Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tufts Mountain Club, 1939-3000
The Tufts Mountain Club was founded in December of 1939 to allow students to experience outdoor sports and activities year-round.
In December of 1939, with the backing of the Tufts Ski Club, an effort was made to purchase a shelter for student use in northern New Hampshire. At the same time, student Bill Ballard, a former president of the Tufts Ski Club, called a meeting to judge interest in a group that organized and participated in outdoor activities for every season.
Finding strong campus interest, Ballard formed a group and named it the Tufts Mountain Club (TMC). After approval from the university, Ballard began advertising around campus. Membership costs were set at three dollars a year, with the stipulation that members could use the lodge at all times.
The first membership role included President and Mrs. Carmichael, Dean Bush, Professor Houston, and a large group of undergraduates. In order to accommodate interested Jackson students, a female chaperone was hired to stay at the lodge on the first and third weekend of every month.
During the winter of 1940, TMC laid plans for spring expeditions to the new lodge, and in March, the group merged with the Tufts Ski Club. This not only increased TMC membership, but also facilitated wintertime use of the lodge.
In 1944, a lack of interest due to the war forced TMC, previously one of the most popular student groups, to disband. Only one year later, however, four students revived the club, and in May 1945 the reformed TMC organized a trip to clean the lodge and prepare it for active use.
TMC continued to sponsor activities from their New Hampshire lodge until New Years Day, 1962, when the lodge burned to the ground. No one was injured, but the lodge was destroyed. Soon after, plans for a new lodge were drawn up, and Tufts agreed to help pay for its construction.
TMC has continued to offer numerous activities through the past four decades. Since 1978, the club has had a permit allowing members to climb campus buildings during the daytime, and every Halloween, members place pumpkins on the top of Goddard chapel and at various other locations around campus. In 1983, TMC sponsored its first annual Elbow Pond Cross-Country Ski Race, and in 1986, TMC members secured their place in Tufts history by unearthing the famed gravity stone.
As of 2001, TMC continues to be one of the most popular student organizations, and still offers and arranges various climbs, hikes, skiing expeditions and canoe trips.