T. Watson

William Tharp Watson (June 22, 1849 – April 14, 1917) was an American banker and politician from Milford, in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.

William Tharp

William Tharp (November 27, 1803 – January 9, 1865) was an American farmer and politician from Milford in Kent County, Delaware. He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Governor of Delaware.

Municipalities and communities of Kent County, Delaware, United States
Municipalities and communities of Sussex County, Delaware, United States
Former towns
Ghost towns
Principal city


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