In Brief

Sugaring Time Again; Former President Writes Autobiography; Alum Signs with Baseball Team; News from the Nursing and Business Administration Departments and more.

Making Their Mark

Learn about how our community members engage in writing, presentations and exhibitions.

Past as Prologue

Explore Haystack, a portal to the history of Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer Courier

Keep up with campus news from students' perspectives through the Colby-Sawyer Courier.


This new literary magazine features creative writing in many genres by current students and alumni, faculty and staff, and a few friends and partners.


Find out what Colby-Sawyer alumni have been up to since graduation.

Currents: past as prologue

Mountain Day in the Dark Ages

Mountain Day in the 1930s  

Mountain Day in the 1930s.

“Plain Living and High Thinking, 1890-1899”

Mount Kearsarge called wooingly in April when the snows began to melt and the streams began to move and the earth stirred in response to the warming sun. Then [Colby Academy] closed its books and its classrooms and took holiday. Piling into barges provided at Shepard's livery stable, boys and girls cast care aside and rode off to enjoy Mountain Day. They drove to the halfway house on the mountain side, where they parked everything but lunch and the holiday spirit, and started for the summit of the mountain. Certain of them fell by the way, but most of them made the climb up where they could see lake and mountain and peep over the rim of the horizon. They came home more appreciative of the verses of Martha A. Pillsbury:

               MOUNT KEARSARGE

          “King of mountains, fair and large,
               On our east horizon lies:
         Dark with woodland, Old Kearsarge,
               Towering grandly to the skies.

         Bald its head with rocky ledge;
               Broad its base with skirting plain;
         Tempests gathering 'round its edge
              Spend their thunderings in vain.

         Sweet the lesson of repose
              That I learn when 'round my soul
         Clouds of threatening darkness close,
              Sounds of gathering trouble roll.

         King of mountains, fair and large,
               Standing since the youth of time;
         Dark with woodland, Old Kearsarge,
              Still shall rear its form sublime.”

“The Junior College, 1928-1934”

To view Mount Kearsarge daily and not have an urge to climb was impossible for Colby [Junior College] girls; they revived the old custom of Mountain Day and made their way to the top with all the old enthusiasm. The only drawback was the absence of the boys and the old barges that held four on a seat. The rear seat was always at a premium and the question “Who're you goin' with?” was heard frequently on the campus before the advent of the day. In those days invitations from the boys to the girls had to be handed to the lady principal, who read them and passed them on to the proper recipient. Replies must be sent by the same route. But that was in the dark ages of the nineteenth century.

From Henry K. Rowe, A Centennial History, 1837-1937