Our first open house of the year in April was very well attended! Despite the cold and rainy weather, we had visitors fill the museum on both Saturday and Sunday. If you didn't have a chance to come and see what's new at the Carey House Museum, we'll be open again on May 12th and 13th. Hours on both days are from 2 pm - 4 pm. We are excited to announce that a fun new exhibition is ready. Unlike our usual single themed exhibitions, the new one has many themes. One portion of the exhibition is called “Our Ordinary, yet Extraordinary Neighbors”. To illustrate that history is happening every day, the Museum will be featuring stories of Milford residents who have provided a positive benefit to society in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Milford has been called “The granite town of the granite state” for more than 100 years. Milford’s granite industry was the catalyst to substantial growth in Milford, particularly on the East side of town. Though the first granite taken from the ground in Milford was as far back as 1850, the industry itself boomed between 1900 and 1930. Joseph Tonella brought his family to Milford in 1898. Prior to living in Milford, the family resided in Concord, NH and they came to America from Italy in the early 1880’s. His business was called Tonella & Sons as he involved his sons, Charles and Julian. In 1901 and 1902, Tonella purchased land on what was then the road to Brookline (today it is Old Brookline road off of Armory road) and started the “Tonella Queen Quarry”. Driving past this location today, you would hardly know a quarry even exists.
Being a kid and growing up in Milford brings back great memories. Just little things like riding my bike to Jim's store on Union street to buy baseball cards, sledding at Twin Tows and then walking all the way back to the center of town, hiking up to lookout rock up behind our house on Falconer Ave, etc. etc. I could go on all day with my Milford memories. The one event of my childhood that I often think about is the VFW's annual Labord day parade and carnival. The VFW still coordinates what some would say are the best parades in the state. I would guess that I've only missed a few of them over the past 40 years. My kids grew up going to the parades and I hope their kids get to enjoy the VFW parades someday. Kids today grew up enjoying the Pumpkin Festival. Before the days of the Pumpkin Festival, the VFW would host a great carnival every Labor Day weekend and us kids loved it!
Who can remember the Liberty Nursing Home on Elm Street? Liberty Nursing Home was located at what was then #39 Elm street. Though the building itself is no longer there, it stood just to the West of today's Smith & Heald Funeral Home. Today the location is the East wing of The Elm's nursing home.
In the Summer of 1947, Edgar and Marie Liberty owned the house next door (then #41 Elm Street and today the main building of The Elms nursing). They purchased the home just to their East (#39 Elm). They fixed the place up and converted it into apartments. It was called “Liberty Apartments”. In 1953, the Liberty’s sold their home at #41 Elm street, packed up their family and moved to Florida. Before their move to Florida, Marie Liberty actually owned and operated the “Milford Rest Home” for a period of time at her home at #41. When the Libertys moved back to Milford about a year later in 1954, Marie made plans for the “Liberty Nursing Home” at #39 Elm.