Marshall, Wagner & Associates recently opened a Milford office as an addition to their already thriving Rehoboth office. According to Julie Wagner, CPA, the company chose the old train station not just because it offered a convenient location next to the post office and ample parking, but because of the history of the station as well.
“Doug and I really loved the history of this building,” Ms. Wagner said. “We have had some people stop in to talk about how the road the train from here when they were young. It is always nice to hear stories as they reminisce.”
Marshall, Wagner & Associates is a full-service CPA firm specializing in small to medium sized business. In addition to traditional tax preparation services for individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates and trusts, they offer payroll services, business startup assistance, QuickBooks Pro advisory services, full-service CFO/Bookkeeping services and financial statement preparation. The company has been in business for 19 years and Ms. Wagner says that they always planned to open an office in Milford.
“When we started our business, it was always in our plan to open a Milford office,” Ms. Wagner said. “I am from Milford, well, technically from Cedar Beach, and it seemed as if the time was right. Plus, I really liked the old train station. Our northern clients really like stopping here. It is saving them time having a closer location.”
Ms. Wagner says that the mission of the CPA firm is to be an important member of their clients’ financial team. Using the latest technology and the most up-to-date accounting and tax procedures, they pride themselves on fulfilling that mission.
The location of the office has a rich history in Milford. According to the book “Milford” by Milford historian David Kenton, Milford businessmen fought the first railroad that began making its way to lower Delaware in 1855. Initially, the railroad was required to locate tracks west of Route 13 almost ten miles west of all river towns that included Smyrna, Dover, Frederica, Milford and Milton. Town leaders felt that the railroad would destroy the shipping industry in these towns.
Towns grew around the railroad almost as quickly as tracks were laid with Cheswold, Viola, Farmington, Harrington and Greenwood created due to the railroad. For two years, Milford leaders continued to fight the addition of rail service in Milford. Then, in 1859, several prominent men in the town formed the Junction & Breakwater Railroad in 1857 with the mission of extending the tracks to Milford, Georgetown, Rehoboth and Lewes. Governor Peter F. Causey, Truston P. McColley and son Hiram W. McColley along with John Houston, Henry B. Fidderman, Daniel Curry, Curtis S. Watson, Caleb S. Layton, William V. Coulter and Richard France made up the first Board of Directors for the railroad.
The train station was first shown on an atlas in 1859 and consisted of a turntable, an engine house and a dip. A freight station was added later. Pictures taken during the 1900s portray long shed roofs covering the platforms with overhangs and extensions that were shortened when they interfered with modern equipment in later years.
The railroad depot was the center of activity for businessmen from 1859 until 1940 when trucking took over the transport of goods. Photos in the early 1900s show hotel hacks lined up to carry passengers to local hotels and, between 1890 and 1920, as many as seven trains passed through Milford each day. Residents of Lincoln, Houston and travelled by train to Milford in order to shop, do their banking or socialize with others.
For more information about the services offered by Marshall, Wagner & Associates, individuals and businesses are encouraged to contact them at 302-227-2537 or email them at www.marshallwagner.com.