Located on the northern end of Caledonia County, Sutton is bounded by Lyndon, Burke, Westmore, Newark and Sheffield. The town is bisected by Route 5, which runs north and south through the Northeast Kingdom. Several small trout ponds are contained within Sutton, including Bean, Vail, Duck, Blake, Marl, Dolloff ponds. Several brooks and streams flow across the landscape, as well as the West Branch of the Passumpsic River.
A large portion of the northern section consists of Willoughby State Forest, which contains over 20 miles of hiking trails. Most of these trails are well suited to novice and intermediate hikers. Other trails are privately-owned on Wheeler, Bald, Haystack and McSherry mountains and some are maintained by the Westmore Association, the Northwoods Stewardship Center and the Green Mountain Club. Several remote, wooded areas are accessible by a network of roads built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Mount Hor, near beautiful Lake Willoughby, rises 2,648 feet above sea level and 500 feet above the lake.
Sutton was chartered by the name Billymead in 1782 to Jonathon Arnold and associates. The name Billymead was derived from Arnold’s son, William. In 1790, several families from Sandwich and Moultonboro, N.H., joined families from Lyndon and other adjoining towns to settle in the new town. Unfortunately Arnold’s son, William, later became a terrible disruptive drunk. In 1812, the townspeople became so disenchanted with William and their town name that they voted to change it to Sutton. The people were so eager to use the new name that they started before the Vermont legislature approved it. The approval of the new name didn’t come until two years after it was changed. While the legislature was considering the name, the Billymead post office was opened. The name of the post office didn’t change until around 1817. The Sutton resident who came up with the new name was Joctan Putnam who was originally from Sutton, Mass.