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Milton, Delaware

Coordinates: 38°46′39″N 75°18′36″W / 38.77750°N 75.31000°W / 38.77750; -75.31000
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Milton, Delaware
House in Milton Historic District
House in Milton Historic District
Location of Milton in Sussex County, Delaware.
Location of Milton in Sussex County, Delaware.
Milton is located in Delaware
Location within the state of Delaware
Milton is located in the United States
Milton (the United States)
Coordinates: 38°46′39″N 75°18′36″W / 38.77750°N 75.31000°W / 38.77750; -75.31000
Country United States
State Delaware
County Sussex
IncorporatedMarch 17, 1865
 • Total1.89 sq mi (4.89 km2)
 • Land1.79 sq mi (4.63 km2)
 • Water0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2)
Elevation10 ft (3 m)
 • Total3,291
 • Density1,842.67/sq mi (711.35/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code302
FIPS code10-48330
GNIS feature ID214325[2]

Milton is a town in Sussex County, Delaware, United States, on the Delmarva Peninsula. It is located on the Broadkill River, which empties into Delaware Bay. The population was 3,291 at the 2020 census.[3]

It is part of the rapidly growing Cape Region and lies within the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. Delaware Route 5 passes through Milton.


Located at the head of the Broadkill River, which enters Delaware Bay, the Milton area was first settled in 1672 by English colonists and founded as "Head of Broadkiln" in 1763. It became important for shipbuilding. The town was known by renamed by the Delaware Legislature in 1807, in honor of the English poet John Milton. The Delaware General Assembly passed a charter on March 17, 1865, that recognized the Town of Milton as a municipality.[4]

Sussex County Library in Milton

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 contributing structures listed within its Federal Register Historic District. Significant buildings and sites are the Lydia Black Cannon Museum, the Governor James Carey home, the Chestnut Street Cemetery, and the Governor David Hazzard Mansion. The Hazzard House and Gov. James Ponder House were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The Milton Historic District was added in 1982.[5]

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. Several local businesses in the area are served by the Delmarva Central Railroad, which operates a branch that extends to Milton from Ellendale. Recreational opportunities abound with the Broadkill River, Wagamon's Pond, Diamond Pond and Lavinia Pond. Public boat docks and fishing piers are also available. It is within an easy drive to the coastal resorts of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

A footpath known as the Governors Walk follows the Broadkill River in central Milton. The Nature Conservancy established a preserve along the river downstream of Milton in 1998.[6] As of 2005, an annual canoe and kayak race was being held on the river in Milton.[7] The river passes through and feeds Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge to the east before entering Delaware Bay.

Milton is the home of the Dogfish Head Brewery, a well-known East Coast beer-maker.[8]


DE 5 northbound entering Milton

Roads are the main means of transport to and from Milton. Delaware Route 5 is the main highway serving Milton, running on a north-south alignment through the center of town. Trucks are served by a bypass route, Delaware Route 5 Alternate, which bypasses downtown to the west. Delaware Route 16 also passes through Milton, skimming the north side of town on an east-west alignment. Delaware Route 30 passes just outside the town to the west, following a similar north-south alignment to parallel DE 5. DART First State provides bus service to Milton along Route 303, which runs north to Dover and south to Georgetown.[9] The Delmarva Central Railroad's Milton Industrial Track line runs from Milton west to a junction with the Indian River Subdivision in Ellendale.[10]


Milton is located along the Broadkill River.[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), of which 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (8.62%) is water.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 1,657 people, 700 households, and 438 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,568.5 inhabitants per square mile (605.6/km2). There were 804 housing units at an average density of 761.1 per square mile (293.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 67.11% White, 24.32% Black, 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.

Notable people[edit]


It is in the Cape Henlopen School District.[15] The Milton School District was consolidated into the Cape Henlopen district in 1969.[16]

Two elementary schools, Milton Elementary School and H. O. Brittingham Elementary School, serve sections of Milton.[17]

Cape Henlopen High School is the sole comprehensive high school of the district.



In Milton, the summers are warm and muggy; the winters are very cold, wet, and windy; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 28 °F to 86 °F and is rarely below 15 °F or above 93 °F. Based on the tourism score, the best times of year to visit Milton for warm-weather activities are for the entire month of June and from mid August to early October.

The hot season lasts for 3.5 months, from June 1 to September 17, with an average daily high temperature above 77 °F. The hottest month of the year in Milton is July, with an average high of 86 °F and low of 70 °F. The cold season lasts for 3.2 months, from December 5 to March 10, with an average daily high temperature below 52 °F. The coldest month of the year in Milton is January, with an average low of 29 °F and high of 44 °F.

Rain falls throughout the year in Milton. The month with the most rain in Milton is August, with an average rainfall of 3.6 inches. The month with the least rain in Milton is February, with an average rainfall of 2.6 inches.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from December 7 to March 15, with a sliding 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inches. The month with the most snow in Milton is February, with an average snowfall of 3.6 inches.

The growing season in Milton typically lasts for 7.3 months (223 days), from around March 31 to around November 9, rarely starting before March 13 or after April 18, and rarely ending before October 23 or after November 28.


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Milton, Delaware
  3. ^ "The Delaware Census State Data Center". THe State of Delaware. Archived from the original on December 31, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "History of Milton - Town of Milton - Sussex County Delaware". December 16, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  6. ^ State of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Division of Parks and Recreation. "Greenways & Trails". Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  7. ^ "Milton Fairs and Festivals". Retrieved February 4, 2007.
  8. ^ "Dogfish Head Brewery Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "Delmarva Central Railroad". Carload Express. November 8, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  11. ^ DeLorme (2004). Maryland Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer. p. 45. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-279-X.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ "Wyoming Governor Joseph Maull Carey". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Sussex County, DE" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  16. ^ MacArthur, Ron (November 11, 2010). "Cape Henlopen High school bridges past to present with dedication of cornerstone". Cape Gazette. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  17. ^ Elementary school zoning: "Boundary Descriptions". Cape Henlopen School District. Retrieved June 15, 2021. and "ES_Feeder_Patterns_21-22.pdf" (PDF). Cape Henlopen School District. Retrieved June 15, 2021.

External links[edit]