The “Old Man of the Mountain” was a granite rock formation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that looked like the rugged profile of a man’s face. First discovered in 1805, the 40-foot-high face had been N.H.’s state emblem since 1945. But centuries of freezing and thawing eventually did the Old Man in.
News of the collapse of Old Man of the Mountain rock formation—ten years ago today—spread with shock throughout the U.S. on Saturday morning, 3 May 2003.
It was like hearing that your aged father or grandfather had died. We thought the Old Man of the Mountain would live forever. Yes, we knew about the rehabilitation efforts the state had been doing on the rock formation—the therapy to keep him going. It felt like every new approach would “work” and keep him going well into the new millennium.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
The Old Man of the Mountain lost his fight with age and time and passed with a great, earth shattering crash. The news of the collapse stunned everyone for days—even now hearing of it brings back the old memories.
The news of the demise of the great stone face was reported in the newspapers, and on radio and TV. Family members called one another to share the news, speaking in quiet reverence—still shocked by the fact that the “Old Man” had died.
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