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Nathaniel Goodrich

Hall of Fame Class of 1971

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As a boy, Nathaniel Goodrich spent his summers at Waterville Valley, New Hampshire where he developed his skills as mountaineer, skier and later as a photographer. Climbing was his first love and he scaled over 100 peaks in the East.

Nathaniel Goodrich was born in Concord, New Hampshire on February 9, 1880. After completing public school in Concord, Goodrich did his undergraduate work at Amherst College, graduating in 1901. His professional education as a librarian was obtained in Albany, New York at the New York State Library School which granted him a Bachelor of Library Science degree in 1904.

After three years in charge of the order section of the New York State Library, Goodrich became the librarian at the University of Virginia. Next, he accepted the position of librarian at the University of Texas. Starting in 1912 he came to Dartmouth College, serving until 1950, the longest tenure in its long history which dates back to 1769.

As a boy Goodrich spent his summers at Waterville, New Hampshire in the heart of the White Mountains. Here he developed his love for the outdoors and began to develop his hobbies of mountaineering, skiing and later photography.

Climbing was his greatest love. He climbed over 75 major peaks in the United States and Europe as well as nearly 100 minor peaks in Maine, Vermont and New York.

When he arrived in Hanover, skiing was in its infancy. There were no instructors or tows and the Dartmouth Outing Club was just beginning. A group of Dartmouth faculty, Goodrich among them, took skiing seriously and taught themselves how to ski from books. The type of skiing of the day was adapted to cross-country travel which Goodrich preferred. He was very proficient on his skis though and could take to the racing courses on Cannon Mountain or in the Alps with the best of them. On occasion he had made winter trips to Switzerland and Austria to ski.

Goodrich wanted others to enjoy the mountains and skiing as he did and this drew him into the activities of the outing club. He wrote two books on skiing and was the editor of the United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association’s Annual for six years and a contributing editor to the National Ski Association. Along with Charles A. Proctor, Roland Palmedo and Arnold Lunn, he was instrumental in the introduction of Alpine competition to America. His work laying out and cutting trails made possible the Mooselauke run where the first National Downhill competition was held.

Nathaniel Goodrich was responsible for the vast collection of books, maps, photographs and journals, both American and foreign, on skiing and mountaineering are housed in the Dartmouth Library. This is probably the most comprehensive collection of ski and mountaineering material under one roof in the United States today.

Nathaniel Goodrich was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1971.

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