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 permanent structure soon became apparent.
A group of AMC and U.S. Forest Service leaders selected a site, next to the glacial tarns known as Lakes of the Clouds, on May 22, 1915. They soon had a contractor, Clarence Buzzell, working on a hut that would shelter 36 guests. Buzzell built with native stone; his other supplies arrived via the Mount Washington Cog Railway. The entire project cost $3,586.47. By August 7, AMC’s third hut was ready for guests. (Carter Notch Hut had opened a year earlier.)
The hut has gone through several major renovations and now sleeps 90 guests but, 100 years later, it remains in the same iconic location.
Correction (April 2015): This story originally identified Lakes of the Clouds Hut as AMC’s second hut and has been edited to correct this mistake.
Images seen here appear courtesy of the AMC Library & Archives. Duplicates can be ordered for a fee. Funds support efforts to preserve the club’s historical collections. Call 617-391-6629, visit outdoors.org/library, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.