Location in Fairfield County and the state of Connecticut.
|Region||South Western Region|
|o Type||Selectman-town meeting|
|o First selectman||Lynne Vanderslice (R)|
|o Selectmen||David Clune (U)
Michael P. Kaelin (U)
Lori A. Bufano (R)
Deborah McFadden (D)
|o Total||27.4 sq mi (71.0 km2)|
|o Land||26.9 sq mi (69.8 km2)|
|o Water||0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)|
|Elevation||335 ft (102 m)|
|o Density||660/sq mi (250/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0213535|
Officially recognized as a parish in 1726, Wilton is today, like many other Fairfield County towns, an expensive residential community with open lands (a testament to its colonial farming roots), historic architecture and extensive town services. Residents commonly commute to New York City, Stamford, and Norwalk, although there are a number of office buildings in town.
Wilton is home to many successful start-up companies, national strategy and professional services and consulting firms, and global corporations such as ASML, Deloitte & Touche, Sun Products, Breitling USA, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Melissa & Doug, Clear Conscience Pet and the Blue Buffalo Company. Many Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered within a 30-minute train or car commute. AIG Financial Products was headquartered in the town. Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.
For more information: History of Wilton, Connecticut
The original 40 families of the parish began their own Congregational church and were allowed by Norwalk to hire a minister (Robert Sturgeon, who also became the town's first schoolmaster), open schools and build roads. During the Revolutionary War in 1777, the British used Wilton as an escape route after their successful raid on Danbury. Several homes were burned, but the town remained intact. In 1802, Wilton was granted a Town Charter by the Connecticut General Assembly and became a political entity independent from Norwalk.
With a strong anti-slavery sentiment by its residents, Wilton served as a stop on the Underground Railroad primarily at the house of William Wakeman "an earnest abolitionist and undergrounder for many years."
Wilton was classified as a "dry" town until 1993, when the local ordinance was altered to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants. The town was then referred to as "damp". On November 5, 2009, a referendum proposal was passed to allow liquor stores. The town Board enacted an ordinance to allow liquor stores to sell alcoholic beverages in 2010, and several stores have since opened.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.4 square miles (71 km2), of which 27.0 square miles (70 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), or 1.50%, is water, including the South Norwalk Reservoir. Wilton is bordered by Ridgefield to the Northwest, Norwalk to the South, New Canaan to the Southwest, Westport to the Southeast, and Weston and Redding to the Northeast. It is also bordered on the west by the hamlet of Vista in Lewisboro, Westchester County, New York.
The scenic Ridgefield Road offers a look at many historic homes, places, and sights.
The latitude of Wilton is 41.201 N. The longitude is -73.438 W.
Wilton has, by some estimates, more than 500 restored 18th- and 19th-century homes, although some old houses have been demolished. In 2005, Marilyn Gould--Wilton's second selectman and director of the Wilton Historical Society--told the New York Times, "People aren't taking down historic houses but the more modest homes that were built in the '50s and '60s," she said. "What that's doing is changing the affordability of the town and the demographic of the town. Wilton used to have a wide demographic of people who worked with their hands - artisans, builders, mechanics. Now its management and upper management." Between 1999 and 2005, the town's voters endorsed spending $23 million through municipal bonds to preserve land.
South Norwalk Electric and Water (SNEW) has a reservoir on the western side of town with about 350 acres (1.4 km2) of land (along with another 25 acres (100,000 m2) adjacent in New Canaan). In the fall, hunters with bows and arrows--no more than 10 at a time--are allowed to hunt deer on the Wilton property in order to keep down the number of deer in the area.
Wilton's town center contains several local restaurants, boutiques, retail stores, a Starbucks, a Stop & Shop, and a four-screen movie theater owned by Bow-Tie Cinemas. These stores were added around 2000 next to the old Wilton Center, which consists of the Wilton Library, the Wilton Post Office, a CVS/Pharmacy, the Old Post Office Square, and the Village Market. In the southern part of town, US 7 contains a commercial section.
Recent nature access developments in town include the expansion of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, a multi-use trail that is designed to eventually run between Norwalk and Danbury.
The southwest corner of town includes part of the Silvermine neighborhood (which also extends into New Canaan and Norwalk). Georgetown, which is primarily in Redding and partly in Weston, extends a bit into the northeast corner of town. Other neighborhoods in town are South Wilton, Wilton Center, Gilbert Corners, Cannondale, and North Wilton.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,633 people, 5,923 households, and 4,874 families residing in the town. The population density was 654.3 people per square mile (252.6/km²). There were 6,113 housing units at an average density of 226.8 per square mile (87.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.55% White, 0.60% African American, 0.09% Native American, 2.69% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.53% of the population.
