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Wilton, Connecticut
—  Town  —
Location in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Coordinates: 41°12′05″N 73°26′15″W / 41.20139°N 73.4375°W / 41.20139; -73.4375
Country United States
State Connecticut
NECTA Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk[1]
Region South Western Region
Incorporated 1802
Government
 - Type Selectman-town meeting
 - First selectman William F. Brennan
Area
 - Total 27.4 sq mi (71.0 km2)
 - Land 26.9 sq mi (69.8 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 335 ft (102 m)
Population (2005)[2]
 - Total 17,960
 - Density 665/sq mi (257/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 06897
Area code(s) 203
FIPS code 09-86370
GNIS feature ID 0213535
Website http://www.wiltonct.org/

Wilton is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 17,633.

Located along Connecticut's Gold Coast, it is one of the most affluent communities in the United States. According to CNNMoney, Wilton has a median family income of $194,362 and an average home price of $1,006,017, making it one of the most expensive places to live in the country.[3]

Wilton was officially recognized as a parish in 1726. 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.[4]

Today, Wilton, like many other Fairfield County towns, is 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.

AIG Financial Products is headquartered in the town.[5] Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.[6][7]

Contents

Housing stock and land use

Wilton has, by some estimates, more than 500 restored 18th- and 19th-century homes. "Teardowns have become quite an issue in town," Marilyn Gould, Wilton's second selectman and director of the Wilton Historical Society, told the New York Times in 2005. "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 it's management and upper management."[8] Between 1999 to 2005, the town's voters endorsed spending $23 million through municipal bonds to preserve land.[8]

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.[9]

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, a hardware store, the Old Post Office Square, and the Village Market. In the southern part of town, on Route 7, a commercial section contains a Borders Books and a Zeytinia Gourmet Market.

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 to allow liquor stores was passed. The town Board will now have to enact an ordinance to allow liquor stores to sell alcoholic beverages.

History

For more information: History of Wilton, Connecticut

The Scenic Ridgefield Road offers a look at many historic homes, places, and sights.

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On the National Register of Historic Places

  • Cannondale Historic District — Roughly bounded by Cannon, Danbury and Seeley Rds. (added December 12, 1992) Consists of authentic renovated 17th- and 18th-century buildings that were moved to the site. The train station is the only building at the site that was originally built at that location. The site itself does not hold any special historic value.
  • David Lambert House — 150 Danbury Rd. (added August 24, 1992)
  • Georgetown Historic District, located on the northeast of town.
  • Hurlbutt Street School — 157 Hurlbutt St. (added August 25, 1996)
  • Marvin Tavern — 405 Danbury Rd. (added May 26, 1984)
  • Sloan-Raymond-Fitch House — 224 Danbury Rd. (added May 29, 1982)
  • Weir Farm National Historic Site — 735 Nod Hill Road (added November, 1990) located both in Wilton and Ridgefield.
  • Wilton Center Historic District — Roughly, area around jct. of Lovers Ln. and Belden Hill and Ridgefield Rds. (added September 19, 1992). The historic district includes 20 buildings and 1 structure over 240 acres, including the Old Town Hall building and the Wilton Congregational Church buildings.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.4 square miles (70.9 km²), of which, 27.0 square miles (69.8 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.50%) is water, including the South Norwalk Reservoir.

The latitude of Wilton is 41.201N. The longitude is -73.438W.

Neighborhoods

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.

Schools

Public Schools

Modern facilities include three elementary schools(Miller-Driscoll School, Cider Mill School), one middle school (Middlebrook Middle School), and one high school (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, Russian and Latin and 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 5 schools. Two of the elementary schools (Miller and Driscoll Schools) are located on the same campus and they teach children from preschool through 2nd grade. The third 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 three elementary schools have class sizes ranging from 18 to 22 and a 19 to 1 student/ teacher ratio. Language studies begin in the 3rd grade with French and Spanish. The junior high (Middlebrook) school 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.

Private Schools

There are three private elementary schools in town:

Media

  • The Wilton Patch, an online news source specifically devoted to Wilton and constantly updated by Editor Christian Camerota and a variety of local contributors.
  • The Wilton Villager, a weekly paper published by The Hour of Norwalk.
  • Wilton Bulletin, a weekly paper published by Hersam Acorn.
  • Wilton Magazine and WiltonOnline.com are published by Town Green Media, LLC, a Wilton-based publishing company. Wilton Magazine is its first publication, launched in the Fall of 2003.

Clubs and organizations

Clubs and civic organizations in town include a Newcomers 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 Wilton Moms Club. Cultural amenities include the Wilton Historical Society, a Library Association, an Arts Council, Audubon Society, The Wilton Singers and the Wilton Playshop.

