'The prospect repays the ascent'

  "View of the Connecticut River Oxbow from Mount Holyoke summit,'' painted by  Thomas Cole  in 1836.

"View of the Connecticut River Oxbow from Mount Holyoke summit,'' painted by Thomas Cole in 1836.

"How high the hill might be. I l know not; for, different accounts make it 8, 12 & 16 hundred feet from the {Connecticut} river. The prospect repays the ascent and although the day was hot and hazy so as to preclude a distant prospect, yet all the broad meadows in the immediate vicinity of the mountain through which the Connecticut winds, make a beautiful picture seldom rivaled.''

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson on Mount Holyoke, in western Massachusetts, in 1823. Editor's note: The summit of the hill (or mountain) is 935 feet above sea level.

  The current Mount Holyoke Summit House.

The current Mount Holyoke Summit House.