7 Fun Facts About Milford

September 23, 2019 10 Comments

Milford, Ohio

(Photo credit: Bill Stockman)

East, northeast of Cincinnati, along I-275, sits the community of Milford, Ohio. A mix of early 20th-century smalltown America and post-World War II suburbia, Milford is home to nearly 7,000 people. Here are seven fun facts about the town:

It was founded the same year Cincinnati was established

Milford’s first resident was the Rev. Francis McCormick, a Revolutionary War soldier who had obtained a thousand-acre land grant in 1796. He built a log cabin on the hill that today is 1000 Forest Avenue. The town was laid out in 1806 after the area was divided into townships. However, while most of Milford is in Clermont County, a little nub of it, which includes Jim Terrell Park along the Little Miami River, is in Hamilton County.

It’s an important historic center for the Methodist faith

In 1797 the right Reverend McCormick founded the first Methodist Class in the Northwest Territory. As such, Milford is at the root of Methodist religious heritage west of the Appalachians.

It’s named for two things

The village was originally called Hageman’s Mills, named after John Hageman, the man who laid out the village. In 1811, after Hageman moved to Indiana, the name Milford came into wider use, with the local newspaper adopting the name shortly thereafter. The name comes from the several mills that were in operation in the area as well as the fact that it was the first safe place north of the Ohio River to ford the Little Miami. 

It has ancient Native American earthworks

While Ft. Ancient, Newtown, Mariemont, and nearby Serpent Mound in Adams County are well known for their Native American earthworks, it turns out Milford as a huge effigy mound located south of Rt. 50 and just to the west of Greenlawn Cemetery (below). It’s unclear what the purpose of this particular effigy was, but archaeologists suspect it had something to do with the solar cycle and that it was constructed during the Woodland Period (1000 BC to 1000 AD).

It was supposed to be the “future metropolis of the West.”

The area was first surveyed in 1788 by John Nancarrow. He felt it could become “the great metropolis of the West.” However, Losantiville, later renamed Cincinnati, became the region’s big city, eventually, thanks to its location on the Ohio River, across from the mouth of the Licking River.

It’s home to one of the area’s first “modern” shopping centers

Though it had long been a quaint village, Milford took the first steps towards becoming a post-World War II suburb when in 1956, the Gallenstein Brothers opened the Milford Shopping Center on Lila Ave. The plaza still welcomes shoppers to this day. 

The Milford Parkway was supposed to be the Route 50 by-pass

When you exit I-275 near the River’s Edge shopping center, it looks like you’re getting onto another expressway, only to merge down to a two-lane road that takes you to a group of stores and restaurants. Originally, though, that road was supposed to be an expressway that was to bypass Milford, running from the east end of that interchange and rejoining Route 50 on the other side of the Little Miami River around the Terrace Park/Milford border. Read more about that HERE

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Grant Hall Levy
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I grew up in what was called “Day Heights” on Pleasant Hill Road just a few doors down from the current Jr. High school. At that time, it was the High school. This was in the 1960s to 1970s.

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