Main Births etc
Wilmington, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Church Street

Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°33′N 71°10′W / 42.55, -71.167Coordinates: 42°33′N 71°10′W / 42.55, -71.167
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1665
Incorporated 1730
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Town
Jeffrey Hull
 • Total 17.2 sq mi (44.6 km2)
 • Land 17.1 sq mi (44.4 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 96 ft (29 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 22,325
 • Density 1,300/sq mi (500/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01887
Area code(s) 978
FIPS code 25-80230
GNIS feature ID 0618246

Wilmington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States.


Wilmington was first settled in 1665 and was officially incorporated in 1730, from parts of Woburn, Reading, and Billerica. The first settler is believed to have been Will Butter, Richard Harnden or Abraham Jaquith. Butter was brought to Woburn as an indentured captive. Once he attained his freedom, he fled to the opposite side of a large swamp, in what is now Wilmington. Harnden settled in Reading, in an area that is now part of Wilmington. Jaquith settled in an area of Billerica that became part of Wilmington in 1737.

Minutemen from Wilmington responded to the alarm on April 19, 1775 and fought at Merriam's Corner in Concord.

The Middlesex Canal passed through Wilmington. Chartered in 1792, opened in 1803, it provided freight and passenger transport between the Merrimack River and Boston. One important cargo on the canal was hops. From the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century, Massachusetts was the acknowledged leader in hop production in North America. Middlesex County in particular was famous for its hop yards, and Wilmington was the first place where the culture grew to a fever pitch.[1]

When Lowell was built in the 1820s, the canal became a primary means of transporting cotton to and from the mills. It was abandoned in 1852 after the construction of the Boston and Lowell Railroad.

The Boston and Lowell Railroad was built in 1835. The line is now the oldest operating rail line in the U.S. Wilmington is also served by the Haverhill Division (the old B&M Portland Division). A spur track known as the Wildcat connects the Haverhill and Lowell divisions, following the path of the old Wilmington & Andover Railroad, the corporate ancestor of the Boston & Maine.

Wilmington is where the Baldwin apple was discovered.

Wilmington is also home to the Col. Joshua Harnden Tavern, which probably served as a stop on the underground railroad and now houses the Wilmington Town Museum.

Since World War II, Wilmington's population has quadrupled. Interstate 93, Route 62, Route 129 and Route 38 run through town, and Route 128 is about a mile south of Wilmington.


Wilmington is located at 42°33′N 71°10′W / 42.55, -71.167 (42.560, -71.170).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 17.2 square miles (45 km2), of which 17.1 square miles (44 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.46%, is water.

Wilmington borders the towns of Andover, North Reading, Reading, Woburn, Burlington, Billerica, and Tewksbury.

Much of Wilmington was built on or still is wetlands. The Ipswich River starts in Wilmington, and the Shawsheen River forms part of Wilmington's border with Billerica.

There is one lake in the town, Silver Lake, a kettle lake formed in the retreat of the Pleistocene glaciers at the end of the last ice age.[3] It is open for swimming during the summer.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 874
1860 919 +5.1%
1870 866 −5.8%
1880 933 +7.7%
1890 1,213 +30.0%
1900 1,596 +31.6%
1910 1,858 +16.4%
1920 2,581 +38.9%
1930 4,013 +55.5%
1940 4,645 +15.7%
1950 7,039 +51.5%
1960 12,475 +77.2%
1970 17,102 +37.1%
1980 17,471 +2.2%
1990 17,651 +1.0%
2000 21,363 +21.0%
2010 22,325 +4.5%

The Census Bureau has defined Wilmington as a census-designated place that is equivalent to the town

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 21,363 people, 7,027 households, and 5,776 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,247.0 inhabitants per square mile (481.5 /km2). There were 7,158 housing units at an average density of 417.8 per square mile (161.3 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.31% White, 0.41% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 2.03% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.95% of the population.

There were 7,027 households out of which 41.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.6% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.33.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $70,652, and the median income for a family was $76,760. Males had a median income of $50,446 versus $36,729 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,835. About 1.8% of families and 1.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over. It is the 181st richest place in Massachusetts. See Massachusetts locations by per capita income.


Wilmington has its own schools. Kindergarten students attend the Wildwood Street and Boutwell Street Schools. Grades 1-3 attend the Woburn Street School and the Shawsheen School. Grades 4 and 5 attend the North Intermediate School and the West Intermediate School. Grades 6-8 attend Wilmington Middle School. High School Students attend Wilmington High School. Wilmington High's mascot is the wildcat and its athletic teams participate in the Middlesex League. The Wildcats' colors are Navy Blue, Columbia Blue and White and the primary rivals are the Tewksbury Redmen of the Merrimack Valley Conference. The rivalry reaches its highest point every Thanksgiving when the two towns square off in a football game. In the 2007 season, Wilmington lost to Tewksbury for the first time since 2002 and still trails in the overall series history that started with two in 1935. The series has never been disrupted although they did not play on Thanksgiving in 1935 or from 1941 to 1956. In those years, their game was played on November 11. Wilmington is also home to Abundant Life Christian School a Pre-K to 8 private religious school. Wilmington students also have the option of attending Shawsheen Technical High School.

