A Brief History of Milford, Baker County

Milford began it’s life on the Ichauway-Notchaway Creek as Mills Ford, named for a mill on the creek. There are no known records to indicate when Milford was first settled, because records only began being kept when Baker County was created sometime around 1825. Mills Ford named changed to Milford when the Welch brothers owned a general store and began calling the town Milford after their hometown in Connecticut, the name caught on and stuck. Milford constituted a Baptist church in 1834 and soon a grist mill, hotel, and general stores sprang up. Milford thrived for many years and a grocery store and ┬ámercantile business were opened in the 1930s, after a bridge had been built to span the Ichauway-Notchaway. Some even say that a sewing factory existed in Milford, though no records stating such exist. Milford had one school, but it was eventually demolished and combined with the Patmos school. Milford’s post office ran from January 20, 1852 until September 14, 1904 when mail was re-routed to Mimsville. The town declined when the railroad was built in distant Leary and many left to follow it; today Milford has a population of roughly 100 people.

Milford United Methodist Church, Milford, Baker County

Milford United Methodist Church, Milford, Baker County

The Milford United Methodist Church was founded on September 19, 1900 by White townspeople. The building was previously used as a Baptist church and a school, before finally falling empty and becoming a church. The land was bought from M. A. McRainey by the trustees of a Methodist Episcopal church outside of Milford. The building was in poor shape, however, and wasn’t ready for church goers until the early 1920s. The church started a sunday school program in the 1930s and it is still held for members. The church was renovated in the 1950s and has remained untouched since. The church still supports a small congregation.

Milford Baptist Church, Milford, Baker County

Milford Baptist Church, Milford, Baker County

The Milford Baptist church was founded in 1834 by Peter Eldridge and Garrison Cobb. The first church was built on the banks of the Ichauway-Nochaway Creek and made of logs. Sometime between 1857-1879 the original church burned down and the second building was built some 300 feet northeatst of the orginal church. The second church was a two story building built of logs and heated with wood stoves. The upper story of the church was used as the Masonic lodge. Water was brought to the church goers by former slaves and spittoons were located along the aisles for snuff; the only cooling was paper fans on each pew. The Masons disbanded in the early 1900s and Woodmen of the World moved into the church’s upper floor, however they also left around 1920. The upper floor was then divided and used as classrooms for the remainder of the church’s existance. The church was renovated in the 1950s and two sunday school rooms were added as well as vestibule on the ground floor. Construction began on a new church in 1970 and ended in 1973 with a dedicaiton sermon. The old church was used as a social hall until it’s demolition.

Milford Baptist Cemetery

Milford Baptist Cemetery

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Second Milford Baptist Church (Photo Credit:  Baker County Historical Society)

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Second Milford Baptist Church After Renovation (Photo Credit:  Baker County Historical Society)