When the railroads came to American towns, along with the telegraph which always accompanied them, travel and communications instantly progressed from the speed of the ancient Romans to near-20th century speed. Postal service was also revolutionized, and the railroads even drove the adoption of standard time zones.
In 1871, during the post-Civil War railroad expansion, and two years after the final spike was driven in the Transcontinental Railroad, the tracks came to the fortunate little mill village of Milford, Michigan, saving it from the decline of towns the railroad bypassed, and assuring prosperity for years to come. Milford residents could now go to Detroit, shop or do business, and return home the same day! Businesses had rapid access to markets far and wide, giving them an insurmountable advantage over competing towns which the tracks bypassed.
Milford’s mills have all been demolished, depriving the village of that crucial founding heritage, but the original depot, representing Milford’s second economic revolution, still stands. But it will be razed in favor of a luxury apartment complex within a few months.
We seek your financial help in an urgent campaign to save the depot by moving it to Southside Park, the original Milford public square, where it will be restored to its ca. 1880 appearance and used as a railroad museum and event venue for public use.
Historic homes and buildings visibly preserve our heritage for the education of our children, provide the atmosphere that brought many of us to Milford, and help fuel the marketability of the area and the value of our homes.
So whether you are interested in history, the railroads, small-town atmosphere, healthy businesses, or real estate values, the 1871 Milford Railroad Depot is an effort we believe merits your financial support.
Your contribution to this effort via a check to the Milford Historical Society will be fully tax-deductible, and by writing “DEPOT” in the memo line, it will be designated for that purpose. Our goal is to raise the necessary funds it will take to move and renovate the depot into a functional landmark for Milford and neighboring communities. The tasks involved with moving and refurbishing the Depot include but are not limited to the following:
Phase I Fund Raising: Raise $ 180,000 before the first quarter of 2017, to accomplish the tasks listed below.
Remove exterior additions, windows and interior added walls and concrete.
Secure the building and excavate around building for the move.
Arrange with the Village and DTE to drop traffic signals and electric lines.
Clear the area at the new park location.
Excavate for a foundation in the park.
Move the Depot to the Park.
Build a foundation to the Depot.
Secure for the winter.
Building permits, tap fees, etc.
Phase II Fund Raising: Raise $100,000 in donations and grants to complete the project in 2017.
A donation in any amount will be needed and appreciated but there are other ways in which you can help; inquire if your employer will match your contribution, donate your services as a contractor or make a donation now and pledge an amount for 2017.
On behalf of the Milford Historical Society, we thank you for your contribution.