Shipbuilding was an important industry in Milford during the early 1800’s, and the evidence of that long-forgotten line of work is still evident as you walk around the town. In fact, one of the original shipyards that produced many of the ships built here in Milford still stands today, the Vinyard Shipyard on Columbia Street.
The Vinyard Shipyard was owned by Wilson Vinyard who was raised in Wisconsin. While living in the mid-west, Mr. Vinyard built The Delaware, which he piloted via the St. Lawrence Seaway to Milford. In 1896, he founded the Vinyard shipyard and rebuilt the Delaware, renaming it City of Dover. The ships Mr. Vinyard built made runs to Philadelphia with cargo and passengers. The shipyard also built tugboats, fishing boats and schooners, and during the World Wars, built sub chasers for the U.S. Navy.
Today, the shipyard stands on the banks of the Mispillion River, surrounded by the homes that were built to house the workers who helped build Milford’s maritime history. The combination office and warehouse, which were built around 1920, were built in three sections. The two end sections were used as warehouses and work rooms, while the center section is a one-story office space. Also still standing at the shipyard are the mold/sail loft, built about 1900, and the boat house, built about 1929.
In a Milford Shipyard, some 9 decades ago, the idea to create pleasure yachts came to fruition with the building of ‘Augusta’- 44 feet of Milford history floating along the shores of Delaware and the eastern seaboard. Committed to preserving history, Sudler & Joan Lofland undertook the remodeling of this historic yacht to its former glory. It was relaunched at the Vineyard Shipyard and Host Our Coast was there to capture it.
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