QR Code Tour #10 - Town Hall
The Town Hall at 1 Union Square was built in 1869 due to the needs of the town and its growth after the Civil War of the 1860’s. Noted architect Gridley Bryant II of Boston was hired to design the building along with Albert Currier of New Bedford, Massachusetts as construction manager. Ground breaking took play May 6, 1869 and the cornerstone laid.
Previous to groundbreaking, some of the buildings around town had to be moved. Workers slid the buildings on round log runners around town and it was referred to in the Ramsdell Town History as the year Milford “walked” because so many buildings were moved – Eagle Hall, William Crosby House (now Hometown Insurance and the Fish Bowl) and most of the buildings on the north side of Middle Street which has formerly been barns and other farm buildings. The cost of building the “new” Town House exceeded $50,000.
At the dedication of the building April 27, 1870 John Stanyan Milford’s noted poet read his own original poem entitled “The Old and the New”. Speeches were given, songs sung and then 175 people formed a procession and marched around Union Square to the old town hall – Eagle Hall – where they dined at fine, long, flower garnished tables on food prepared by d. E. Chamberlain of the Amherst Hotel followed by dancing in the new town hall.
The Paul Revere Bell was moved from the old Town House to its new location in the belfry of the new town house where it has rung the hour since 1870. Also an addition was added on the building in 1892 for the primary use of a library. A sum of $15,000 was appropriated for this project.
Many town departments and businesses have been located in the town all over the years including the police department, fire department, ambulance, clothing stores, and post office. The building continues to be the center of town business to this day.