QR Code Tour #3 - Community House
The original house at this spot was built as a 1 ½ story home around 1794 by Augustus Blanchard. His land totaled 23 acres with much of it purchased from William Crosby for $750. Squire Livermore arrived in Milford early in 1800 as a lawyer and boarded with the Blanchard family and purchased the Blanchard farm in 1806. As law alone could not afford him a living he also farmed this land . His motto as a lawyer was “I learn to aid the unfortunate”. Early in his career he planted a number of trees along the corner of Union and Elm Street. In 1929 six huge Maple trees had to be cut down with one of the trees being six feet in diameter and producing 20 cords of wood. This tree had stood for 125 years.
Squire Livermore had a good relationship with his clients and never pressed them for money if they could not pay him. By 1842 his clients got together and built him this new lovely home in payment of their debts to Squire Livermore. The original Blanchard Farmhouse was moved south on Union Street and now stands at the corner of Orange and Union Streets.
Squire Livermore died in 1859 and his daughter Elizabeth inherited the house and 2 ½ acres of land. After she died in 1910 the property was sold at public auction for $7,000 in 1912 to Albert Pillsbury who then deeded the property to the Town of Milford in 1921. By 1924 the Livermore Association Trustees of the property voted to give a piece of this land to the Milford School District for the purpose of erecting a school house. This was added to the land of the White School on Garden Street, which was later torn down and the new Garden Street School was built in 1925.
The Milford Women’s Club took over the restoration of the building in 1928. The tennis court was built in 1930. An addition was put on the north room of the first floor in 1965. The building is now used for Rotary meetings and gatherings and can be rented for a modest fee along with the outside grounds. The tennis courts were torn up and Rotary Park was built by them.
On the North side of the Community House lawn along Elm Street in the HORSE WATERING FOUNTAIN. In 1900 town water became available. An ornate iron horse trough was installed on the southwest end of the Common. The fountain had a kerosene lamp on the top of it which was later electrified. This trough along with all the horse troughs along the main roads came in handy as a source of water for the first automobile – The Stanley Steamer.
When this iron fountain rusted out, the town hired Martin Comoli to cut a stone fountain at a cost of $425. When automobiles replaced the horse and buggy, the fountain became a traffic hazard and caused many accidents. It was moved next to the curbing of the Common in 1952 and in 1953 it was sold to T R Langdell for $45. He in turn sold it to Mr. Cutter of Hillsboro. Years later it was discovered in his barnyard and in 1974 was purchased by the Livermore Community Association for $500. It was brought back to town and now sits at the corner of Union and Elm Streets.
— Polly S. Cote
Milford Historical Society Historian