Flashback

Many history books have a limited shelf life, but Chronicles of the White Mountains, written by Frederick W. Kilbourne and published in 1916, remains in print a century later. The massive typed and handwritten manuscript of what was the most comprehensive history of the region to date now resides in AMC’s Library & Archives, along…

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As soon as her 2014 hut-to-hut hike was over, Becky Fullerton began brainstorming her next White Mountain trek. For the 2015 centennial of AMC’s Lakes of the Clouds Hut, she wanted something different. Something special. And then she had it: She would hike in 1915 period garb, knickers and all. As AMC’s archivist, Fullerton is…

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Edward G. Chamberlain (1845-1935), one of AMC’s earliest members, immersed himself in mapmaking from a young age. He devoted his life to surveying and cartography, both for the commonwealth of Massachusetts and for AMC, and eventually became the organization’s unofficial cartographer. When he took it upon himself to volunteer his assistance at an AMC outing…

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Early 19th century hikers didn’t have much specialized gear. They wore cotton and wool and leather. But hiding in plain sight in many AMC photographs from the era is a trailblazing item: a tin AMC cup, often seen dangling from backpacks or hanging by their wire handles from belts. An ad in the back of…

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Following the deaths of two members in a midsummer snowstorm in 1900, AMC leaders immediately approved a plan to construct a shelter between Mount Washington and Mount Pleasant (now known as Mount Eisenhower). Although the crude, six-person refuge was intended for emergencies only, many hikers chose to use it anyway. The need for a more…

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Long before the backpacking boom of the 1960s and 1970s spurred the creation of new campsites and a caretaker program, visitors to the White Mountains built an informal series of crude backcountry shelters using bark and boughs. Lean-tos and more complex structures followed. Once upon a time, hikers camped in shelters in the Great Gulf,…

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In 1907, AMC began publishing the Appalachia Bulletin, a supplement to the organization’s journal, Appalachia. The new publication focused on current events and included committee reports, member rolls, and event listings. Narrative stories, reporting, and photography eventually entered the editorial mix, and by the mid-1970s the Bulletin featured a full-color cover. The “AMC Outdoors” name…

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From AMC’s founding in 1876, members placed a high value on art for both aesthetic and educational reasons. Charles E. Fay, who would go on to serve AMC in many capacities, was the club’s first Councilor of Art. (For more about Fay, see his story, “The Casualty on Mount Lefroy“). In the inaugural edition of…

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One of AMC’s founding goals was to produce a White Mountains map—and AMC member Louis Fayerweather Cutter (1864-1945) was one of the first to do so. The MIT-educated civil engineer spent a lot of time in Randolph, N.H. From there, he launched his extensive explorations of the White Mountains. He painstakingly measured trails with a bicycle…

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AMC’s logo first appeared in 1881, on the first page of a bound volume of Appalachia. There was little fanfare. An annual report for the year noted a “long-felt want of a Club seal,” and added, “it is hoped that the device…will meet the approval of the members.” That seal, or versions very closely approximating it,…

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