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Wilton, New Hampshire
Stony Brook near the town center
Stony Brook near the town center
Official seal of Wilton, New Hampshire
Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 42°50′36″N 71°44′06″W / 42.84333°N 71.73500°W / 42.84333; -71.73500Coordinates: 42°50′36″N 71°44′06″W / 42.84333°N 71.73500°W / 42.84333; -71.73500
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Hillsborough
Incorporated 1762
Villages Wilton
West Wilton
Wilton Center
 • Total 25.8 sq mi (66.9 km2)
 • Land 25.8 sq mi (66.7 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.37%
384 ft (117 m)
 • Total 3,677
 • Density 55.1/sq mi (21.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-85220
GNIS feature ID 0873756

Wilton is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,677 at the 2010 census. Like many small New England towns it grew up around water-powered textile mills, but is now a rural bedroom community with some manufacturing and service employment. Wilton is home to the High Mowing School, a private preparatory school.

The compact town center, where 1,163 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Wilton census-designated place and is located near the junction of New Hampshire Routes 31 and 101, at the confluence of Stony Brook with the Souhegan River.


The town was first part of a township chartered as "Salem-Canada" in 1735 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts, which then claimed this area. It was granted to soldiers from Salem, Massachusetts, who had served in 1690 under Sir William Phips in the war against Canada. "Salem-Canada" was one of the towns on the state's borders intended to provide protection against Indian attack.

It would be regranted in 1749 by New Hampshire colonial Governor Benning Wentworth as "Number Two", before being incorporated in 1762 as "Wilton". It was either named for Wilton, England, or for Sir Joseph Wilton, a famous English sculptor. Sir Wilton's coach design for King George III's coronation was later used as a model for the Concord coach. The town of Wilton, Maine, would later be named for Wilton, New Hampshire.

The Souhegan River originally provided water power for mills. Today, Wilton is a rural town with orchards, farms and woodlands.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.8 square miles (66.9 km2), of which 25.8 square miles (66.7 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.37%, is water. Wilton is drained by the Souhegan River, and Stony and Blood brooks. The town's highest point is 1,140 feet (350 m) above sea level, where the east slope of Fisk Hill touches the town's western border.

The town center, defined as a census-designated place, has a total area of 1.9 square miles (5.0 km2).

Adjacent municipalities


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 1,105
1800 1,010 −8.6%
1810 1,017 0.7%
1820 1,070 5.2%
1830 1,041 −2.7%
1840 1,033 −0.8%
1850 1,161 12.4%
1860 1,369 17.9%
1870 1,974 44.2%
1880 1,747 −11.5%
1890 1,850 5.9%
1900 1,696 −8.3%
1910 1,490 −12.1%
1920 1,546 3.8%
1930 1,724 11.5%
1940 1,855 7.6%
1950 1,952 5.2%
1960 2,025 3.7%
1970 2,276 12.4%
1980 2,669 17.3%
1990 3,122 17.0%
2000 3,743 19.9%
2010 3,677 −1.8%
2017 (est.) 3,701 0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,677 people, 1,418 households, and 1,015 families residing in the town. There were 1,530 housing units, of which 112, or 7.3%, were vacant. The racial makeup of the town was 97.1% white, 0.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race, and 1.5% from two or more races. 1.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 1,418 households, 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were headed by married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.1% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59, and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town, 23.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 6.6% were from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 33.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.2 males.

For the period 2011–2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $71,066, and the median income for a family was $90,134. The per capita income for the town was $33,824. 4.3% of the population and 1.0% of families were below the poverty line. 7.1% of the population under the age of 18 and 4.8% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.

Sites of interest

  • Wilton is home to part of the Russell-Abbott State Forest, named for two of Wilton's earliest families.
  • Andy's Summer Playhouse is a children's theatre that attracts visitors throughout the region.
  • Frye's Measure Mill, a historic 150-year-old mill, is three miles west of downtown Wilton, at the junction of Davisville Road and Burton Highway, with tours available.
  • The Wilton Town Hall Theatre is a private art-house movie theater which screens films in the Town Hall's auditorium and in a former dressing room for vaudeville troupes which once played the auditorium.
  • The Souhegan Mills are an iconic part of the Wilton town center landscape, and have been used alternatively as an apple packing plant, a dressing mill, and an ammunition box factory during World War II. Souhegan Mills is currently the home of Souhegan Wood Products, a manufacturer and distributor of a variety of recycled wood products.

Notable people

Franciscan Cemetery, Wilton, N.H, by Bugbee, F. E. (Freeman E.), 1846-1899
Wilton c. 1870-1880
  • Charles Greeley Abbot (1872–1973), astrophysicist
  • John Putnam Batchelder (1784–1868), surgeon, anatomist
  • Charles A. Burns (1863–1930), businessman, politician
  • Frank Gay Clarke (1850–1901), congressman
  • Rod Price (1947–2005), guitarist, recording artist (blues/rock band, "Foghat")
  • Annie R. Smith (1828–1855), early American Seventh-day Adventist hymnist, and sister of the Adventist pioneer Uriah Smith
  • Uriah Smith (1832–1903), Seventh-day Adventist author, minister, educator; best known as the longest serving editor of the Review and Herald (now the Adventist Review) for over 50 years
  • William French Smith (1917–1990), 74th United States Attorney General
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