On February 2, 1929 a new Dartmouth Outing Club House at the north end of Occom Pond was gifted and dedicated.
This contemporaneous excerpt from the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine of February 1929 aptly describes the scene at the time:
As one swings along the Occom Ridge Road, laughter, chatter, and the ring of many skates filter up through the pines. Then come flecks of color, bobbing reds and blues, the sleek figures of bent racers, hobbling youngsters who sit down suddenly, knots of charging youths intent on hockey pucks. The pond is alive with weaving forms.
A vista opens through the pines. Across the ebb and flow of skaters, one catches the grey lines of stone pillars with groups of skaters appearing and disappearing behind them. The stone mass of the building takes shape behind the pillars, its brown shingled wings stretch to right and left. The snow slopes fall away beyond to hills and haze. The House seems springing with life. In and out pour skaters throughout the channel of ice that enters the lower porch. Skiers, snowshoers, hikers coming in, starting out, stop for a chat, rest a moment to watch the shifting patterns on the Pond. Beyond, on the open slopes of the Golf Links, more skiers string over the hillsides. White and blue of the hills, blue and white of the ice, and the bright bobbing patches of life everywhere. The bobbing patches on the hills and Pond are not new in Hanover, though there are many more of them now. What is new is that comfortable, grey brown mass of building over there, where the flashing spokes of activity now center—a new hub to this Hanover Winter.
Click on photos to enlarge.
Eighteen months later, this excerpt from the June 1930 edition of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine lauded the success of the new DOC House:
To the show places of Hanover there has been added within the past year and a half a building which is fast becoming an integral part of undergraduate life.
I speak of the Dartmouth Outing Club House, the gift of the Class of 1900, dedicated to “the enduring Dartmouth fellowship in outdoor life,” and opened last February as one of the greatest forward steps the Outing Club has made in its twenty-one years of existence.
The house is nestled in a grove of birch and pine at the northeastern end of Occom Pond on a beautiful site generously given by Mrs. Chase. It is a low, rambling type of architecture of stone and wood, admirably suited to express the spirit of the Outing Club. Although the house is extensively used the year around, its chief function is to serve as the headquarters of winter sports activities. Located as it is between Occom Pond on one side and the golf course, toboggan slide and ski-jumps on the other, it is available for skiers, skaters, and golfers who welcome such a place in which to rest their limbs after a long afternoon of skiing or skating or putting.
One result was that skating nearly doubled in popularity this past winter and the statistics of the college recreational department showed skiing to be far in the lead of all the other indoor and outdoor activities. On any afternoon during the winter when the shadows deepened along Occom Ridge and the skaters and skiers and toboggan parties returned from their play, the House was thronged with students in ski jackets and skating rig and the oak-beamed rooms rung with the exuberant spirit of youth out-of-doors.
cabin and trail room
This small room with floor to ceiling pine boards was located just off the main lounge. It contained a library of the best contemporary books on camping, hiking, and winter sports, with some personally inscribed by their authors. It featured comfortable seating and a wood burning fireplace, above which were displayed winter sports trophy cups.
Located at the immediate entrance, the Main Lounge had cord sized stone fireplaces at both ends with buffalo heads mounted above them flanked by moose and deer heads. On the mantle were more trophy cups. The ceiling had oak exposed trusses and timbers. The floor was slate. There were pine boards to the chair rail and rough warm toned plaster walls above. On the walls were hung the photos of the finest, most adventuresome DOC activities. There were comfortable sofas or divans surrounding the fireplaces with black Windsor chairs scattered. In the center was a library table with smaller perimeter tables for playing chess or card games
Lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner were served daily in the dining Room for 60 people on average. Some diners had what was then called “off the trail suppers” for those skiers and hikers who had traveled along the trail of the DOC’s chain of cabins, thereby adding a bit of local color. Banquets averaged 3 per week.
The interior was warm with floor to ceiling stained pine boards. The furnishings included blue benches with backs (called “settles”) and oak topped trestle tables. There were black Windsor chairs scattered. The china was blue and white. The walls were lit with small tavern lights in Flemish brass.
The lower level featured a Skate Shop, which provided rental equipment of all kinds, including skis, skates, snow shoes, toboggans, hockey sticks, boots, etc.
There was a storage closet and workbench for skate sharpening and other equipment repair and maintenance. There were changing benches for skates and ski boots, as well as rental lockers for gear storage. Hotdogs and similar delicacies were also available here. The flooring was rubber to protect skate blades.
There was a large locker room used by winter sports teams. There were 40 lockers, various training room equipment, and showers.
There was a small locker room with a shower for women.
The upper level flanks both ends of the two story Main Lounge.
The spaces were originally designed as residences for the Club Manager and an assistant, who oversaw DOC House daily operations and managed the Bluestone Terrace Grill. On the east side the club house manager had a very comfortable three room suite with bath. The west end housed modest living quarters for the support staff employee.
1. Residential Space
2. Residential Space (Office*)
3. Cabin and Trail Room
4. Main Lounge
5. Dining Room
6. Pond Room*
10. Ladies Locker Room
11. DOC Ski and Skate Center Shop*
12. Men’s Locker Room
13. Kitchen Storage
15. Coal Storage