The Legend of Runaway Pond of Glover, Vermont
On June 6, 1810, the origins of “Runaway Pond” began. A group of men decided they wanted more water for Aaron Willson’s mill in Glover, VT. Their plan was to dig a trench at the northern end of Long Pond and allow some of the water to flow south to the Lamoille River. Unfortunately, they weren’t aware that the hillside was holding back the pond (which was about 100 feet in depth) was composed mostly of quicksand, with a thin layer of “hardpan” which held the water back.
The men proceeded to dig the trench and the water soon started to sink through the quicksand below. In less than two hours, the pond emptied out completely. It was around noon time that the pond gave way and the cascade of water made its way towards Lake Memphremagog. By late afternoon the rush of water had reached Coventry where it destroyed a bridge at a local farm. No one was injured or killed as one man ran ahead of the flood and was able to warn the mill attendant just in time. The flood was not only water, but trees, branches, dirt, and rocks which gave the man time to get ahead of the entire disaster.
The pathway of the flood for the whole distance from Long Pond to Lake Memphremagog appeared as if swept with a broom of destruction. For many miles the entire forest was torn up by the roots, and the trees were carried along by the current. At every bend in the stream and on all the land which was not deeply flooded the trees were left piled up, sometimes to the height of thirty or forty feet. The water in Lake Memphremagog rose about a foot. According to eyewitness Joseph Owen of Barton, the fish in the lake were all swept up the Black River. At Coventry Falls, near to 5 tons of fish were caught.
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