The Upper Milford Historical Society (UMHS) started with a small group of residents dedicated to preserving Upper Milford Township's historical legacy. They didn't have a name or any organization but what they did have was a strong belief that the local heritage must be preserved. Meetings were held with the working title of Upper Milford Township Historical Committee in 1995. Formal meetings were held under this name until 1997 when a less formal structure was adopted. Interested individuals started getting together and suggesting projects to tackle. In 2005 it was decided that Upper Milford Township was losing one of its finest resources–its barns. They set about mapping, documenting and photographing all the historically significant barns that they could find. They compiled a portfolio of barns and have developed a fine archive. In the meantime, they started to hold small meetings in the old Township building, discussing topics of local interest and inviting other residents to share their knowledge. More and more people became interested in the work and the mission and it was decided to name this group "The Upper Milford Historical Society." Upper Milford Township donated some much-needed seed money and the new organization was off and running.
An early project was the barn archive, consisting of photographs and documentation of barns in Upper Milford Township, which is ongoing. Beginning with photos taken by Sid Unser and continuing with photography by Gary Heller, we continue to add to the archive today. Some of these beautiful photographs are currently on display in our meeting room in the current Township building. They are available for loan to other areas of the Township building or other local public buildings upon request.
The opening of the current Township building was a big step forward. UMHS was given the use of a meeting room and a safe and attractive setting to store and exhibit items of historical interest. Model maker and member Neil Moser found and restored many wonderful display cases and filled some of them with his models of barn history and our local railroad stations. Neil and John Fegley restored a case which is now located by the large meeting room. It contains revolving exhibits.
The Society's most ambitious project has been compiling a book of the History of Upper Milford. A book committee was formed and they worked tirelessly for almost a year soliciting picture donations, sorting , cataloguing and writing text for the new book. Committee members included Henry Beitler, Barbara Harris, Sid Unser, John Fegley, Joe Benner, Neil Moser and Rose Parry. When it came time to compile Powder Valley information, the committee was given a big boost by Beulah Miller, Barbara Heist and Pauline Fritz. The end result is our book; "The History Of Upper Milford Township," published in July of 2012. Copies are always available at the Township Office.
In 2013 a committee was formed to create a quilt. The quilt contains images of historic places and symbols of Upper Milford Township. The committee included Irene Frederick, Marlene Herbein, Lorelle and Neil Moser, Rose Parry, Barbara Peters, Sue Weber and Faith Willis. The one-of-a kind completed quilt was dedicated on Sept. 25, 2014 and now hangs on an entrance wall in the Township Building.