It’s amazing to me to find out how many people who are life-long residents of Milford have never been to the Museum. I will grant you that it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. The Museum is only open two days a week – Wednesdays and Saturdays – and then only from 1 to 4 PM. Still that affords the opportunity to visit for most families.
The Milford Historical Museum is housed in a historic building just one block east of Main Street on Commerce – 124 E. Commerce Road is the address. I won’t steal the thunder of the Museum docents by telling you about the history of the building; however, until the early 1970’s it served as the Village Hall and Police Station. It has an interesting history before that, which you will learn on your tour through the Museum.
The Milford Historical Society (MHS) was founded in 1973 with the mission to collect, preserve and share the history of Milford, Michigan. The primary vehicle for accomplishing that mission is the Milford Historical Museum, which eh MHS opened in 1976. The MHS selectively accepts donations of historic memorabilia – pictures, historic objects, etc. Museum volunteers catalogue the items and either store them or put them on display. Some collections of objects, such as civil war collectibles or American Indian artifacts are on permanent display and some, like historic wedding dresses, are just displayed on special occasions.
On the first floor is a replica of the inside of a typical log cabin of the pioneer days – a somewhat crude, one-room space filled with the types of objects and implements that the earliest settlers might have had with them when they came to Milford. Most of the second floor is devoted to rooms that are furnished as they would have been in the mid- to late-1800’s. There’s a living room, a dining room a kitchen and a bedroom all set up as they might have been in that era. There are also displays of toys and other objects that might have been found in that timeframe. Along a back hallway are historic pictures taken in the area during the late 1800’s.
In addition to displays the Museum is host to a research function which helps people research the homes and families of Milford in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As part of that research area there is a capability to go back through all of the issues of the Milford times since it’s beginning in the mid-1800’s. The Museum is one of two locations that have microfilm of all of the back issues. The MHS took on the responsibility for microfilming the Milford Times archive back in the 70’s and has been having it done ever since. The other microfilm viewers with access that film are at the Milford Public Library, based upon film that the MHS provides to them.
So, get to the Museum. You’ll have a unique two-day opportunity September 15th and 16th when the Museum is open both days from 11 AM until 5 PM as part of the Milford Home Tour. Come out to see some of the historic homes of Milford and then take in the Museum, too. There will be docetns both days conducting tours. You can learn more about the Museum and see interior pictures of the upstairs at our Web site – www.milfordhistory.org. You really can’t say you’ve lived in Milford and never been to the Museum.