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The Mystery of Prospect Hill
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

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Students enjoying a picnic at the “Pepper Box” built on Prospect Hill in 1884. Courtesy MHC Archives. (6)
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Prospect Hill in 2001, resplendent in Autumn colors. Courtesy MHC Communications Department. (7)

To the modern student the image of Prospect Hill is that of thick forest; vibrant colors during the Fall Semester, intermingled evergreens and browns during winter. However, though considered a place of natural beauty, many contemporary students complete their years at Mount Holyoke without ever having actually been on Prospect Hill.

This however, is a great change from the "Prospect Hill" experience that most students had a century ago. May Day celebrations, theater productions and Pepper Box picnics were just a few of the traditions that occurred on a regular basis on the hill. Now, in the 21st century, few students ever venture up the hill. When and why did these changes happen? Is there any relationship between the increased forest cover of the hill and the decreased student use? Did the 'covering' of the hill remove it from the forefront of our minds?

Let’s explore the mystery of Prospect Hill!

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This page was created by Alana Belcon FP'04 in History 283, Fall Semester 2003 -