is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,363 at the 2000 census. Wilmington was first settled in 1665 and was officially incorporated in 1730, from parts of Woburn, Reading and Billerica. Minutemen from Wilmington responded to the alarm on April 19, 1775 and fought at Merriam's Corner in Concord. Wilmington men also fought at Bunker Hill.
The Middlesex Canal passed through Wilmington. Chartered in 1792, opened in 1803, it provided freight and passenger transport between the Merrimack River and Boston. One important cargo on the canal was hops. From the middle of the 18th century until the early 19th century, Massachusetts was the acknowledged leader in hop production in North America. Middlesex County in particular was famous for its hop yards, and Wilmington was the first place where the culture grew to a fever pitch.
When Lowell was built in the 1820s, the canal became a primary means of transporting cotton to and from the mills. It was abandoned in 1852 after the construction of the Boston and Lowell Railroad.
The Boston and Lowell Railroad was built in 1835. The line is now the oldest operating rail line in the U.S. Wilmington is also served by the Haverhill Division (the old B&M Portland Division). A spur track known as the Wildcat connects the Haverhill and Lowell divisions.
Wilmington is also home to the Col. Joshua Harnden Tavern, which probably served as a stop on the underground railroad and now houses the Wilmington Town Museum.
Wilmington is considered a cancer cluster ,possibly due to industrial chemical contamination. The movie and book
discusses circumstances similar to those found in Wilmington, although the events of both the book and the movie focus primarily on nearby Woburn.
Since the completion of Route 128, Wilmington's population has quadrupled. Route 93, Route 62 and Route 38 also help to make Wilmington an easy place to commute to Boston.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it (0.46%) is water.
Wilmington borders the following towns: Andover, North Reading, Reading, Woburn, Burlington, Billerica, and Tewksbury.
Much of Wilmington was built on or still is wetlands. The Ipswich River starts in Wilmington.
There is one lake in the town, Silver Lake, a kettle lake formed in the retreat of the Pleistocene glaciers at the end of the last ice age. It is open for swimming during the summer.