In and Around Milton
And for Rehoboth Beach, visit
NEW Online exhibit of Button Cutting in Milton
Have you ever considered what it takes to make mother-of-pearl buttons? Today, most buttons found on clothing purchased in retail stores are the product of high tech factories. Not too long ago, however, buttons were crafted through a multi-step, labor intensive process that was truly global. Milton, Delaware was once a hub of the button cutting industry. We have created an online exhibit highlighting the history of this enterprise. To view the exhibit, click here or visit the museum to learn more.
This project was funded with generous grants from the Delaware Humanities Forum and the Longwood Foundation.
Milton Sound Walk
Welcome to Milton! We hope you enjoy this audio tour of our beautiful and historic town. The Sound Walk Map is downloadable as a pdf file. The audio tour is divided into 3 parts which can be downloaded as mp3 files.
Sound Walk Map
The numbers on the map correspond with stops on the audio tour. Most stops incorporate oral history interviews with local residents who offer a first hand perspective of what it was like to live in this community.
Please be patient while files are loading!
Download Part One (Stops 1-9) HERE
Download Part Two (Stops 10-21) HERE
Download Part Three (Stops 22-34) HERE
This program is partly funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities Forum, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Story of Milton
Learn more about Milton through a narrated slideshow by Lisa Wolfe. View the slideshow
Tired of outlet shopping? Visit Milton!
Jump off the beaten track and come to Milton. Even though Milton is very close to the better-known destinations of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, it has a heritage and an atmosphere that’s all its own.
Milton shares the honor of being the first of Delaware’s towns (along with Lewes) to be designated as one of the nation’s Preserve America communities. The Preserve America initiative is a new White House effort to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include: a greater shared knowledge about the Nation’s past; strengthened regional identities and local pride; increased local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets; and, support for the economic vitality of our communities.
Search for your roots. If your family is one of many that emigrated from this area, you may be able to explore your roots in Milton and Broadkill Hundred. The Historical Society is currently working to make available its collection of family histories, memoirs and local photographs. Walking the streets and lanes of Milton can make family roots come alive.
Discover the world of ships. During the nineteenth century Milton was both a significant ship building location and the inland port for passengers and trade between Sussex County and the major urban areas of Philadelphia and New York. Milton ships sailed all over the world, Milton sea captains sailed them, Milton sailors manned them, and Milton people invested in them. Milton’s identity as a ship building location on a tidal river complements and enriches the bay-oriented maritime story of Lewes and the coastal story of Rehoboth Beach. The museum’s exhibit includes original art, sailors’ decorative folk art, photographs, ship building tools, sailing implements, and ships’ logs.
Enjoy historic architecture. The Milton Historic District is listed on The National Register of Historic Places of the US Department of the Interior. Explore a town essentially unchanged in the past century. Milton contains a wide variety of eclectic and indigenous architecture ranging from poultry sheds and button-making shops to Second Empire mansions.
Experience a taste of small town life. Picnic in the park, enjoy an outdoor summer concert, tour the local world-famous craft brewery of Dogfish Head or take a seat in front of King’s Ice Cream Shop and watch the world go by.
Explore the natural world. Situated on the Broadkill River, a beautiful and little-known tidal river, Milton offers fishing and canoeing right in town. Nearby are Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge, Oyster Rocks and Broadkill Beach for quiet bay beaching, canoeing and migratory waterfowl and wildlife observation. Immediately to the west, the newly acquired Ponder Tract along with Redden State Park offer unparalleled opportunities to explore a vast enchanted remnant of old Sussex County. Agricultural land in permanent preserve around Milton allows precious glimpses of the old rural cycle of life: fields fallow, newly sown, or ripening.
Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program
If you live or own property within a National Register listed historic district, such as the one here in Milton, and have recently completed or are contemplating work on your building, plan to attend this workshop to learn more about the process of applying for tax credits that would be applied against your State of Delaware income taxes. For owner occupied homes, the return is 30% of the qualified rehabilitation costs. The return for investment held properties is 20% of the qualified rehabilitation costs with the potential for an additional credit of 20% to be applied against federal income tax liability. If you cannot use the state tax credits yourself, then they can easily be transferred or sold. Learn how this program may be able to benefit you!
Contact the Milton Historical Society’s Office at 302-684-1010 to find out if your building is located within the Milton’s National Register Historic District. Additional information on the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is available on the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs web site at: http://history.delaware.gov/preservation/taxcredit.shtml. Or you can contact Joan Larrivee, Historic Preservation Tax Credit Coordinator at 302-736-7400.