Skip to Content

Fayston, VT Landslide, Jun 1827


Avalanche--A gentleman at Fayston, in whose veracity the most implicit reliance may be placed, has obligingly furnished us with the following account of an avalanche of earth, or slide of the mountain, in Lincoln, Addison County, the twenty-seventh ult. occasioned by the late abundant and almost incessant rains.

On the 30th of June, I went, in company with 16 of my neighbors, to visit the spot so singularly marked by Providence, which I am not about to describe. I found the slide to commence near the top of the mountain, between two large rocks, which were stripped of earth, opening a passage of four rods wide, from which it proceeded in a southwesterly direction, gradually widening for the distance of 200 rods, to the south branch of mill brook in Fayston. In its course, it swept every thing in tis way--overturning trees by their roots; divesting them of roots, branches and bark, often breaking them in short pieces. A number of rocks were moved some distance, judged to weigh from 15 to 20 tons. From where it entered mill brook, its course was a northeasterly direction, 280 rods, the natural course of the brook, which was very small; but the channel cut by this freshet, is now from 2 to 10 rods in width; and on either side are large quantities of flood wood, piled up in many places very high; and from 15 to 20 rods of the lower part it is blocked up across the channel in every direction. Some of the trees are standing on their tops, and generally stripped of roots, branches and bark, and broken into many pieces. The pile in some places is 10 feet high. Much of the timber is apparently buried several feet in sand and mud. One large birch tree was broken off square, measuring 3 feet and 9 inches where it was broken. One black ash was literally pounded into a broom, whose brush is seven feet long. The whole distance of these ravages is a mile and a half, and the quantity of land thus suddenly metamorphosed into a barren waste, is twenty-five acres. The force of water must have been very great, at which we cannot wonder, when we consider the probably depth of the water. In some places, from appearances, it must have been 30 feet high. Some of the trees on the sides of the channel were barked 30 or 35 feet high, and mud on them at that height.

Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics, Portsmouth, NH 21 Jul 1827

article | by Dr. Radut