by Dr. Howell Chickering

From the Holyoke Range to the Vermont border, many of the hills and peaks that we see around us were named by the fourth president of Amherst College, Edward Hitchcock. Their names are surprisingly diverse — Castor and Pollux, Bull Hill, Mount Norwottuck — and there is a story behind each one. After a brief account of Hitchcock’s extraordinary accomplishments, and his vigorous yet eccentric character, retired Professor “Chick” Chickering describes the circumstances by which Edward Hitchcock arrived at what he called his “denomination” of several of our local landmarks.