Wilmington, Massachusetts

Wilmington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. It was first settled in 1665 and was officially incorporated in 1730, from parts of Woburn and Reading. Minutemen from Wilmington responded to the alarm on April 19, 1775, going off to fight at Merriam’s Corner in Concord.

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. 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).

Since World War II, Wilmington’s population has quadrupled. Interstate 93, Route 62, Route 129 and Route 38 run through town, with Route 128 about a mile south of Wilmington. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city occupies 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) is water. Much of Wilmington was built on or still is wetlands. The Ipswich River starts in Wilmington, while the Shawsheen River forms part of Wilmington’s border with Billerica. The one lake in town, Silver Lake, is a kettle lake formed in the retreat of the Pleistocene glaciers at the end of the last ice age.

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