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The Town of Wilmington is a suburban industrial town occupying 17.2 square miles of the watershed of the Ipswich River. The town was part of an unstable Colonial frontier during Queen Ann's War. The community's early agricultural economy broadened to include a sawmill established in 1702 by Daniel Snow. Formed as an independent town in 1730, Wilmington has retained a high proportion of 18th century houses. The Baldwin apple is supposed to have been discovered in Wilmington in the 1790's on Butters Farm and after some bitter disputes with other communities over whether that was the case, a bronze plaque duly commemorates the discovery. The Middlesex Canal was completed in Wilmington in the early 19th century and residents were able to ship their produce to market. The largest shipments were of hops, since Wilmington became one of the largest producers of hops in the state, growing 8,200 tons of hops worth $2.2 million by 1837. An early railroad corridor connected Wilmington to Boston and Lowell in 1835 and to Andover in 1836 and trolley lines were established in the late 19th century. The town had a primarily agricultural economy, with residents growing fruit, vegetables and cranberries, but also had a number of slaughterhouses. The major industry in Wilmington, however, was the Perry, Cutler and Company tannery. Since 1940 the population more than quadrupled with particular growth between 1950 and 1965 after the completion of Route 128. Although the town remained principally a farming community during the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, producing milk and eggs, suburban residential development has made a major impact on Wilmington. (Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)
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