The "Valley" is made up of the towns of Wilmington, Jacksonville, Whitingham, and West Dover. It is called the valley because these towns sit physically in a valley between the Green Mountain National Forest to the west and the mountain range that includes Hogback Mountain to the east.
Much of the Valley's early development was a consequence of the logging industry, the railroad, and the Deerfield River which was used to float logs south from the wooded north. A large railroad was built that stopped in Wilmington and was used to ferry cut wood from the valley to destinations unknown, wherever it was needed. As such, much of the towns and a great deal of Southern Vermont's early prosperity was timed with the completion of the railway, which incidentally no longer exists.
Main Street, Wilmington VT circa 1914 (post card)
Wilmington, VT was chartered in 1751. The town was named after Spencer Compton who was a former Prime Minister of England and who died without an heir. He was postumously given the title 1st Earl of Wilmington (England) and in the years that followed many governors in the colonies chose to honor the Earl by chartering towns in his name. The colonial governor of New Hampshire chartered Wilmington 40 years before Vermont was a state. In addition to Wilmington VT, two large cities that are known nationally are also named after Spencer Compton, those are Wilmington Delaware and Wilmington, North Carolina.
The town has approximately 2,500 residents and another 5,000 part time residents (i.e. snow-bird retirees) in addition to approximately 10,000 second home owners. It is probably most well known as a bedroom community to the Mount Snow Ski Resort but to those who know her or just drive past, Wilmington itself is considered a destination unto herself. The Main Street is a picture right out of a Norman Rockwell painting complete with a single four corner stop light, deco-diner and converted watermill restaurant on either side of a rushing river.