The Rev. Samuel Andrews House, 124 North Street in Milford, has been dated on different occasions to as early as 1685 (too early) and as late as 1801 (probably too late). It is typical of early nineteenth-century houses in Milford and has a later Greek-Revival entry porch. The house is named for Rev. Samuel Andrew, who was the third pastor of the First Church of Milford and was an original trustee of Yale, serving as Rector pro tempore of the University from 1707 and 1719. The house also has an unverified D.A.R. plaque stating that the house was built by Governor Robert Treat for his daughter, Abigail Treat, the wife of Rev. Samuel Andrew.
The current City Hall of Milford is the fifth in succession to occupy the same site. It was built in 1916 and was designed to resemble Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It is located right along the Wepawaug River in downtown Milford.
At the corner of West River and Maple streets (144 West River St.) in Milford is an Italianate mansion built sometime in the 1850s. It was once the home of Mary Augusta Hepburn Smith (1825-1912), born in New York City, who married Edwin Porter Smith (1813-1890) in 1847. Maintaining her summer home in Milford after her husband’s death, she became, in 1896, a founder and the first Regent of the Freelove Baldwin Stowe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary A. Hepburn Smith made a lasting impact on Milford when she purchased the commercial and industrial properties (mills, factories and low-rent housing affected by an 1899 fire) across from her home along the Wepawaug River (where Duck Ponds and a Kissing Bridge would be created), which she donated to the city as a park. Earlier this year, Mary Hepburn Smith was formally inducted into the Milford Hall of Fame.
Charles Hobby Pond, born in Milford in 1781, served as Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1850 to 1853 and, after the resignation of Governor Thomas H. Seymour, served as Governor for seven months (1853-1854). Pond’s Greek Revival house, on North Broad Street across from Milford Green, was built in 1845. Pond died in 1861 and in 1864 a relative of the same name, who was a New York businessman, began construction nearby of the estate that would later be known as Lauralton Hall. In the twentieth century, the Pond House became home to the Cody-White Funeral Home, begun in the 1930s by S. Harrington White and purchased in 1956 by Thomas J. Cody, Sr.
The first Anglican church in Milford, named St. George’s, was built from 1769 to 1772. The church was not consecrated, but rather “set apart” and dedicated for Divine Service in 1775, because Connecticut did not yet have a Bishop. In 1849, the original wooden church was demolished and replaced by the current brownstone church, designed by Frank Wills, a prominent architect and Gothic Revival churches and author of Ancient English Ecclesiastical Architecture and its Principles, Applied to the Wants of the Church at the Present Day (1850). The church was completed in 1851 and consecrated as St. Peter’s Church. The rededication of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in 1981 was followed by a disastrous flood in June 1982, after which the organ and parts of the church and parish hall had to be rebuilt.
During the Great Awakening in 1741, the membership of the First Congregational Church in Milford was split, with the more conservative members forming Second Church, under the leadership of Job Prudden, the great grandson of Peter Prudden, the first pastor of First Church. A new Greek Revival structure, called Plymouth Church, was constructed for the second congregation. The two Congregational churches then continued separately, but physically close to each other, for 185 years, until 1926, when they were reunited. The old Plymouth Church was then used as a playhouse until it was razed in 1951 and replaced the following year by the Plymouth Building, which houses a chapel and parish hall.
The First Church of Christ in Milford was established in New Haven in 1639 by a group of settlers led by Rev. Peter Prudden. They had already acquired land in Wepawaug, where they would shortly settle and establish the new parish and colony of Milford. The first meeting house was built in 1641 and was replaced by a second structure in 1727-1728. The current church, was built in 1824. Designed by David Hoadley, it has similarities to two earlier churches he designed: United Church on the Green in New Haven and Avon Congregational Church. A division in church membership during the Great Awakening in 1741 led to the errection of the Second Church (Plymouth Church). The two churches reunited in 1961 as the First United Church of Christ (Congregational).