|
Milford Beacon
  • Milford named as one of America’s best small cities

  • Milford is in the top 40 of America’s best small cities according to Charles Nathan Anderson, who has drawn up a list of what he considers the 100 best towns in America. He has ranked Milford as number 39 on the list entitled “In Search of Eden.”
    • email print
  • Milford is in the top 40 of America’s best small cities according to Charles Nathan Anderson, who has drawn up a list of what he considers the 100 best towns in America. He has ranked Milford as number 39 on the list entitled “In Search of Eden.”
    Anderson, who is a resident of Winter Haven, Fla. has spent the last 50 years of his life searching for the best cities in American. It all started in Michigan in the early 1960s when Anderson was still a college student and was looking for the best place to raise his young family. He picked up a book called “America’s 50 Best Cities” by Norman Ford and started searching for a place to put down roots.
    Anderson found the book to be outdated and decided to take matters into his own hands. He decided that he would go out and find America’s best cities for himself.
    Anderson set about outlining a specific set of criteria and began to research towns across the nation. He decided the population should be between 4,000 and 40,000 and that the ideal towns should have good climates and a good percentage of sunny days. He also decided that property values needed to be reasonable. The point was, after all, to choose places where the average family could live.
    Anderson set out to visit any town the met his criteria. He spent his career as a school teacher, giving him summers off to spend traveling to towns on his list.
     “It was mostly a matter of crossing off towns,” Anderson said. “I mostly knew the towns that wouldn’t make it, but if they had any change according to climate and statistics I had gathered I went and looked at them. Once in a while I found one that stayed on list, ending up with a group of extra good cities.”
    Eight years ago Anderson visited Milford and decided that it belonged on his list of best small cities.
    “Milford has a lovely downtown. It’s well-kept and very attractive. The old buildings have been kept up,” he said. “Milford is just the right size. It also has quite a good climate. The summers aren’t very hot. The winters are quite mild and the percentage of sunshine is pretty good.”
    The year Anderson visited Milford, 2008, was an important time for the city, according to Lee Nelson, executive director of Downtown Milford Incorporated. A fire that occurred in the spring of 2003 destroyed several historic buildings on South Walnut Street, in the area where Georgia House now sits and the city decided it was time to make a few changes.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The city made the decision that part of it had to be rebuilt and that the downtown was not as attractive or vibrant as it should be,” Nelson said. “They started the Milford revitalization program. In 2008 downtown Milford became part of a main street program – one of eight in Delaware. The program focuses in on a 30 square block area. The goal is to make downtown Milford an attractive place to visit, shop, live play in and to have fun.”
    The efforts to revitalize Milford are still going strong. Nelson cited the art galleries, the farmers’ market and new businesses like Arenas and Verde, the Italian cooking school, as important additions to downtown’s new atmosphere.
    “What makes it special is its whole atmosphere,” Nelson said. “It’s a place that is becoming a destination more and more. What makes it unique is the variety and quality of the attractions.”
    Anderson said that another quality that landed Milford on the “In Search of Eden” list was its proximity to cities like Dover, Annapolis, Philadelphia and Washington. Being located near the major Delaware beaches also helped Milford’s case.
    “Milford is within a three hour drive of one-third of the population of the United States,” Nelson said. “New York is three hours away, Philadelphia is two hours away and Baltimore and D.C. are about an hour and a half away.”
    Nelson also cited the convenience that Milford offers. Residents get the benefits of being close to the beach without having to live at the beach.
    Anderson seems to have picked up on the efforts that were being made to improve Milford.
    “Milford was something special,” Anderson said. “It had the right amount of everything I needed.”
      • calendar