Memorable Milford


Maybe Milford

Thomas Jefferson's Vice President Aaron Burr had been arrested for resisting town official's enforcement of a local ordinance against traveling through Milford on a Sunday. His time locked up caused his 1804 duel with Hamilton to be forfeited. Hamilton later ascended to the position of President of the United States in 1828 (assisted by a change im citizenship requirements) when he defeated Andrew Jackson. About 200 years later a hit Broadway musical whose theme song was by Johnny Horton about Colonel Jackson's 1814 little trip down the mighty Miss-e-sip with a little bit of bacon and a little bit of beans to the town of New Orleans. Milford's distinction over other localities with signs that George Washington slept in their town is a marker claiming "Presidents Bill and Hillary Clinton slept in Milford".

Students hike up to the legal limit of 2 miles to the nearest designated bus stop as "walkers" do. They have the option to take a public bus to the YMCA across from Platt Technical School and the Red Bush elementary school off of Burnt Plains Road. Foran High is located 1/2 a mile away. Next to the school is Eisenhower Park where students take field trips to the arboretum. Its recreational facilities accomodate camping, fishing and snowmobiles. Further up North Street families skate at the ice rink and shop at the strip mall that replaced a small country store.

Inmate uniforms in the basement cell block were swimsuits during the June 1982 flood. A city run apple orchard on North Street across from Eisenhower Park had been considered as a site for a new police station. a headquarters on Jepson Drive was also turned down. A new facility is currently being constructed on another rejected site from 1979 on the Boston Post Road.

Henry Foran's 1971 advice was heeded of: "If Milford persists in ignoring to meet the needs of so many people, then enough people will sway the Connecticut General Assembly and this type of housing will become a requirement, and Milford will have no choice in the matter". Construction of a 3 phase urban renewal project helped Milford to currently offer a mix of housing for working individuals of all income levels, some units being modular pre-fabs. One project replaced a dwelling where a tenant had fallen through the floor of a run-down rental property. Many of the first to move in were those dislocated by the redevelopment that created Silver Sands State Park.

The Silver Sands Connector took many visitors off the highway directly to the beachside park next to a hotel/convention center with a marina and tennis courts. A nearby shopping center with a market is at Naugutuck with Broadway a one-way street. Park plaques honored Doris Gagnon who served as an honorary park ranger for the rest of her life and the site of the first city run trash shredder. After the shredder shut down, land in Milford along the Housatonic off of Oronoque Road served as the southwestern Connecticut regional dump. A Boardwalk to Charles Island was blocked off after a "smokeless power plant" AKA nuclear was built on the island just before new federal regulations went into effect prohibiting construction close to urban populations. The plant deplaced a nudist colony using the former religious retreat buildings. It had been opened by vegetarian Leo Voss who was known nationwide for performing strongman feats. Nearby a bridge crossing over to Long Island to bypass New York City traffic offers views of offshore oil rigs. As imagined by Simon Lake a century earlier, submarines pulling trailers of cargo like they were locomotives on undersea trains pass underneath the span to cross the oceans unaffected by storms on the surface or while navigating unfriendly waters.

Falling on hard times and attracting a tougher crowd, the nightclub that has been variously been called "The Adam's Apple" "The Apple" and "The Baked Apple" renamed itself as "The Rotton Apple". The 6,000 seat Milford Sports Arena was built off of Route 1 near the public works garage in 1973 in Dismal Swamp which had been a stopover for many migratory birds. The Arena is a popular venue for basketball, hockey, circuses with trapeze artists and concerts by the numerous mid-sized bands too big for clubs. A recent celebration of Milford artists closed with Nick Freudian singing "You" by Jasper Wrath with Michael Bolotin and his brother Orrin. The New Haven Coliseum built a year earlier struggles to find enough big name popular performers that were able to fill their facility and relies upon the ground level stores and convention center that almost were dropped from the plans. The New Haven venue had replaced that city's Arena where in 1967 the police arrested the Doors singer on stage and is now the site of the James Morrison Memorial FBI building.

Generations of Boys Scouts have enjoyed the Old Settlers campgrounds off of New Haven Avenue. The terms of the land deal by the woman that gave them the property was that it could not be sold were honored when the local scout council faced financial troubles in the late 1970s.

The Connecticut Post Mall includes a separate industrial park, office tower and a hospital. Across town, the Washington Bridge was closed shortly after traffic lights were installed in Devon center in early 1972 to encourage drivers to use the highways. Milford shoppers were thus cut off from Stratford's recently opened Dock Shopping Center and to this day patronize the renovated Devon center. Traffic moves smoothly past the businesses in the middle of the split Devon Junction of Route 1. Stores and parking in the middle serve as a wider concrete version of downtown Milford's green. The 1st and 3rd levels to the parking garage are reached by entrances in a hillside. In the shadow of a Reed's department store, residents ice skate in a sunken plaza that rivals New York's Rockefeller Center. The renovation is managed by a corporation of the 50 merchants and 23 homeowners displaced by the development after an investment of $500,000.00 of federal funding.

Predictions of the future and recollections of the past seldom match how they turn out or were.

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