WILTON, N.D. (AP) – Mayor Kyle Tschosik is heading to a different Wilton.

Wilton, Maine, is celebrating its 200th birthday Aug. 1. The town invited representatives from every other Wilton in the country and one in England to help it celebrate.

Tschosik decided the invitation was too interesting to pass up.

Fourteen towns named Wilton are known in the United States, apparently named for the Wilton in Wiltshire, England, famous for making carpets.

Shannon Smith, an organizer of the Wilton, Maine, bicentennial celebration, said her town got letters of congratulations from the governors of all the other states with a Wilton in them.

She said the people in Wilton, Maine, have special plans for their U.S. Wilton dignitaries.

“We’re going to spoil them rotten here in Wilton,” she said.

The Wilton in Maine was named for the Wilton in England. The Wilton in North Dakota was named for the Wilton in Maine, the birthplace of Gen. William Drew Washburn, who, historians say, founded the Wilton in North Dakota.

Tschosik will take a plaque to present to Wilton, Maine, officials, along with some North Dakota items. He says he will spend his own money to get there, but his family is treating it as a summer vacation.

“Hopefully, this will generate some people who might want to come and visit North Dakota,” Tschosik said.

Wilton, Maine, has a population of about 4,200, about five times the size of Wilton, N.D.

The North Dakota town, which is about a 20-mile commute from Bismarck, has picked up about 100 people in the last 10 years, for a population of about 800.

“Hopefully, we’ll continue to grow,” Tschosik said.

AP-ES-07-22-03 1247EDT



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