Events in town

  • Minks to Sinks is a large, twice-a-year flea market that benefits Family & Children's Agency[6], a not-for-profit family serving agency that strengthens the communities of southwestern Connecticut by supporting individuals and families in crisis or at transitional moments of their lives.
  • Cannon Grange, "a kind of 4-H club for adults,"[8] hosts an annual fair.
  • Ambler Farm Day is an annual fall tradition bringing family and friends together to enjoy a variety of events and farm activities, including hays rides, apple sling shots, and scarecrow making contests.
  • CNSW Pumpkin Festival is an annual fall tradition managed and organized by the families of The Community Nursery School of Wilton. For 25 years this event has become a great tradition for Wilton providing games, pony rides, entertainment and of course, a pumpkin patch. This is CNSW's only public fundraiser to raise funds for local scholarships however it is much more about bringing families together and giving something back to the community that has supported the school for over 75 years.

Transportation

Commute times

  • Hartford: 80 Minutes
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA): 50 Minutes
  • Manhattan: 60-70 Minutes (by Metro-North train) 50-70 Minutes (by car)
  • Stamford: 20 Minutes
  • White Plains, NY: 30 Minutes
  • JFK 60 minutes
  • Bronx 45–60 minutes

Airports

Railroad

The town has two railroad stations: Wilton station and Cannondale station (a sub-station where tickets are not sold), both part of the Danbury Line of Metro-North railroad.

Buses

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.

Highways

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.

Demographics

As of the census[10] 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/sq mi (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. 15.3% of all households 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 $141,428, and the median income for a family was $158,415. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $61,611 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.

Famous residents, past and present

References

Police station, behind Town Hall on Danbury Road
  1. ^ http://www.census.gov/geo/www/maps/msa_maps2006/necta_wall_1206.html
  2. ^ U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates
  3. ^ http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2007/snapshots/CS0986370.html
  4. ^ http://www.dochertyfamily.com/wilton.htm
  5. ^ http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-dealzone/2009/03/18/the-pizza-guy-will-miss-aig-fps-business/
  6. ^ Behind Insurer’s Crisis, Blind Eye to a Web of Risk, New York Times, September 27, 2008.
  7. ^ AIG Former Auditor Warned About Derivative Valuation in 2007, Bloomberg News, October 11, 2008.
  8. ^ a b c [1] The New York Times, "Living in/Wilton, Connecticut: A Playground For Preservationists," by Debra West, Dec. 4, 2005, Page accessed on 22 June 2006
  9. ^ [2] Glavin, Kristiana, "Deer Hunt Plan Aims for Watershed by Fall", a news article in The New Canaan News Review, April 6, 2007
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  11. ^ Seremet, Pat, "JAVA", article in The Hartford Courant, August 26, 2000 ("jazz great Dave Brubeck, who lives in Wilton")
  12. ^ Stowe, Stacey (May 13, 2001). "Bringing Home a Daytime Emmy". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Grandjean, Pat, "First People" column, item titled "The Buzz", Connecticut Magazine, November 2006, page 17
  14. ^ http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0040-165X(198901)30%3A1%3C189%3ABD(%3E2.0.CO%3B2-G
  15. ^ Orshoski, Wes (September 3, 2003). "When Ace Frehley Said Farewell During Last Kiss Tour, He Meant It." Chicago Sun-Times.
  16. ^ "Children's authors to sign at Just Books, Too", short notice in The Greenwich Post, Greenwich, Connecticut, October 16, 2003 ("Ms. Grodin, who lives in Wilton, with her actor husband Charles Grodin")
  17. ^ Brown, Joe, "A trouper who cries not havoc", article in The Washington Post, May 22, 1987 ("She lives in Wilton, Connecticut at Cannon Crossings"); [3] "Wilton Collects...Skip Heydt Delights in His Microcosmic World," by Nancy Maar, article in Wilton Magazine, Winter/Spring 2004; accessed on July 3, 2006
  18. ^ "HEARST TO DO 'MONOLOGUES'", news brief, Mercury-News wire services, San Jose Mercury News, September 6, 2001, page 2A ("Patty Hearst will star in The Vagina Monologues when it plays Sept. 18 to 23 at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, Conn. She lives in Wilton, Conn., with her husband and two daughters.")
  19. ^ [4] "Political Theater: A Banned Play on the War (5 Letters)," first letter by Ira Levin, accessed on March 27, 2007
  20. ^ [5]Web page titled "Kristine Lilly" at USSoccer.com, "The official site of U.S. Soccer" ("Hometown: Wilton, Connecticut"), accessed November 11, 2007
  21. ^ Stockel, Allison, "Pantoliano will lead screening of his new film, 'The Moguls'", article in The Wilton Bulletin, Wilton, Connecticut, December 15, 2005 ("Actor Joe Pantoliano, who lives in Wilton")
  22. ^ Associated Press story, "Divot yields Super find for former Jets player" as appeared in The New Haven Register, October 17, 1999 ("[...] put him in touch with Rasmussen at Rand Insurance in Greenwich where the Wilton resident is director of financial services.")
  23. ^ Lewis, Christian, "A Stepford wife walks with stars", article in The Ridgefield Press, October 30, 2003 ("Christopher Walken, who lives in Wilton")
  24. ^ Cox, Jeff (2007). "25 Top-Earning Towns." CNNMoney.com.
  25. ^ http://www.nypost.com/seven/11132008/tv/two_new_at_snl_138413.htm

External links


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