Its wooded hillsides, stone walls, streams, and meadows stretch along the former Paugusset or Berkshire Trail, established by the early Indians, but better known today as Route 7. The area was settled in 165 1. During the -Revolutionary War, Wilton, along with other towns in Fairfield County, was ransacked and burned by British troops in their retreat. The oldest surviving house of worship in Fairfield County is Wilton’s Congregational Church built in 1790. The agricultural nature of the community changed after 1852 when the advent of the railroad opened the Norwalk River Valley to commuters from New York City. Today, in addition to the many commuters who make Wilton their home, the town also accommodates unique local businesses, research centers, and modem corporate headquarters. Continuing a New England tradition, Wilton is governed by a five-member Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, and Town Meetings.
Commuting: Wilton commuters travel to New York City via the Danbury branch of Metro-North from two stations, one at Wilton Center and one at Cannondale. During peak times there are several trains that run directly to New York. At other times connections can be made at the South Norwalk station.
Education: Wilton’s student population of nearly 3,000 is enrolled in the two elementary schools for grades K through three, one elementary school serving grades four through six, a middle school for grades seven and eight, and one high school for grades nine through twelve. In addition to standard courses and a wide selection of electives, gifted education, and independent study programs are available at the middle school level.
Recreational Facilities: A wide variety of recreational opportunities is available for Wilton residents through the combination of privately sponsored and Town supported programs. The Wilton Family YMCA consists of an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, racquetball, handball, squash, and paddle tennis courts, an exercise room and Nautilus fitness center, a family recreation center plus an outdoor swimming area, pavilion, picnic facilities, and fitness trail. Merwin Meadows Park maintains a swimming pond with lifeguards on duty during the summer. Twelve hard-surfaced tennis courts are located at the athletic complex behind Middlebrook School. Rambling tracts of open space, including Woodcock Nature Center with its 146 acres of beautiful nature preserve, attract walkers, hikers, and explorers to the many trails. Among Wilton’s private clubs are the Riding Club, Rolling Hills Country Club, and the Lake Club. The Wilton Parks and Recreation Department sponsors numerous programs for children from preschool age through teens as well as adults through senior citizens.
Cultural Opportunities: The Wilton Library acts as the cultural center of Wilton. Nearly 17,000 people avail themselves of its services each month. In addition to its general activities, the Library organizes trips to New York City to Broadway plays, museums, and other Metropolitan areas of interest. The Library also conducts art exhibits, reading clubs, story hours, crafts classes, parties, and filmstrip shows. For aspiring thespians, there is the Wilton Playshop with its playhouse on Lovers’ lane where five theatrical productions are presented each year. With the many museums, theaters, concert pavilions, and three universities in Fairfield County, opportunities for all kinds of cultural activities abound within 30 minutes driving time of Wilton.