Residing in the northeast part of Caledonia County, Newark is the northernmost town in Caledonia County. The town is mostly woodland and has never had a population of more than 679, that peak being reached nearly 100 years ago. Its origin is a story of rugged backwoodsmen who left the comfort of other towns to subdue the dense forests of this elevated, hilly landscape.
Newark was chartered August 15, 1781 to William Wall along with 69 other shareholders by the then Republic of Vermont. In 1795, the first land was cleared near Burke and settled by James Ball and his family. A few years later, Eleazer Packer came and settled much deeper into the forest. Others followed slowly and the town was organized in 1809. The first settlers encountered several hardships due to the remote location. The 1875 map of Newark shows 13 school districts. By 1950, the number of schools had been reduced to two and today Newark supports only one school, located in the center of town on Newark Street.
As the forests were cleared, the soil was found to be perfect for growing wheat. The town has abundant sugar maple trees and is well-watered. The eastern slope of a mountain that extends from East Haven to the center of town is still densely forested. Newark Pond and Center Pond are the largest bodies of water, while several small ponds and brooks dot the landscape.
Lumber was a major staple of the economy and the town once held several saw mills, grist mills and starch factories. Nowadays, the center of town contains a few buildings the, town clerk’s office, a church and a school. Newark is accessed by Route 114 and Route 5A.
It’s secluded and wooded acreage offers breathtaking views and several hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities. It is bordered to the north by East Haven and Brighton (Island Pond), west by Westmore, and south by Burke. The land to the east is remote, heavily forested and sparsely inhabited. Lake Willoughby, the glacially-formed treasure of the Northeast Kingdom, is just a short drive up Route 5A. Other natural attractions in Newark include the Bald Hill Fish Hatchery and Jobs Pond.