Did you know that Mountain Day was Mount Holyoke’s first tradition, beginning in summer of 1838?
The tradition of an unscheduled day’s holiday for a trip to the top of Mount Holyoke was firmly established. In the summer term there were two excursions of about 50 students each, one on June 23 and one on July 14, led by Professor Hitchcock, who had just been giving geology lectures at the Seminary; six months earlier, 25 hardy young ladies had got to the top on a fine day in January (Green, 1979, p. 188).
Mary Lyon felt it was important for students to have some special events to like Mountain Day to give variety to the school year. “In spite of the late start and time-consuming difficulties of 1837-38… The first Thanksgiving was modest compared with later celebrations, but even in 1837 the young women who did not go home for New England’s major winter holiday enjoyed a special dinner, given by Deacon and Mrs. Porter, and an evening of hospitality with South Hadley neighbors (Green, 1979, pp. 187-8).
FebruMary facts come from the book Mary Lyon and Mount Holyoke, Opening the Gates, by Elizabeth Alden Green.
Green, E. A. (1979). Mary Lyon and Mount Holyoke: Opening the gates. Hanover, N.H: University Press of New England.