Museum says ‘Thank you for your service’

MILFORD — An old newspaper now hangs on a wall inside a new exhibit in the Milford Museum with a big headline that reads simply: “Milford Boys laid to rest.”

“I think this will be the most complete listing of Milfordians active in any of the wars,” Executive Director Claudia Leister said proudly. “It’s inclusive, not exclusive. This is what it’s about: Milford boys.”

The exhibit, “Thank you for your service,” will be opening just in time for Veterans Day.

Ms. Leister has worked on the exhibit for the better part of a year, collecting items and, possibly most importantly, names and photos of Milfordians who have done their part in fighting for the United States of America.

Binders filled with those same names and photos will be on display in the exhibit and added to as necessary.

“It’s everyday we’re open now that someone comes in and says we forgot their family member or friend. It’s really great. We want this to be a community collection,” she said.

The exhibit also includes information on Colonel John Haslett, or George Washington’s right-hand man as Ms. Leister calls him, and Colonel James Gibson, both famous war veterans from Milford.

Major General Alfred Torbert, who already has his own statue near the front of the museum, is also included in the exhibit.

WWI items never before seen at the museum will be on display during the exhibit which the director said she hopes stays at the museum for “probably forever because I think it’s so important.”

Other aspects of wartime such as how “Milfordians help(ed) at home” and the creation of the Milford Doll Company so women could work and support their families can be found throughout the exhibit.

“It’s grown much bigger than I expected. Kids wouldn’t know you couldn’t go to the store and buy coffee or sugar or that gas was rationed so you couldn’t travel to the beach,” Ms. Leister said. “If you can go away with a new idea or thought, it’s worth something.”

The Milford Museum will open its doors Sunday, Nov. 13 from 2-4 p.m. for the opening of “Thank you for your service.” The Museum’s regular hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at

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