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Ceremony to mark 10th anniversary of Old Man of the Mountain’s collapse

Plans are underway to mark the 10th anniversary of the collapse of New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain.

The Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund, the volunteer nonprofit group charged with creating a memorial monument to the granite profile in Franconia Notch, is holding a brief ceremony marking the anniversary May 3. The 11:30 a.m. gathering will include a moment of silence at the Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza.

The Old Man’s absence was first noted the morning of May 3, 2003, by Franconia Notch State Park workers. Word of the fall spread quickly and onlookers gathered for days to see it for themselves.

The image of the Old Man has been a symbol of New Hampshire for generations, appearing on the state quarter, highway signs, and license plates.

The profile was first discovered in 1805. It inspired poems and works of literature, including Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Great Stone Face.

In 2010, the Legacy Fund broke ground on the memorial Profile Plaza, on the shores of Profile Lake. The plaza was dedicated in June 2011, with the unveiling of seven steel “profilers,” which allow visitors to see how the Old Man’s profile appeared on the side of Cannon Mountain.

The Plaza also includes more than 600 paver stones engraved with names and memories. Also included is one of the giant steel turnbuckles that helped secure the Old Man for decades and the boulder and plaque from 1928 dedicating Franconia Notch to the veterans of New Hampshire.

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