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Winter 2002
Volume 39, No. 2
Issue Home

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PCMOnline Editor
Sarah Dolinar


The Barnard Family

George Barnard started at Pomona College as a preparatory student in 1894. When his father died in 1897, his mother moved the family to Idaho Springs, Colorado, and George left Pomona to take a job. An avid hiker and mountaineer, he helped to established the Colorado Mountain Club, an organization dedicated to conservation and “mountain enjoyment.”

Rollin Barnard ’44 tells a story of how, with George’s help, Pomona tradition reached high into the mountains of Colorado. George guided a number of the club’s early climbing trips in the Rockies, and often used a phrase from the Pomona song, Torchbearers, to keep groups in touch with each other across the mountaintops and ravines. “You see, my dad was always very proud of his Pomona background,” says Rollin.

After the Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, George and two club members were asked to survey the acreage of the park. They gladly accepted the responsibility of naming the peaks, rivers and lakes, often singing out the “Torchbearers” refrain, “He ne terra-toma,” to keep track of each other as they explored.

On one particular occasion high in the Rockies, George saw the early morning reflection of a mountain in the crystal clear lake below. Impressed by the sight, he called out “He ne terra-toma” to his friends. They agreed to name the lake after George’s fond memories of Pomona, but when they turned in the papers to park administrators, the request got scrambled, and instead of the lake getting the name, the mountain became Terra Tomah Mountain.