What did Milford look like 100 years ago?
If you ever wondered what Milford was like 100 years and more ago visit the Milford Historical Society this summer to see photos and memorabilia from the early fire departments, Milford’s schools, the three governors who hailed from Milford, and early fashions worn by Milfordites, along with old and current photos of the Milford Town Hall from as early as 1899.
The society’s summer exhibit will open on Saturday, June 4, at 1 p.m. at its headquarters, 34 High Street. Tours will be available every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. through Columbus Day in the Eells-Stowe House c. 1700, the Clark/Stockade House c. 1780, and the Bryan-Downs House c. 1785.
In addition to the new exhibits, the permanent displays include Native American artifacts from the “Claude C. Coffin Indian Collection” and a Victorian parlor furnished with items from Milford families.
Also on view will be the tombstone known as the Molly Fowler Stone that is on loan from the Milford Cemetery Association.
The 18th Century stone is noteworthy in part because of its epitaph. The slate headstone was erected in memory of Fowler, a young woman who died in her 20s in 1792. The inscription reads: "Molly tho pleasant in her day Was suddenly seiz'd and sent away How soon she's ripe how soon she's rott'n Sent to her grave and soon forgott'n."
In 2009 the stone went missing. Police located it in a wooded area approximately 100 feet away from the plot from which it was removed in the Milford Cemetery. It was not damaged and police said they believed vandals took it.
T-shirts featuring the Molly Stone will be on sale to benefit the Friends of the Milford Cemetery, a group that works to document, straighten and clean inscriptions on the oldest stones in the Milford Cemetery.
Visitors to the Historical Society will also be welcome to stroll the society’s grounds and enjoy the gardens tended by its Herbcrafters group and the Milford Garden Club.
Upcoming events include a Garden Tea Party Saturday, June 25. Later in the summer the Society will sponsor tours of various neighborhoods in Milford. More information on all the events will be posted as they become available.
Each weekend the Milford Historical Society Country Store will be open, offering books, map reproductions, early toys especially popular with children, and gift items.
Donation for weekend tours is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 8.
For information on joining the society, visit milfordhistoricalsociety.org or Facebook. You may also write to Milford Historical Society, P.O. Box 337, Milford, CT 06460.