New sign marks site where Milford founder lived

Several groups gathered Friday on Prospect Street to unveil an historic marker at the site where Milford founder Peter Prudden once lived.

There had been a marker on a stone in front of the property, but it disappeared in recent months.

The unveiling of the new historic marker took place on the front lawn of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) property. That parcel, along with the house and land next door, were part of the lot once owned by Peter Prudden.

The marker reads, “On this site was the original home lot of the Rev. Peter Prudden (1601-1656), leader of the Hertfordshire Group that founded Milford in 1639 and first pastor of the First United Church of Christ. His group left London, England in the spring of 1637 and landed in Boston. The following year they accompanied the Davenport/Eaton group to the mouth of the Quinnipiac River and founded New Haven.”

The marker goes on to say that during that period in history, Prudden attracted more followers from Dorchester and Roxbury in Massachusetts Bay, and from Wethersfield.

The sign also says that Prudden’s home lot, #40 on the Original Town Plot of 1646, amounted to seven acres.

Ardienne Damicis, historian for First Church of Christ and a member of DAR, spoke during the unveiling. She said the town’s first burial ground was in the backyard garden on Prudden’s property, and people were buried there from 1644 to 1676. Prudden himself was buried there in 1656.

“There was a marker on the stone by the driveway next door, but it has recently vanished,” Damicis said. “However, the importance of this property cannot be taken away.”

Several groups have recently started keeping an eye on the property next door at 67 Prospect Street. They fear the house is starting to fall into disrepair.

The owner, Dan Boynton, did not returned several calls for comment on the matter.

While the current house at 67 Prospect Street is on the Prudden property, it was built more than 100 years after Peter Prudden died. According to the state’s Historic Resources Inventory, on which the house is listed, David L. Baldwin built the house in 1835. A genealogical website called says that David Lewis Baldwin, who was born in Milford in 1785 and died in 1877, was town clerk of Milford for 27 years, and clerk of probate for Milford for 12 years.

The house is also noted for its architecture. The Historic Resources Inventory describes it as a “two-story Greek Revival-style house.”

Michele Kramer, president of the Milford Preservation Trust, said the new sign is one of several historic markers in the city erected to remind residents of the city’s history. DAR, the Milford Preservation Trust, the Botsford family, and First United Church of Christ paid for the

Peter Prudden sign.

Kramer thanked them, as well as Milford Public Works, for putting up this sign and the others in the city.