Milford gearing up to celebrate 375th anniversary of its founding

It was the summer of 1637 when Connecticut and Massachusetts militia were pursuing the Pequot tribe along the Connecticut coast. Most of the soldiers were only interested in spotting Indians, but Sergeant Thomas Tibbals noticed the area near the mouth of the Wepawaug River, where there was forest, game, rivers to power mills, a harbor, and beaches abundant with clams.

In 1639, this land was purchased from the Paugusset Indians and became Milford.

So goes the history that is recounted in the book “History of Milford, Connecticut.”

Milford is gearing up to celebrate the 375th anniversary of its founding next year, possibly with a parade and other events.

The last time the city held an anniversary celebration was 25 years ago at the 350th, and that consisted of myriad events, including a parade and pageant paying tribute to the city’s past.

City Historian Richard Platt attended this week’s Board of Aldermen’s meeting to let city leaders know about the landmark date approaching. Platt said the mayor agreed to form a committee to work with the Milford Historical Society on planning events for next year.

The 350th celebration was fairly extensive.

“I don’t know if I want to go into that kind of rigmarole again,” Platt said with a laugh, but he said he certainly wants to see a founding fathers’ day at the First Church downtown.

Milford’s histories tell much about the founders and how they settled in Milford almost 375 years ago.

“On Feb. 12, 1639, Edmund Tapp, William Fowler, Benjamin Fenn, Zachariah Whitman, and Alexander Bryan from New Haven, journeyed to the Wepawaug and purchased land from Ansantawae, a sachem of the Paugusset Indians who had a village on the banks of the river,” according to History of Milford, Connecticut.

The price was six coats, ten blankets, one kettle, twelve hatchets, twelve hoes, two dozen knives and a dozen small mirrors.

Platt said anyone wishing to get involved in organizing 375th anniversary events should contact the mayor’s office.