Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tufts Mountain Club Loj, 1940-2000
One of the major factors in the foundation of the Tufts Mountain Club was the move by members of the Tufts community to purchase a shelter in northern New Hampshire for student and faculty use. The shelter quickly became known as the Tufts Mountain Club Lodge, and, though now in its fourth incarnation, continues to provide the Tufts community with a haven for outdoor activity year-round.
In 1940, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars Tufts College purchased a hundred year old, nine-room farmhouse on Eastern Corner Road in Plymouth, New Hampshire. This building became the original Tufts Mountain Club lodge, and was used year round by members of the group as a home base for hiking, skiing, canoeing, and other outdoor activities. During the 1940's and 1950's, Tufts sent a female chaperone to the lodge on the first and third weekend of every month so that Jackson students could also enjoy the benefits of the New Hampshire home.
On New Years Day, 1962, after two decades of active use, the lodge caught fire and burned to the ground. Although no one was hurt, the building was completely destroyed. Almost immediately, plans were made for the construction of a second lodge. Using insurance money from the original lodge and a grant from the university, a new lodge was constructed in 1963. The new lodge, an A-frame building located in Woodstock, New Hampshire, ushered in a Tufts Mountain Club tradition. Since January, 1963, the group has held an annual "Thanksgiving in January" celebration to remember the original lodge and give thanks that no one was hurt in the fire.
Soon after its completion, the new lodge had to be demolished. To make way for the continuation of Interstate 93, the government bought out Tufts' property rights and, in the late sixties, demolished the lodge. Using the money the government paid to repossess the land, TMC was able to purchase another lodge. The new building, also located in Woodstock, was a two-story farmhouse with a much larger kitchen and a large common room. The lodge had formerly been used as a petting zoo, and memorabilia from the zoo remains on display. In 1994, however, the building was condemned, and in the winter of 1998, it was torn down. Again, TMC was able to raise enough money to purchase another lodge. The present lodge was built in 1999 to TMC specifications and continues to serve as the base for most of their activities.
Between 1985 and 1987, TMC members began referring to their building as the Loj. The name stuck, and since then members have referred to the New Hampshire home as the TMC Loj.