History of TMC

For information and history about the indigenous land that Loj is on click here. 

Tufts Mountain Club was founded in December, 1939. Bill Ballard, former student president of the Tufts Ski Club gathered a group of people interested in outdoor activities, dubbing the group, “Tufts Mountain Club” or TMC for short. Original dues were $3, which let members use the lodge (then spelled lodge), a nine-room, hundred year old farmhouse acquired in 1942, at any time.

Back then, Jackson girls had to have a female chaperone in order to stay up at the lodge, so they could only go up on the first or third weekend of every month. In addition to undergraduates, other TMC members included President and Mrs. Charmichael, Dean Bush, and Professor Houston (namesakes of several dorms on campus).

In 1940, TMC merged with the Ski Club, expanding membership and opening lodge use in the wintertime. However, 4 years later when the US was entrenched in World War II, interest in leisure outdoor sports waned and TMC disbanded for a year. On New Years Day in 1962, after decades of hosting outdoor-loving students in New Hampshire, the original lodge burned down. There were no injuries, but the lodge could not be used. Since then, TMC has celebrated

From old Loj book: Painted cannon for Thanksgiving, circa 1988

Thanksgiving in the spring to give thanks for the end of exams, the presence of a lodge/loj, and the fact that no one was hurt in the fire of 1962. Fortunately, Tufts agreed to help pay for the construction of a new lodge with a $25,000 grant. The second lodge, an A-frame building, was built in 1963, yet taken over by the state to make way for Route 93.

In yet another attempt to attain a lodge for TMC’ers, the group bought a big two-story farmhouse with gables, a screened-in porch, a wood stove, a huge kitchen, and a big cozy room with long tables for communal dinners like Thanksgiving. This lodge, legends say, was once a petting zoo. Evidence for this showed in the presence of hand-painted signs advertising pony rides and other petting zoo attractions in the old lodge’s barn. It was during the reign of this lodge that the term “loj,” a spelling pioneered by Melvin Dewey – previous owner of the Adirondack Loj and advocate for spelling reform to aid children and immigrants – came to reference the TMC home.

This lodge/loj was condemned in 1994 and replace by the current Loj in 1999. The current Loj boasts a number of amenities, including 26 bunks, a full size kitchen and refrigerator, an outdoor fire circle, two multi-stall bathrooms, a common area with couches and fireplace, a swanky new Trips Cabin (extra bunks!), books and board games, and a gear shed.

Today, the Tufts Mountain Club is one of the largest student organizations on the Tufts campus. Trips are organized every weekend, and members are encouraged to sign up for one, or to create their own adventure. Newcomers’ Weekend, Peak Weekend, Pass the Torch/Caretakers’ Weekend, and Thanksgiving remain traditions important to TMC culture. Our ever-expanding collection of gear helps TMCers explore numerous outdoor activities, from winter hiking and backpacking to ice climbing, whitewater kayaking, and more. The Outdoor Resource Center shares outdoor knowledge and techniques with the wider Tufts community by  hosting clinics and training sessions on campus. TMC is ever growing and evolving, thanks to its members’ enthusiasm and passion for the outdoors.


Matt Walter Letter 1

Matt Walter Letter 2