Back in the 1940s through 1960s, small town Information booths were a common sight. Milford had one that sat in the Oval area and people traveling through Milford could stop to get directions, NH tourist maps and guides, or even a friendly suggestion on where to have lunch or dinner. Back in those days the Route 101 bypass that today routes traffic around Milford didn’t exist. Back then, Amherst St and Elm St were part of Route 101, the main East-West road in southern NH. That main thoroughfare ran right through the oval.
Our downtown area saw a lot more out-of-towners back then relative to today. In 1966, Edward Ruonala was the information booth attendant during the Summer. He would attend to sharing information with travelers from 10-4 each day and share his knowledge of NH roads, attractions, and places to see. I don’t know when Milford’s information booth ceased to exist, but would be curious to find out. I would suspect that the Route 101 bypass was a factor in it’s demise. Also interesting to find would be the log books that Mr. Ruonala kept. He kept a record of every car that stopped, how many people were in the car, and where they were from. By August 6 of 1966, almost 1000 cars had stopped that summer. Those cars contained 2,660 people and a lot came from Massachusetts.