About Milford • History
The Birth of Milford Township
It is believed the name Milford arose from the large number of mills and fords located on the several streams of the township. The area's first settlers, aside from the Indian tribes, were Mennonites who came here around 1712 or earlier from Germany. William Penn sent English and Welsh people to live here and they were later joined by Lutheran and Reformed people from the Palatenate in Germany and Swiss and French Huguenots. The township is comprised of the villages of Brick Tavern, Finland, Geryville, Milford Square, Mumbauersville, Spinnerstown, and Steinsburg. The town of Trumbauerville located in the center of the township is an independent borough and is not now considered to be part of Milford Township.
The village of Brick Tavern is named for the tavern built in 1818 by Henry Shelley. Shelley was a descendant of one of the earliest groups of Mennonites to settle in the township about 1720. The Brick Tavern Inn (still in operation today) was located on one of the main stagecoach routes between Allentown and Philadelphia. The bricks for the tavern are said to have been fired on the site as red clay for bricks and for pottery such as redware is abundant in this area of PA.
Amid the trees and huge rock formations which abound in the southwest corner of Milford Township lies the village of Finland. This spot was often referred to in the Roaring 20's as the "Poconos of Philadelphia" and as "The Fineland". It is from this latter name that the post office put it on the map as Finland in 1886. Many summer camps were operated here over the years such as Camp Oaks on Nursery Road, Camp Silver Moon (operated as a Boy Scout camp), Camp Cedar Hill at Red Bridge, and the one still in operation today - Camp Men-O-Lan.
Originally this area was known as Aurora but the name was changed to Geryville in 1871 after the postmaster, Jesse Gery. In the center of this small village stands the former Geryville Publick House (now known as theThatched Inn). This tavern played a vital part in the Fries Rebellion of 1799.
This town is located in the center of Milford Township and ws formerly known as Heistville until 1850. Earliest settlers were Mennonites from the Palatinate in Germany by the name of Clemmers (or Clymers) and Schelles (or Shellys). There were many mills in this town (hence the name) situated along the Licking Creek, a branch of the Unami Creek. Rosenberger Mill, Clover Leaf Mill, the D.S. Heist Grist Mill, Roth Mill, the Henry Blyler Mill, the J.S. Schull Grist Mill (later Potts Mill), Fochts Mill (later Campbell's Mill) and Achey's Mill which is still standing and serves as a private residence.
This small village lies east of Geryville and was once the site of a prosperous cigar making business, as were most of the villages of Milford Township at that time.
This town takes its name from the Spinner Family who settled there in 1753. David Spinner (born in 1758) was a potter who practiced the art of sgraffito on redware using the red clay of the area. His house stands across from the Spinnerstown Hotel, formerly known as "The Sign of the Spread Eagle" which was also run by members of the Spinner Family -first David in the 1840's, and later his son Edwin in 1853. The hotel has been owned by the Dale family since 1959 and is a favorite dining spot for many.
Located on the toll road from Philadelphia to Allentown (now Allentown Road) the town takes its name from the 1834 owner of its hotel, George Steinman. This town boasted a tannery, a coach maker, a butcher, a blacksmith, a grist mill, and a creamery. Over the years there were three homes which served as undertakers. Erdman's Bottling Works where soft drinks were made was in operation from 1929 to the early 1960's. Today there are no businesses in operation in this section of Milford Township but it remains a lovely place to visit at the intersection of Allentown and Steinsburg Rds.