OBSERVATORY MARKS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF OLD MAN’S FALL

by Christian Mower on May 3, 2013

TODAY (FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013) IS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FALL OF NEW HAMPSHIRE’S ICONIC OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN – AND A LONGTIME TRUSTEE AND PAST PRESIDENT OF THE MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY SAYS IT WILL BE A SORT OF SOMBER DAY.

BRIAN FOWLER OF MADISON – AN ENGINEERING GEOLOGIST – SAYS IT WAS ON THIS DAY 10 YEARS AGO – MAY 3RD 2003 – WHEN LATE IN THE MORNING A PARK WORKER AT FRANCONIA NOTCH STATE PARK DISCOVERED THE FRONT ROCKS OF THE PROFILE ON CANNON MOUNTAIN HAD FALLEN SOMETIME DURING THE PREVIOUS NIGHT, DESPITE IRON RODS AND TURNBUCKLES THAT HAD BEEN INSTALLED TO HOLD THEM IN PLACE.

FIRST REPORTED BY SETTLERS IN THE EARLY 1800s, THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN PROFILE – MADE UP OF ROCK CALLED CONWAY GRANITE – WAS NATURALLY FORMED SOMETIME AFTER THE ICE AGE BY DECAYING ROCK AND THE NATURAL FREEZE AND THAW PROCESS. FOWLER SAYS IT WAS THAT SAME WEATHERING AND EROSION PROCESS THAT CAUSED THE ROCKS TO FALL A DECADE AGO.

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE DEPT. OF RESOURCES AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SAYS THE OLD MAN DREW THOUSANDS OF VISITORS EVERY YEAR.

FOWLER NOW SERVES ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN LEGACY FUND, A GROUP THAT WILL HOST A PUBLIC TRIBUTE TO THE OLD MAN LATE FRIDAY MORNING AT PROFILE PLAZA IN FRANCONIA NOTCH. NEW HAMPSHIRE GOV. MAGGIE HASSAN HAS ISSUED AN OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION DECLARING FRIDAY “OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN REMEMBRANCE DAY.”

SATURDAY NIGHT FOWLER WILL BE IN NORTH CONWAY TO PRESENT A SPECIAL FREE PROGRAM ABOUT THE OLD MAN AT THE MOUNT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY’S WEATHER DISCOVERY CENTER AT 2779 WHITE MOUNTAIN HIGHWAY. THE PROGRAM STARTS AT 7 P.M.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OLD MAN AND EFFORTS TO PRESERVE ITS LEGACY, SEE THE WEBSITE AT www.oldmanofthemountainlegacyfund.org.

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