Old Man of the Mountain loses face
New Hampshire's most recognizable tourist attraction, a 40-foot tall rock outcropping called the "Old Man of the Mountain," was destroyed by natural forces on May 1 or 2. The giant stone face, visible as a stern Lincoln-esque profile along I-93 at Franconia Notch, apparently slid off while obscured by cloud cover. On Saturday morning, travelers and locals were horrified by the conspicuous absence.
For decades geologists attempted to preserve the set of granite ledges that form the face from the forces of rain, ice and erosion. They predicted it would go eventually. The winter's heavy rains and freezing temperatures proved too much for the craggy visage jutting from the Cannon Mountains above Profile Lake.
NH Governor Craig Benson didn't declare a State of Emergency, but he did promise the face would be restored.... somehow. The effort will be headed by former NH Gov. Steve Merrill. Loss of the Old Man of the Mountain could cost the state millions -- The Old Man appears on license plates, stationery, state road signs, and even the state's US minted quarter.
While a repair scheme is hatched, Franconia Notch area tourists will have to settle for the more obscure Indian Head profile, on the south side of Mt. Pemigewasset in Franconia Notch State Park.[05/04/2003]
Franconia Notch State Park
- US Hwy 3, Franconia, NH
- Franconia Notch State Park. Off of US 3 south of town.