Located at the head of the Broadkill River Milton was first settled in 1672 by English Colonists. The town was known by various names until 1807, when it was named for the English poet, John Milton. The Delaware General Assembly passed the charter that recognized The Town of Milton as a municipality in 1945.
History and Milton’s shipbuilding heritage remain very important to the town, which is home to some of the finest Victorian and Colonial architecture in Delaware. Many of the homes have been restored to their original form, particularly those on Union and Federal streets.
Milton has 198 structures on the Federal Register Historic District and its history is preserved in the Lydia Black Cannon Museum, the Governor James Carey home, the Chestnut Street Cemetery, and the Governor David Hazzard Mansion.
Today, Milton serves local residents and summer tourists in the Milton, Broadkill Beach and Primehook Beach areas with family operated businesses and new office and shopping complexes.
Milton boasts numerous community organizations, a civic center, a memorial park, a volunteer fire department, a public library, more than a half-dozen major annual events, and churches.
Recreational opportunities abound with the Broadkill River, Wagamon’s Pond, Diamond Pond and Lavinia Pond. Public boat docks and fishing piers are also available.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,657 people, 700 households, and 438 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,568.5 people per square mile (603.6/km²). There were 804 housing units at an average density of 761.1 per square mile (292.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.11% White, 24.32% African American, 0.24%Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 6.04% from other races, and 1.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.93% of the population.
There were 700 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.90.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 78.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $32,368, and the median income for a family was $40,313. Males had a median income of $26,065 versus $23,269 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,016. About 12.8% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.6% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.