Milford Historical Society  34 High Street, Milford, CT 06460


Monday January 22

2018 at 7:00 PM

Historical Society Will Hear Story
of Revolutionary War Soldier from Milford

Come hear the words of war from a boy who was an eyewitness to the Revolution that set the country free more than 200 years ago.

That’s the topic at the next meeting of the Milford Historical Society on Monday, Jan.22. , at 7 p.m. at the Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, 168 Broad St.

Local historian Tim Chaucer will bring the story of Joseph Plumb Martin to life with his re-enactment of this teen-ager who for a time called Milford his home. Martin was born in 1760 in Massachusetts, but – at the age of 6 - when his family fell on hard times, he was sent to live with his well-off grandparents on a farm in Milford. He had great affection for his grandparents who taught him to read and write and gave him a good education.

Chaucer’s re-enactment will tell the story of a soldier’s life: his battles with British forces and the struggles of marching, watching, waiting, freezing and starving along with the relentless problems of lack of ammunition, uniforms, boots – even water.

In 1776 Martin voluntarily enlisted in the Connecticut State Troops of the Continental Army when he was 15 and served until the hostilities ended in 1783. And all that time he kept a diary. This singular account is like no other story of the Revolution, because it tells a first-person account of what war was like for an ordinary private.

 He tells of day-long marches and having to forage for food or go without it for days and encamping with little or no shelter. However, it’s not all about the hard days. His wit and sarcastic observations reveal a lot about his character and dedication to the other soldiers.

Martin was in his 70s when he decided he needed to tell his story, because he was unhappy that veterans were not being treated well and were not recognized for their service and the sacrifice of their young years.  In 1830, he anonymously published his diary in book form and gave it the august title “A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers, and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier.”  

The book did not sell well and was soon out of print; at one time it was thought that the account was lost to history. It wasn’t until more than a hundred years later in the mid-1950s that a first edition copy was discovered. It has been reprinted many times since with various titles. In 1962 it was reprinted under the title of “Private Yankee Doodle.” (The latest edition was printed in 2001.) The book is a trove of information for historians, researchers and people who generally like reading about the Revolution.

After the war, Martin ended up penniless in Maine and died there in 1850 at age 89. His written contribution to our understanding of the war and of one boy in the 18th century add much to our knowledge and will not likely be “lost” again.The program is free, although contributions at the door are gratefully accepted. For more information call the Society at (203)874-2264.

Friday Dec. 1 and Saturday Dec. 2​ Christmas Open House at its headquarters

The Milford Historical Society will hold a Christmas Open House on Friday, Dec. 1 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its headquarters, 34 High St. Admission is free.

The highlight will be a holiday bake sale with beautifully decorated cookies, cakes, muffins, and candies, along with specialty breads. There will also be a gift basket raffle, and the Bryan-Downs and Eells-Stow houses will be open for tours.

You can get some Christmas shopping done in the  Country Store where you will find Milford history books, map reproductions, games, jewelry, candles, lavender sachets, soaps, Christmas ornaments and many things for stocking stuffers.

November 20 - at ​the Mary Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church

Sikorsky - That Magnificent Man in His
Helicopter is Topic for Historical Society

The speaker will be Dan Libertino, president of the Historical Archives of Igor Sikorsky since 2004

October 14:  Graveyard Tour meeting at 12:50 PM behind the Freelove Baldwin DAR building

September 30 (October 1 rain date): South of The Green Walking Tour meeting at the Eells-Stowe House at 1:00 PM

​September 25:  Open meeting at the Mary Taylor Methodist Church featuring Ed Oberg

September 23:  Visit the Herbcrafters' booth at the Fall Garlic Festival on the Milford Green

July 17: Annual Picnic

June 24: Herbcrafters Tea

June 10: Open House Day

June 3: Houses open for the season

May 16: Annual Dinner at Gusto's

March 16: Program with Orange Historical Society

"Historic Women of Southern CT" by Judith Ann Schiff 

March 15: Program with Milford Library

Not-so-good Life of a Colonial Goodwife

Milford Library 6:30 pm


December 2 and 3: Christmas Fair 2016

34 High St, Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 12-5 pm

November 21: 7 pm The Red Cross

Mary Taylor Church Hall, 168 Broad St.

October 15: 1pm Annual Cemetery Tour

September 19: 7 pm Yale Football

August 20: 10-4 Oyster Festival

July 18: Annual Picnic, Wharf Lane

June 25: Garden Tea Party, Wharf Lane

June 2: Houses open for the season

May 21: Docent Training, Wharf Lane, 1pm

May 18: Annual Dinner and Meeting

Aldario's Restaurant, 240 Naugatuck Avenue, 6pm

March 21: Silas Burton of Stratford, New England weaver  Mary Taylor Church Hall, 168 Broad Street, 7pm.

January 18: Glimpses of Conservation History, Past Lessons and Choices for the Future
Mary Taylor Church Hall,  168 Broad Street, 7pm


December 11 and 12: Christmas Faire

34 High Street, Friday 6-9 pm, Saturday 12-6 pm

Nov. 28 & 29, Dec. 5 & 6: General Store open for Christmas shopping, 1-4 pm

November 16: Milford Paugussett Indians

Mary Taylor Methodist Church, 7 pm

October 31: Woodmont Walking Tour

Milford Bank, Woodmont 10 am

October 24: Cemetery Tour - Re-enactors

DAR parking lot 1 pm

September 21: Connecticut in the Civil War
Mary Taylor Methodist Church, 7 pm

August 15: Oyster Festival - houses open

August 1: Guided Tour of Herb Garden

34 High Street 2 pm

July 25: Guided Tour of Summer Exhibit

34 High Street 2 pm

July 20: Annual Pot-Luck Picnic, 34 High Street 6 pm

July 12: Guided Tour of Indian Collection

34 High Street 2 pm

July 11: Docent Training, 34 High Street 1 pm

July 11: Historic Downtown Milford Walking Tour 10 am

June 27: Herbcrafters' Garden Tea Party

June 20 and 27: Ghost Hunt & Paranormal

       Investigation, 9pm-midnight

June 13: CT Open Museum Day

May 31: Historic houses open for the season, 2-4 pm

May 20: Annual Dinner and Meeting

        Aldario's Restaurant, 6:30 pm

March 24:  Restoring Historic Homes: The Bryan- 

        Andrew House, Orange, 7pm

January 19:  Historic Preservation in Milford

        Mary Taylor Methodist Church, 7 pm

January 11: Twelfth Night at the Society
        Society Houses, 1-5 pm

November 30, December 6, 7, 14, 21:  General Store
        Bryan Downs House Open 1-4 pm
November 24: Herbcrafters meeting
        Location TBA, 7 pm
November 17: Laudamus: In Praise of Milford Harbor
        Carlyne Labrecque, photographer
        Mary Taylor Methodist Church, 7 pm
October 27: Haunted Milford
        Northeast Paranormal Investigations Society
        Mary Taylor Methodist Church, 7 pm
October 25: Woodmont Walking Tour
        Meet Adams parking lot, 10 am
October 20: Board Meeting
        Bryan Downs House, 7 pm
October 18: Old Milford Cemetery Tour
        Meet DAR parking lot, 1 pm
October 4: Downtown Walking Tour
        Meet at Parsons parking lot, 10 am
September 29-October 10: School Tours
        Society Houses
September 29: Herbcrafters meeting
        Bryan-Downs House, 7 pm
September 22: Peter Pond, Milford Explorer
        David Chapin, author
        Mary Taylor Methodist Church, 7 pm

For more information ...