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Shipbuilding once flourished as a major Milton industry

January 19, 2021

This postcard from 1908 shows the riverfront in downtown Milton complete with at least two twin-masted schooners. Such schooners, built for the coastwide freight-hauling trade in the eastern United States, were part of a flourishing shipbuilding industry that employed many people in Milton in the mid- to late 1800s and early 1900s.

Milton’s access to the Broadkill River, for transporting the newly minted vessels, and appropriate timber in the surrounding forests - as well as skilled labor - proved a winning combination for the town for several decades.

Plans announced recently for a new industrial park near the intersection of Routes 16 and 30 also will take advantage of a local transportation component. The proposed complex would be near an active rail line that connects with the main north-south tracks that run through the center of nearby Ellendale.

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