Occom Pond was named for Samson Occom, a Mohegan who led a remarkable life in the 1700s. As a young man he was tutored by Eleazer Wheelock, who then sent Occom to England on a sermon delivering tour to raise money for his “Indian Charity School” (as it was called at the time). Occom raised over £12,000 for the project (the equivalent of over $2 million dollars in 2023). Wheelock took the money and, against the wishes of Occom, the Earl of Dartmouth, and others, moved to Hanover and founded Dartmouth College, primarily for the education of American colonists’ sons.
In 1901, a stream through a marsh was dammed, a hay field was flooded, and Occom Pond was created. The Dartmouth ice hockey team played there until the mid-1920s. In 1929 the Dartmouth Outing Club built its clubhouse, the DOC House, which has recently been renovated. Many generations of both local children and Dartmouth students have learned to skate on the pond.
In 2022, after seven years of cancellations and reschedulings, Hanover permanently canceled the yearly Occom Pond Party, due to the warmer and less predictable winters caused by climate change.