By Terry Rogers
On Friday, March 10, the Milford Museum held an opening for their latest exhibit entitled “Public Improvements.” The exhibit recognizes the development of Milford’s Police Department as well as the Water & Light Commission. Transportation and early surveying are also expressed in the exhibit.
“Milford police officers often stop in the museum when walking their foot patrols along Walnut Street,” Claudia Leister, Executive Director of the museum, said. “They, along with other visitors, have asked why we have never done an exhibit on the Police Department since we had done one on the Fire Department. I explained that the Fire Department offered to lend us many of the objects we had on display for that exhibit. We also used items from our own collection. However, we didn’t have much to display other than some photos.” Ms. Leister said she reached out to Chief of Police Kenneth Brown who had items in his own collection that he was willing to lend.
Included are an early uniform jacket, radar equipment, handcuffs, riot control batons, walkie talkies and early booklets. Ms. Leister said she was also able to locate early photos of Milford’s first jail and some early laws used in the City. Since this was not quite enough to fill the exhibit, she decided to expand it to include other items from early Milford.
“I have always wanted to display the old wooden water pipe that was found when they were demolishing the water treatment plant on Washington Street,” Ms. Leister said. “This seemed like the perfect opportunity for people to see how water traveled so many years ago. I also included surveying equipment, including a compass used by William Johnson. His father, James Johnson, first surveyed the town of Milford.”
There is also a telephone and telegraph key from the Milford Train depot, a section of log and bricks from Walnut Street that were recovered during road improvement. Ms. Leister said she is looking forward to sharing the exhibit with school groups as she thinks students will enjoy learning more about the police force and seeing how things have improved over the years.
“I also thought it was time to share some good news about Milford’s finest,” Ms. Leister said. The Milford Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM until 3:30 PM. Special tours can also be arranged by calling 302-424-1080.
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