- Shipbuilding began in Milford proper about 1782 when John Draper established a two-acre shipyard at the base of East Fourth Street where it meets the river. John and son Alexander Draper built about 22 ships between 1780 and 1809.
- The trade, skilled ship carpenters and the abundance of white oak prized for ship timbers expanded the fledgling Mispillion sailing shipbuilding enterprise into a thriving business that continued for several centuries.
- This new industry gave rise to South Milford. The town expanded on the south bank of the Mispillion River as the shipyards grew and prospered. At one time there were seven yards in operation at once.
- With the advent of the steel hull, the steamboat and the railroad, shipbuilding in Milford declined.
- By 1930 the only shipyard still in operation was Vinyards. During World War I, the Vinyard yard received government contracts to build three sub-chasers. They also built harbor tugs and Coast Guard patrol boats after the War.
- During World War II, Vinyard built 14 110 foot sub-chasers and 12 Navy patrol boats. Pleasure yachts built from 1927 to 1957 were the last and current focus of this yard which is now Milford's last remaining shipyard.