At This Place in History one pond gave way, gushed through town and added one foot to a local lake. It’s Runaway Pond in Glover, Vermont. The Vermont Historical Society tells us in 1810, the pond was known as Long Pond. Now, it’s a roadway connecting towns in the Northeast Kingdom.

The mile long, and 100 foot deep, Long Pond became Runaway Pond after one farmer needed more water for his gristmill. The farmer, Wilson, dug a small channel in the pond to let water over it, come down the Barton River and run the mill.

“The channel started breaking away, and there were some geological problems anyway, the earth started undermining and the whole North face of the pond, or lake, let go. A 75 foot high wall of water goes tearing north along the Barton River Valley,” says executive director of the Vermont Historical Society, Steve Perkins.

The 2 billion gallons of water took 8 hours to empty the entire lake and traveled north, through town, filling up Lake Memphremagog by a whole foot. Luckily, the area was sparsely populated and no one died. The only other, known, event similar to this happened in Europe.

There are many stories, songs, myths and celebrations relating to the Runaway Pond.

“Each year in June the town of Glover celebrates the Runaway Pond and in 2010 they had a bicentennial of Runaway Pond,” said Perkins.

Imagine if that happened today! Mark your calendars down for the last Saturday in July to celebrate with Glover in the NEK at This Place in History.

Run Chamberlain Run is a 5.5 mile road race into the village of Glover. Please join us next summer, more details at: http://grecreation.org/annual-events/glover-day

To see all of our “This Place in History” stories with the Vermont Historical Society, click here.
 
Explore more of Vermont’s history! Click here for a map of all of the Vermont’s roadside historic markers.