There were 5,923 households out of which 46.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.4% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.7% were non-families. Of all households 15.3% were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.25.
The age distribution is 31.5% under the age of 18, 2.8% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $197,428, and the median income for a family was $217,415. Males had a median income of $190,000 versus $71,611 for females. The per capita income for the town was $65,806. About 1.3% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
The Wilton Bulletin is a weekly newspaper published by Hersam Acorn Newspapers. GOOD Morning Wilton is an online daily news website. Virgin Mobile Live, a 24-hour online radio service licensed by Virgin Radio, is based in Wilton. There is also the weekly Wilton Villager newspaper.
In 2016-2017, the Wilton Economic Development Commission, a town commission tasked with promoting the Town of Wilton to prospective residents and visitors, put out two videos to promote the town:
Modern facilities include elementary schools Miller-Driscoll School (pre-K-2) and Cider Mill School (3-5). There is one middle school named Middlebrook School (6-8) and one high school named Wilton High School, which features accelerated classes for gifted students, music and visual arts courses, and a well-appointed resource center. An innovative language laboratory encourages foreign language studies, including French, German, Spanish, and Latin; they are one of the only towns in the country that still offers Classical Greek.
The town of Wilton has 4,151 students who attend pre-K through 12th grade in the four schools. The second elementary school (Cider Mill School) teaches 3rd through 5th grade. (Previously, Cider Mill shared 3rd grade classes with Miller-Driscoll due to construction on the school buildings.) The two elementary schools have class sizes ranging from 18 to 22 and a 19 to 1 student/teacher ratio. The middle school (Middlebrook) is for grades 6-8 and features interdisciplinary instruction teams in languages and science, mathematics, social studies, computers, art, and gifted student instruction. Class sizes range from 20 to 25 students with a student/teacher ratio of 13 to 1. In the past five years, over 91% of Wilton High School graduates have gone on to colleges and universities. The mean SAT scores at Wilton High School are 584 verbal and 598 math. The schools are supported by an active PTA organization.
Wilton's sports teams have won many FCIAC and state titles, and many individuals have been recognized on those levels as well.
There are three private elementary schools in town:
Clubs and civic organizations in town include a Newcomers Club, Wilton Women's club, League of Women Voters, Kiwanis Club, The Wilton Kiwanis youth coalition, senior meal delivery, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, the Wilton Family Y and the Moms Club of Wilton. Cultural amenities include the Wilton Historical Society, a Library Association, an Arts Council, an Audubon Society, the Wilton Singers and the Wilton Playshop. Some church organizations at Our Lady of Fatima include the Knights of Columbus and the Columbiettes.
The Wilton Parks and Recreation Department offers a number of programs for all ages including pre-school programs, senior programs youth soccer and basketball. There are also many walking paths including part of the Norwalk River Valley Trail. Merwin Meadows is a picnic area for families with a pond, playground and athletic field.
Wilton Little League organizes Little League baseball and softball leagues for boys and girls 5 to 12 years old, including T-ball, Coach Pitch, Machine Pitch, A, AA, AAA, and Majors leagues. Games are played at Miller and Driscoll Elementary Schools, Cider Mill Elementary School, Middlebrook Middle School, and the Wilton YMCA. In post-season summer play, Wilton all-star teams compete in the District 1 Little League tournaments. In 2012, Wilton's 12-year-old team won their tournament and advanced to state sectionals.
There are several highways that crisscross the town, including U.S. Route 7 and Route 33, which form the main north-south roadways in town. While not passing through any part of Wilton, the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) also serves the town via the Route 33 exit (Exit 41) which is signed for Wilton, as well as the Route 7 exits (Exits 39B & 40B) which are signed for Danbury. Other state highways that run through Wilton are Route 53 and Route 106.
The town has two railroad stations: Wilton in the town center and Cannondale (a sub-station where tickets are not sold), both part of the Danbury Line of Metro-North Railroad providing direct no-change high-speed, and WIFI-enabled commuter train service to Norwalk (8 mins), Stamford (15 mins), Greenwich (25mins), and NY City's Grand Central Station (70 mins) to the south; New Haven and Boston to the north. Connecting to Amtrak for the Boston to Washington, DC corridor is at the Stamford station. Executives and other professionals and commuters develop at-station and in-car professional and personal networks during the daily commute.
The town is served by "7 Link" bus route of the Norwalk Transit District that runs between Norwalk and Danbury along the Route 7 corridor. A commuter shuttle bus during rush hours is also available between southern Wilton and the South Norwalk railroad station on the New Haven Line.