Crystal Lake, known for its clarity of waters, was originally called Belle Lac (Beautiful Lake) by the French Canadians. Located near the southern end of Barton, Crystal Lake is about three miles long and about 3/4 of a mile wide and is also the largest body of water in Barton at 778 acres. (Pillsbury, c.1900) It is a main tourist attraction in Barton, with the village of Barton at its northern outlet. At the time of the printing of a promotional pamphlet about Barton, published in the early 1900's, to the north side of the lake was a fine beach of sand and pebbles. On the south side were large fertile meadows. To the west were the gentle slopes of forest and pastureland. On the east were bold cliffs rising from the water's edge to the height of about several hundred feet. (The Barton Dev. Assoc., 1900z) Included in the Crystal Lake area is the Crystal Lake State Park. Other bodies of water in Barton town include Baker, May, Ufford, and Wheeler Ponds, all named after early settlers.
Located in the valley of the Barton River and a few miles north of Barton Village was a pond now called Runaway Pond. Its original outlet was in the south, but in 1810 the northern embankment gave way and, in a mad rush, the water flooded the land all the way to Lake Memphremagog in the Newport City area. Evidence of the pond still exists.
A promotional pamphlet published in the early 1900's describes two living springs bubbling up from the earth within 100 yards of each other and flowing in opposite directions. One flows to the north through Crystal Lake into Barton River and the other flows south into the Passumpsic River. (The Barton Dev. Assoc., 1900z )
Rivers that pass through Barton include the Barton, Clyde, Willoughby, and Black Rivers. Other smaller waterways include Hogtrough Brook, Lord Brook, Annis Brook, May Pond Brook, Willoughby Brook, and Roaring Brook.
Crystal Lake Falls, a series of small cascading waterfalls, is at the outlet of Crystal Lake. (See Built Resources Capital; Businesses)
The highest peak in Barton is Barton Mountain at 2235 feet. May Hill (2007 feet) and part of Wheeler Mountain (~2000 feet in Barton) are named after early settlers. (Wheeler Mtn. whose highest point reaches 2371 feet lies mostly in the town of Sutton.)
A devastating flood was caused by two storms converging over Vermont on November 2 and 3, 1927.
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