Wilton was incorporated in 1803, when it was a mostly self-sufficient agricultural community. Manufacturing was the backbone of town even before it was fully incorporated and would continue to be until the late 20th century. Early industrial success can be attributed to Wilson Stream, which provided waterpower for Wilton s mills. The names of Bass, Butterfield, Furnel, Walker, Robbins, and Goodspeed would become well known in Wilton as early entrepreneurs. George Henry Bass entered the shoe manufacturing business in 1876 and started his first shoe shop in 1879. G.H. Bass & Co. went on to become a major employer in the area and a nationally known company. The early 1900s was a time of great progress for the town in which the Wilton Academy was accredited, the town library was acquired, and the Wilton Woolen Mill was established. Several businesses also emerged on Main Street, including the Cony Miller Grocery Store, Mrs. Magrath s Millinery, Holman s Drug Store, and Stockford s Drug Store. Today, the essence of Wilton is still reflected in its official motto, A great place to live, work & play. "
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