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History of Milford

Located just 1 hour and 45 minutes west of New York City, on the border of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, you’ll find the quaint Borough of Milford in Pike County. Emerging from the dense forests of the Water Gap, this town of about 1,200 permanent residents stands out with a rich historical tapestry. Moreover, Milford holds the distinction of being one of Pennsylvania’s most recent Certified Local Governments, showcasing a plethora of preserved landmarks within its compact boundaries.
Perched on a ridge overlooking the Delaware River, Milford’s establishment dates back to the late 18th century. James Biddis, Sr., a judge hailing from Philadelphia who supervised the northern territories of the erstwhile Northampton County, was responsible for mapping out the town. The locale had seen some activity prior to this, with Thomas Quick, a Dutch immigrant, setting up a gristmill around 1733. Yet, it was Biddis’ arrival that truly catalyzed Milford’s transformation into a formal township. Over time, the town’s governance shifted, and by 1874, it was officially recognized as a borough. Its moniker is reminiscent of its early links to the milling sector.
The scenic beauty and captivating landscape of the Delaware River valley gained Milford significant attention during the 1800s. As tales of its majestic views spread, tourists started flocking. Several tourist-centric hotels flourished in Milford during this period, with the Hotel Fauchere standing out as a testament to that era. Alongside the influx of visitors, the town witnessed a cultural boom, marked by performances from luminaries such as Sarah Berhardt and various early 20th-century film shoots.
The Pinchot family, known for their emphasis on natural resource conservation, left an indelible mark on Milford’s growth and reputation. The family’s story in Milford commenced in 1818, when Constantine and Marie E.A. Pinchot, along with their children, settled here after a failed rescue mission for Napoleon. The family’s business acumen and land acquisitions contributed significantly to their prosperity. Among the notable landmarks they established include their Greek Revival residence and Forester’s Hall. Gifford Pinchot’s Grey Towers, located just outside the town’s borders, is another key highlight.
By 1997, Milford’s commercial hub was recognized in the National Register of Historic Places, and its boundaries expanded the following year. A decisive move in 2000 designated the commercial zone as a historic area, paving the way for a Historic Architectural Review Board to oversee its preservation. The Historic Preservation Trust of Pike County championed these endeavors and continues to advocate for Milford’s rich history.
In 2019, talks about Milford joining the CLG program commenced, post-training by the PA SHPO. Recognizing the need to revise their historic district design guidelines, which hadn’t been updated since 2000, Milford saw the CLG program as an apt avenue. The certification was finalized in May 2021, kickstarting the revision process.
Milford’s inclusion in the CLG program is significant for multiple reasons. It’s the inaugural CLG in Pike County and the sole representative from Northeastern Pennsylvania. Its certification, in tandem with Erie and Sewickley, is a step towards a more diversified CLG distribution across the state. Furthermore, with its population of approximately 1,200, Milford exemplifies that even smaller towns can rival larger cities in their dedication to preservation.
Kudos to Milford, particularly Borough Council Vice President Adriane Wendell and President Frank Tarquinio, for their exemplary vision and leadership. They have undoubtedly enriched the Certified Local Government program.

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St. Patrics Parade Sponsor

Milford Jazz Festival 2024

Join us for the 2024 Milford Jazz Festival! Enjoy a weekend of live jazz with top performers like the Royal Bopsters, Ronny Whyte, Barry Bryson and Swing Street, Esteban Castro, Nancy and Spencer Reed, and more. Held in picturesque Milford, just 74 miles from NYC and 125 miles from Philadelphia in the stunning Pocono Mountains.

S'mores Kit- $35/ Item

Enjoy a cozy fire-side snack for two in our beautiful garden! Your S’mores Kit will include marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate from Electric City Sweets.

Outdoor Adventure Kit- $25/ Item

Make the most out of your outdoor adventure in the Poconos with our Outdoor Adventure Kit. This kit includes essential items such as wet wipes, bug repellent, sunscreen, a keychain, bottled water, a granola bar, and a cooling towel to keep you comfortable and refreshed throughout your adventure. Add it to your hotel reservation now for a hassle-free outdoor experience.

Full Immersive Experience

To book the fully immersive experience (hotel stay dinner & two-part show for two) please visit the link of the hotel of your choice:

**Two-Person Minimum