Flashback

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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The glaciers that carved Carter Notch between Wildcat Mountain and the Carter Range left several landmarks behind. A jagged boulder field—”The Ramparts”—covers much of the notch, and two tarns hold cool, clear pools. AMC chose these shores for its second hut a century ago. Using native stone, a crew built an approximate replica of the…

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Snow, whipped off Mount Washington by violent winds, collects in the glacial cirque of Tuckerman Ravine all winter. The eastward-facing bowl captures drifts that can reach 100 feet deep. The snow buries trees and jagged rocks, creating a winter playground that can last into the late spring or even early summer. The first known skiers…

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In December 1942, Appalachia published an article extolling the virtues of sled dogs—their strength, intelligence, and loyalty. The writer described a dog repeatedly nudging him awake as he lay exhausted in the snow near his sputtering fire while the sun slipped below the horizon. “I have learned to trust some dogs absolutely,” the author wrote….

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AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) began small. In 1968, leaders from AMC and the Boys’ Club of Roxbury agreed on a simple partnership. A small group of boys would spend a weekend in the mountains, with the aid of AMC staff and gear, and two members of the Boys’ Club staff received scholarships to AMC’s…

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The artifacts and documents housed in AMC’s Library & Archives follow a variety of paths to their current home on Boston’s Joy Street. Nineteenth- and early 20th-century members of the organization built much of the collection. More recently, about a dozen donations arrive annually. These usually follow telephone or e-mail inquiries from long-time members or…

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August Camp is the oldest of four volunteer-managed AMC camps, but unlike Cold River, Echo Lake, and Three Mile Island, it has no permanent home. Campers travel to a new locale each year. They sleep in a tent village, eat meals prepared by a cook, and explore new terrain every day. In recent years, AMC…

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In 1888, when construction was set to begin on Madison Spring Hut, AMC had to figure out how to get building supplies, tools, fuel, and food high into the mountains. Horses handled most of the initial burden. With the expansion of the hut system in subsequent decades, demand grew, and donkeys, airplanes, and helicopters were…

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Appalachia’s first report of a major paddling trip appeared in 1889: “Canoeing the Penobscot,” by Miss M.E. Hardwick and Miss E.L. Sampson. The authors detailed a month-long trip across Moosehead Lake and down the West Branch of the Penobscot River. “The canoes were of canvas, which in these waters has superseded birch almost entirely,” they…

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Explorers founded AMC. From the organization’s start, curiosity about the landscape infused the club, and shaped it. AMC members were among the early winter recreationists to visit the White Mountains, and were the first to map Maine’s great Katahdin. Their curiosity wasn’t limited to the Northeast—members explored internationally as well. The details of one early…

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