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The Old Man has fallen....

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The symbol of the "Granite State" of New Hampshire is no more. The famous "Old Man of the Mountain" natural granite formation that has appeared on everything from New Hampshire's license plates to its state quarter disappeared on Friday or Saturday. The erosion and melt-freeze cycles that surely helped form the amazingly realistic profile of a bearded old man's face finally caused its demise. I suspect the state of New Hampshire is in mourning. The Old Man is part of New Hampshire's heritage, and spirit.

Here's a link to an article on CNN's website.

It's just a few rocks falling--happens all the time. But this loss really strikes me, as a reminder that even the most permanent and timeless things in life don't last forever.


by Robert F Doane
Published 1939 at 13 years of age
Campton New Hampshire

On the crest of a mighty mountain
Looking over the lake below,
A face with a human expression
Watches many a century go.

It was made from a mountain of granite
With the skill of a sculptor's hand,
And guards the green valley below it
As time passes over the land.

At dusk when the birds cease their carols
And the wind murmurs through the trees,
There's a sense of sadness about you,
As you stand in the evening breeze.

You feel that a great respect's due him -
So mighty beneath the blue sky,
There are few who have not been inspired
By that face as they've passed it by.

And to me, as to Daniel Webster,
The thought comes now and again
That in the great State of New Hampshire
The Master of Sculptors makes men.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ May 06, 2003, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #2 of 12
A link to the other EpicSki discussion on the Old Man

Bob, many thanks for that quote -- I hadn't heard that particular poem before.

For anyone unfamilair with the "Daniel Webster" reference, he had once said:
Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men
post #3 of 12
Is it a warning sign of things to come? This could be heavy!

Naw, just another mountain striving to reach it's ultimate goal:
post #4 of 12
The great sadness that I feel for the people of NH as well as for myself,as he Old Man was such a part of my own childhood. As Franconia Notch was almost a weekly experience. It was God's signiture to us. It is so easy to take things for granted when all is for just a moment in time. But it is these reminders that makes every moment of every day that more precious. I can remember, when they had to do repair on the Old Man and put up cables and thinking as a child that nothing would ever happen to that Old Man, because just looking at him was enough to keep the thought from our childish minds. With tears!! EABROWN
post #5 of 12
It's difficult to adequately relate what that face way up on the south side of Cannon Mountain has meant to people in New England. Most photographs, because of telephoto lenses or bad perspective, didn't do justice to how grand, awesome, and just plain "neat" the Old Man was. Very few of the written accounts that you'll read for the next few days will capture the mystical and spiritual presence that he lent to Franconia Notch. A picture in yesterday's paper of a group of Abenaki people beating drums in a memorial ceremony put the Old Man into a perspective much greater than our relatively recent white man's history. Also especially poignant was the account of Dick Hamilton, the president of the tourism association White Mountain Attractions who, for 32 years has said "goodnight, Boss" as he commuted home through the Notch. We'll miss him.

[ May 05, 2003, 10:08 AM: Message edited by: David7 ]
post #6 of 12
I was down in Massachusetts and got a phone call around noon Saturday and at first didn't believe the news, but checked and found out it was for real. The mountain was in the clouds Thursday and Friday, and when the weather lifted on Saturday morning the old man was gone. Countless carloads of skiers approaching Cannon Mt. from the south have passed him, and we've all fumed as we're stuck behind long lines of station wagons full of tourists in the summer, arms extended out the west side windows pointing up at the old man as they cruise through the notch at a snail's pace. Currently there's a group headed by former governor Steve Merrill to rebuild him, but I'm hoping he'll be allowed to rest in peace. There are specialists who build fiberglass replicas of rock outcroppings for zoos, Disneyworld and similar exhibits and they may have something like that in mind which would only add insult to injury. NH indeed can survive without the old man, but grief counselors may be needed! If anyone has been to Glen Boulder precariously perched above Rt 16 in Pinkham Notch, we're lucky so far it's stayed put.
post #7 of 12
oops, photos not working...try later

[ May 05, 2003, 10:36 AM: Message edited by: LindaA ]
post #8 of 12
My place is about 20-miles south of the Notch. When I heard the news I was crushed. I'd frequently take a ride up there just to sit at the peaceful place called Echo Lake at the foot of the Old Man. Unbelievable.

I was always so touched when I read at the base on the plaque:

Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades; shoe makers hang out a gigantic shoe; jewelers a monster watch, and the dentist hangs out a gold tooth; but up in the Mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men
post #9 of 12
I'm glad that at least I had the pleasure of seeing it up close on a trip I took few years ago.

[ May 05, 2003, 03:01 AM: Message edited by: Euclide ]
post #10 of 12
I agree, If they rebuild it, it will be absolutely garrish, I would hope they dont.

there are so many other beautiful veiws in that area, I doubt that this will affect tourisim all that much. here are some shots that VK and I took of the veiws from atop the north side of Cannon Mountain (where the tram and the ski area is, in the fall of 2002. The last one, looking south, is especially stunning...

(EDIT - Woo hoo! I got the pictures to work!)

[ May 05, 2003, 05:44 PM: Message edited by: LindaA ]
post #11 of 12
One more...

post #12 of 12
LindaA - Great pictures. Thank you for posting them.

[ May 05, 2003, 10:06 PM: Message edited by: David7 ]
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