is situated in the western part of the county, in lat. 44º45' and
long. 5º 6'. It is bounded on the northwest by Charleston and Morgan,
in Orleans county, on the northeast by Warren's Gore, Avery's Gore and
Lewis, on the southeast by Ferdinand, and on the south by Newark and Westmore.
It was chartered August 13, 1781, to Joseph Nightingale, and sixty-five
associates, of Providence, R.I. It was first named Random,
by the Hon. Joseph Brown, it being a “random” purchase from an agent sent
to Providence from Vermont. November 3, 1832, the name was, changed to
Brighton, this name being preferred by its inhabitants.
township is quite mountainous, but only a few rise so abrupt as to prevent
the cultivation of the land. It is heavily timbered the western portion
with hard, and the eastern with soft timber. There are eight ponds or lakes
in this township, the largest, formerly called Knowlton lake, a name given
it by Mr. Knowlton, one of the first surveyors, but latterly called Island
Pond, from having near its center an island containing an area of twenty-two
acres, which also gives the name to the post office at the outlet.
It is about two miles long, and about one and a half broad; the water is
very clear and deep, the whole surrounded by mountains which slope gradually,
giving it the appearance of an immense basin, covered to the shore of the
pond with a mixture of hard timber and evergreen, forming, altogether,
one of the most beautiful landscapes to be found in New England. The pond
lies about 1250 feet above the level of the sea, and is the height of land
between Memphremagog lake, on the west, and the Connecticut river, on the
Pond is a pleasant post village, located near the central part of the town
[of Brighton], on the northern shores of Island pond, from which the village
derives its name. It has four churches (Methodist, Congregational, Episcopal
and Roman Catholic). Its principal streets are Main, Cross, South,
Mountain and Derby. The latter contains many fine residences, while nearly
all the others are remarkably neat and tidy. The business portion is mostly
located on Main and Cross streets. Within its limits are nearly a dozen
stores and several hotels, the finest of which, is the Stewart House, W.A.
Richardson, proprietor, also one large steam saw-mill, various mechanic
shops, etc. The village is located on the half-way place between Portland
and Montreal, of the Grand Trunk railroad, which was built through here
in 1853, and contains the United States and Canadian custom houses, depot,
and other buildings connected with the road, which were built at a cost
of over $65,000.00, and money paid employees at this point amounts to over
$35,000.00 per annum.
Gazetteer of Caledonia and Essex Counties, VT.; 1764-1887, Compiled and
Published by Hamilton Child; May 1887)