New Hampshire marks 17th anniversary of Old Man collapse

  • ** FILE ** In this file photo from the 1990's, crews work on the symbolic Old Man of the Mountain in Franconia, N.H. New Hampshire awoke Saturday, May 3, 2003, to find its stern granite symbol of independence and stubbornness, the Old Man of the Mountain, had collapsed into indistinguishable rubble. The fall ended nearly a century of efforts to protect the 40-foot-tall landmark from the same natural forces that created it. Only stabilizing cables and epoxy remained Saturday where the famous ledges had clung. (APPhoto/Jim Cole, File) JIM COLE

  • Ellie Jardine, left, and her daughters Rose Jardine and Rachel King admire the now faceless Old Man of the Mountain in Franconia yesterday. Tourists are flocking to the attraction after a landslide destroyed the iconic profile on Friday night.photo elaine skylar Elaine Skylar

  • David and Deborah Nielsen of Gilmanton repel down the face of Old Man of the Mountain to take measurements and perform annual maintenance.7/24/00photo: Ben Garvin

  • 4-year old Jacqueline Arsenault of Concord reacts to the new face of the Old Man after her aunt Wendy Spain pointed it out. At left is Jennifer Spain. Their entire family came up for the day in memorial to the fallen icon. "We thought we'd make a pilgrimage," said Jim Spain (not pictured).5/3/03photo: ben garvin Ben Garvin

  • **ADVANCE FOR MONDAY APRIL 28** Massive cables that once held the profile of the Old Man of the Mountain in place are seen at the top of Cannon Cliffs in Franconia, N.H., Thursday, April 24, 2008. Five years after the massive profile crumbled it's tough to get a clear picture of how the collapse has affected tourism in the White Mountains or to predict whether a planned memorial for the site will continue to lure visitors.(AP Photo/Jim Cole) Jim Cole

  • Malcolm Sturtevant of Dalton gets a closer look at the new face of Old Man of the Mountain. He quoted Niels Nelson: "When the Lord is ready for the Old Man to come down, he'll come down not one second sooner."photo: ben garvin5/3/03 Ben Garvin

By Associated Press
Published: 5/4/2020 11:06:25 AM

New Hampshire is marking the 17th anniversary on Sunday of when the Old Man of the Mountain landmark collapsed.

The 40-foot-tall natural rock formation resembling a man’s face crashed from its perch above Franconia Notch on May 3, 2003. The rocks gave way after centuries of freezing and thawing.

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 stone profile was first discovered in 1805.

Since the structure fell, a nonprofit Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund has created a memorial plaza, featuring seven steel “profilers” that recreate the Old Man’s image.


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