Milford Museum Housed Town’s First Post Office

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By Claudia Leister, Milford Museum Executive Director

The Milford Museum is proud to call Milford’s first official post office building home. It was the custom, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for the postmaster to locate the post office either in his residence or place of business.

Milford’s first postmaster, Abner Dill, was appointed August 10, 1793. In 1789, Dill purchased a lot on the corner of North Walnut and Northeast Front Streets (where the M&T bank is currently located) from one of Milford’s founders, Joseph Oliver. Dill built an inn and a two-story house on the lot. It is believed that Milford’s first post office was in this location.

An article in the March 18, 1883 issue of the Milford Chronicle reads “No town in Delaware needs a new post office building so badly as Milford.” It took twenty seven years for Milfordians to finally get their post office. The new federal post office building opened for business in May, 1910 on the corner of South Walnut and Southeast Second Streets. This was the beginning of city delivery for the town. Services continued at this location until June, 1962 when the current post office began operation on Causey and Maple Avenues.

Ownership of the building transferred to Delaware’s Division of Health to be operated as a health facility for twenty years. It was next transferred to the State Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs who then leased it to the City of Milford for the purpose of establishing a local museum. The Milford Museum officially opened on Sunday November 13, 1983. The mission of the Milford Museum is to promote the history of Milford, her surrounding communities, and general Delaware history through exhibits and special programs.

The Museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10-2, Friday and Saturday from 10-4, and Sunday from 1-4. It is closed on Mondays. Admission is free and the building is handicapped accessible. Please call 424-1080 for more information, or to arrange a special tour. Visit us on the web www.milfordDEmuseum.org.

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