Jennifer Huey’s family has owned the property at 601 S.E. 2nd Street in Milford since 1901. The neighborhood surrounding the house has always been an area where most of the men built ships or worked on the ships on the Mispillion River as did her great great grandfather Charles Johnson, who worked on a ship as a captain. The original deed, which Jennifer still has, was from the Fisher family to Anna Johnson, Jennifer’s great great grandmother.
Handed down through the generations to the females in the family, Ms. Huey feels it is her duty to renovate the house she has inherited to honor her family and its heritage in this town. Jennifer spent last summer cleaning the house and the basement to prepare for the next step of renovation. She admits she was going to sell the house at first but as she began to examine more of the house it became more difficult.
“I was walking down the stairs one day and I noticed that the newel post edges had been worn away. That’s when I realized that this was a result of over 100 years of usage from my family. I began to think of the house as not only the house I grew up in but saw that it had housed my family for generations. At that point I could not bring myself to sell it.”
While cleaning out the upstairs Jennifer found a letter written from her great uncle Pierce to her great grandmother Thelma. The letter was written by Pierce in Germany during WWII and talked about how he could imagine Thelma sitting at the bottom of the stairs reading the letter and writing one back to him. There are also several photographs and postcards of the house from the 1920’s forward that show the house through the years of the Great Depression, WWI and WWII.
Jennifer did not want the house to be rented out and become another substandard dwelling like many houses in the neighborhood. She would like to see the neighborhood once again become an attractive part of the town of Milford and understands that this process will happen one house at a time. Jennifer is now doing her part to help rejuvenate the neighborhood and bring a sense of pride back to the community.
The plans for renovation will include the house, its addition that was added in the 1920’s and the property itself. This will be a large undertaking since the house has not seen much work done for quite some time and actually encountered a twenty year period where it sat dormant. Jennifer and her husband both have a background in architectural engineering and hope that that experience with help them finish the project in four to six months.
Jennifer is proud to be a part of the Milford community and enjoys its heritage. “It amazes me how this town is full of families that have stayed here for generations and continued to build this town through the ages,” stated Jennifer. The renovation of her family’s house on South East 2nd Street is her way of continuing this tradition that so many Milford families have been a part of over the years.