Saturday, July 31, 2010
Old Man of the Mountain, Cannon Mountain, Franconia, NH
The Old Man of the Mountain was a formation created by the ice age. It was originally discovered in 1805 by Francis Whitcomb and and Luke Brooks, part of a Franconia surveying crew.
It was initially made famous by New Hampshire native Daniel Webster who wrote about the site. In 1832, Nathaniel Hawthorne visited Franconia and in 1850 used the profile in his story, The Great Stone Face.
In 1945, the Old Man became the official symbol of New Hampshire, appearing on everything from license plates to state route signs. The profile also showed up on the back of the 2000 New Hampshire state quarter.
New Hampshire kept up the special viewing areas along Interstate 93 in Franconia Notch State Park even after its collapse in the middle of the night. It all started in the 20's with a crack in his forehead. Chains were used to hold it place. In 1958, the Old Man undergoes further repair work. In 1987, Niels Nielson becomes the official caretaker since working as the caretaker unofficially since 1965. His son, David will become the last caretaker of the Old Man before its collapse in 2003.
The Old Man of the Mountain museum, which used to be at the Old Man viewing area, has moved its memorabilia to the Cannon Mountain tramway building in Franconia Notch where you can see a small model of the new memorial to the Old Man. The ground breaking for the new memorial was begun in June of this year. More about this can be read at this Wikipedia site
As always, please look for references at the bottom of the page.