The First School in Wilton

  • Jeannine Woutersz - Town Historian

Pictured c. 1944, these schoolchildren at the old Wilton District No. 1 School, on Waller Road, have collected milkweed pods, which can be seen in the mesh bags. The pods were used in the war effort to fill life preservers.

Wilton has many impressive landmarks that are reminders of our serene past. The large brick home of the former Pepper Turkey farm on Route 9 is one of my favorites. This home was featured in: The History of Saratoga County” by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester (1878). The Wilton chapter shows a two page print of the “Residence of John J. Brill”, surrounded by orchards with the Palmertown mountain range as a background.

John J. was born in Wilton in 1827 and was the youngest son of John and Harriet Pearsall Brill. Harriet’s family, the Pearsall’s, owned most of the land in the area of the present Route 9, Waller Road, and Smith Bridge Road.

The lovely brick home on the corner of Smith Bridge and Jones Road was built by the Pearsall family. This property is now owned by the John Vincek farm.

John J. Brill donated land for the first school in Wilton on Waller Road near the corner of Northern Pines. In 1928, the building was increased to a two room school and was known as District #1. The Dorothy Nolan School replaced this early school in 1957. The new school held 94 students.

While traveling through the busy Route 9 corridor or hurrying to your next sporting event at Gavin Park, take a little time to notice these beautiful reminders of our quiet simple heritage.