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Ringing Bells: Mountain Day

The tradition of Mountain Day is almost as old as the college itself, and was established by Mary Lyon due to her interest in walking for exercise. The first Mountain Day occurred on June 13, 1838 with 50 students hiking up Mount Holyoke (now called Skinner Mountain). The tradition took place in June until 1893 when it was changed into a fall tradition. Mountain Day was suspended only during the Civil War and the 1896 fire that destroyed the Seminary building. During World War II students continued Mountain Day by helping local farmers. The date of Mountain Day is unknown to the campus community until early morning on a beautiful day in September or October, when the chapel bells ring signaling that classes are canceled. Students spend the day climbing up Mount Skinner and eating ice cream at the top!