The Old Man of the Mountain, a natural stone landmark shaped like a human profile, came crashing down in New Hampshire this week. The stack of five red-granite ledges was carved by a glacier on Cannon Mountain 30,000 years ago. It was the Granite State’s icon, and appears on the state’s license plates and quarters. Nathaniel Hawthorne extolled it in his story “The Great Stone Face.” The orator Daniel Webster was inspired by the 40-foot-high formation, and mused, “God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that in New England He makes men.” The Old Man had been in danger of collapsing under its own weight for years, and was anchored with cables, spikes, and glue. “We always thought it was the hand of God holding him up,” state parks spokesman Mike Pelchat said, “and He just let go.”
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