New high school project[]

Wilmington has been approved by the state of Massachusetts to build a new high school. On January 9, 2013, it was announced the school's gymnasium would be torn down. The new high school has been completed, and the old school is being torn down. Classes began in the new school on February 24, 2015.


Wilmington has an open town meeting, a board of selectmen and a town manager. The current town manager is Jeffrey Hull. Five of the town's six districts are represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by James R. Miceli, the last is represented by Ken Gordon. The town's state senator is Bruce Tarr. Wilmington is in the Massachusetts 6th Congressional District and is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Seth Moulton.

Points of interest[]

  • The Wilmington Town Common and Rotary Park are in the center of town. There are several parks and public recreation facilities throughout town with walking paths, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and other athletic facilities.
  • Aleppo Shrine Auditorium : a 2,650-seat indoor arena, home of the Boston Derby Dames women's flat track roller derby league.
  • Ristuccia Ice Arena : the practice rink of the Boston Bruins, it also offers lessons.
  • Silver Lake : Open for swimming in the summer, ice-skating in winter, and fishing year-round. There is also a playground open all seasons.
  • The Baldwin Apple Monument on Chestnut St., southwest of town, marks site of original Baldwin apple tree.
  • Wilmington Plaza: Large shopping plaza with Panera Bread, Market Basket, Gamestop, and many other small shops which attract many visitors a day.
  • Camp Forty Acres: A camp near the border with Andover, sometimes used by the local Boy Scouts of America troops, Girl Scouts, and town recreation programs.
  • The Wilmington Memorial library: offer so much more than books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs. It offers great programming for kids that includes the reoccurring storytimes and Lego Mindstorms as well as special programs like Owls of the World and Mommy and Me Yoga. Adult programming, too, is top notch. Patrons can see the library's 3D Printer in action, sit in on a session of Needleworks (knitting/crochet group), or take part in the pot luck that is "Cookin' the Books" a cookbook book group.
  • Town Park on Main St., primarily used as a ballfield. It was once the site of the town farm. The park includes a sledding hill, artifacts from the old Middlesex Canal, and 48 varieties of ferns, cataloged by the late Frank Tuttle.


MBTA Commuter Rail provides service from Boston's North Station with the Wilmington station on its Lowell Line and the North Wilmington station on its Haverhill/Reading Line. LRTA provides bus service from Wilmington station via Rt 38 to Lowell Station.

Notable residents[]

  • Jeanne Ashworth, speed skater, bronze medalist in the 1960 Winter Olympics[15]
  • Loammi Baldwin, Revolutionary War colonel, noted civil engineer and the man who popularized the Baldwin apple. Baldwin lived in nearby Woburn, never in Wilmington.
  • Jason Bere, former MLB pitcher, who played for 5 MLB teams, and American League All-Star in 1994
  • Ryland Blackinton, guitarist of Cobra Starship, attended his freshman year at Wilmington High School
  • Diva Taunia, jazz vocalist, graduated from Wilmington High School
  • Mike Esposito, running back and kick returner for the Atlanta Falcons in the late 1970s. He also set a number of rushing records at Boston College.
  • Gen. Henry Harnden, Civil War officer, tracked down Confederate President Jefferson Davis and confirmed his identity.
  • David G. Hartwell, science-fiction editor
  • Thomas Holmes, executive with W.R. Grace and Ingersoll Rand
  • Ezra Otis Kendall, LL.D., 1818–1899 prof. of mathematics and astronomy at University of Pennsylvania. Author of Uranography, a guide to the heavens, with atlas, Philadelphia, 1844.[16] Half-brother to Timothy Walker and Sears Cook Walker.
  • Asa Sheldon, 19th-century contractor, builder of railroads and bridges, author of the autobiography Wilmington Farmer, reprinted in paperback as Yankee Drover.[17]
  • Benjamin Thompson, Jr., Count Rumford, taught school in Wilmington 1768–1769[18]
  • Sears Cook Walker, 19th-century astronomer, brother of Timothy Walker, half-brother of E.O. Kendall
  • Timothy Walker, noted 19th-century jurist, author of Introduction to American Law, founder of Cincinnati Law School.
  • Phillis Wheatley, first published African-American poet

Blake Walker, Also known as the big cat. NCFA football super star corner back.


  1. ^ Tomlan, Michael, "Tinged with Gold: Hop Culture in the U.S." Univ. of Georgia, 1992.
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ Crosby, Irving B., 1928, Boston through the Ages: The Geological Story of Greater Boston, Marshall Jones Company, Boston, Massachusetts
  4. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  5. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  6. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1950 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1860 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "BARBARA KELLY: A person you should know: Jeanne Ashworth". 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Sheldon, Asa, forward by John Seelye, Yankee Drover, Being the Unpretending Life of Asa Sheldon, Farmer, Trader, and Working Man 1788–1870, originally published as Life of Asa G. Sheldon: Wilmington Farmer, in Two Arrangements, 1862, E. T. Moody, Woburn, Massachusetts, new edition 1988, University Press of New England, Hanover, NH.
  18. ^ Rev. Samuel Sewall's 1868 biography of Thompson

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