Wilder, Vermont

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Wilder is an unincorporated village and census-designated place (CDP) within the town of Hartford in Windsor County, Vermont. It is the location of the Wilder Dam on the Connecticut River. The population of the CDP was 1,636 at the 2000 census.



The village, originally known as Olcott Falls, is unique as an early planned community developed in part by Charles Wilder, owner of a local paper mill in the 1880s.[3][4] One feature of Wilder's plan was an orderly street plan in which streets were laid out at right angles,[4] with several of the streets named after trees. The village was renamed in honor of Charles Wilder in 1897.[5]

As of the earliest years of the 20th century, the local paper mill was operated by International Paper and Wilder boasted a railroad station, a post office, several retail stores, and electric street lighting. An iron bridge contributed by Charles Wilder spanned the Connecticut River at Wilder.[4] The bridge, the paper mill, and the dam that supplied power to the mill were all demolished in 1950 for the construction of Wilder Dam.[5]

The Wilder Village Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.[3] The district covers 40 acres (0.16 km2)[6] and contains 203 contributing resources.[7] It includes examples of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style architecture with houses dating from the late 19th century to the 1950s.[6] Streets included in the district include Norwich, Passumpsic, and Horseshoe Avenues, and Chestnut, Gillette, Fern, Hawthorn, Locust and Division Streets.

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