Wilmington, Massachusetts is a suburban town in Middlesex County. Located north of Boston, its neighbors include Tewksbury, Andover, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, Reading, and North Reading. Wilmington covers 17.2 square miles of land, much of which is wetlands, or built atop wetlands. The Ipswich River, Shawsheen River, and Silver Lake are the major waterways in town.
Wilmington is conveniently located near a number of major roads, providing easy access for residents commuting into Boston and other areas. Interstate 93 runs directly through Wilmington, connecting to Route 128 about a mile south of town. Massachusetts state routes 129, 62, and 38 also run through the town. The MBTA Lowell Commuter Rail Line has two stops in Wilmington.
There are a variety of recreational opportunities for residents throughout the town, including swimming at Silver Lake in the summer months. Walking paths, playgrounds, baseball fields, and a sledding hill are also available. The Ristuccia Ice Arena provides ice skating lessons, and was once the practice rink for the Boston Bruins, while the Aleppo Shriner’s Auditorium is the home of the Boston Derby Dames roller derby league. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other groups also make use of Camp Forty Acres in town.
Wilmington, Massachusetts was first settled in 1665. Though stories vary on who were the official first residents of present-day Wilmington, it is agreed that three men each separately settled in different areas of what would become the town. Wilmington was incorporated in 1730, taking land from Woburn, Reading, and Billerica.
In 1803, the Middlesex Canal opened, passing through town, providing transport for both freight and passengers from the Merrimack River to Boston. Wilmington was, at the time, one of the towns producing large quantity of hops, which were transported via the canal. When Lowell rose to prominence as a mill town, the canal also served to transport the cotton.
Today, Wilmington is a town with a mix of residential neighborhoods, commercial centers, and industrial parks. The town offers a variety of services to residents, and hosts events such as summer concerts, an Easter Egg Hunt, and Holiday Tree Lighting.
The Aleppo Shriners Auditorium, located in Wilmington, has been the headquarters of the Aleppo Shriners since 1977. This branch of Shriners is the largest in Massachusetts, and is an adjunct of Freemasonry. The Shriners are dedicated to providing free medical care for children with burns, orthopedic, and neurological conditions around the country.
The Aleppo Shriners own and operate the auditorium in Wilmington, hosting conventions, trade shows, sporting events, and concerts. The Shriners themselves use this space for a variety of functions including their annual rodeo and circus. The auditorium is able to seat 2000-4000 people, depending on the event, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to Wilmington.
Wilmington, Massachusetts, is a suburb with an ideal location for a variety of uses. Throughout its history, its unique spot 15 miles north of Boston has made it convenient for commuting, while also supporting its own industrial and commercial base. Residents enjoy a wide range of services and events in this comfortable and prosperous suburb.