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New Hampshire to Keep ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ Memory Alive

May 5, 2003

New Hampshire to Keep ‘Old Man of the Mountain’ Memory Alive
The beloved state symbol of New Hampshire, the granite profile known as The Old Man of the Mountain, collapsed Saturday, but tourism officials intend to keep signage and historical information in place as a way of memorializing the natural wonder.

"The mountain just looks empty, which is how we feel," said Carol Gale, assistant director of the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development. "It’s just an image that’s been with us forever, and I’m sure we’ll still have many visitors interested in how he was formed and where he used to be. He was right on the route people take when they come here for fall foliage tours, so he was a popular site."

The Old Man of the Mountain, also called The Profile and The Great Stone Face, graced the side of Cannon Mountain for thousands of years. The profile, thought to have been formed at the end of the glacial period, jutted approximately 1,200 feet above Profile Lake in Franconia Notch State Park.

"It was arguably the most popular photo stop in the state," said Susan Logan, president of New Hampshire Tourism Network. Suggestions for memorializing the Old Man range from expanding current displays about its history to recreating a smaller version of the profile at a lower level, but no decisions have been made, said Logan.

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