Letter: Nielsen was one of many who tended to the Old Man
Re “Are you smarter than Scott Brown?” (Monitor editorial, April 25):
I hoped that you would publish your answers to those New Hampshire trivia questions because I was sure that your answer to the last question (Who kept the Old Man of the Mountain from falling down a lot sooner than he otherwise would have?) would be wrong. I was right.
The man who was first and most important was Edward Geddes, a quarryman who did the first work by hand in the 1920s. He designed the rods and turnbuckles which held loose rocks in place so that they would not slide and damage the profile.
Those designs were used in 1958 when the “facelift” was done by the Louis Masse Co. of Revere, Mass. Engineers from the Highway Department drew up the specs and oversaw the work which anchored the endangered rocks and covered the cracks to keep the water from forming ice to move the ledges.
Neils Nielsen didn’t join the department until 1960. He was one of a team of five under Adolphus Bowles, who went up each year to make repairs and check gauges for slippage. When Bowles retired Nielsen took over.
Yes, most people would credit him. He certainly did help to prolong the Old Man’s life, but there wouldn’t have been anything for him to do if many others hadn’t preceded him.