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.
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. Wilton was rated one of CNN's top 25 towns to live, boasting an average household income of over $300,000 per family.
AIG Financial Products was headquartered in the town. Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. Wilton is also home to Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Melissa & Doug, and the Blue Buffalo Company, (pet food manufacturer). Also, recent developments in town include the expansion of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, a multi-use trail that is designed to eventually run between Norwalk and Danbury.
For more information: History of Wilton, Connecticut
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 was passed to allow liquor stores. The town Board enacted an ordinance to allow liquor stores to sell alcoholic beverages in 2010, and several stores have since opened.