On our way to Boston, Massachusetts today, we made a quick stop at America’s Stonehenge in North Salem, New Hampshire. I’ve always wanted to visit of the original Stonehenge in England someday soon but, for now, “America’s” Stonehenge will have to do.
We pulled up the hill to the gift shop, got out and paid $20 for our tickets. We were given a map, and directed to what we’ve come to realize is the standard 10-minute orientation video about the stone structures that have been found here.
The video, which features no outside experts, only the staff, says the stones have been carbon-dated to nearly 2000 BC – quite a claim, but remember, we wasted money at the Cosmos Mystery Area too, so… we’ve got our guard up and something smells fishy.
We walked outside to the trail and the first thing we noticed were some antiquated displays with speakers that no longer work. We decided to keep going, and just read the brochure which proved to be thorough, but also a bit confusing, as we are not experts in archeological astronomy, nor has the site been fully explained to us yet.
Our research has indicated a number of theories about the exact origin and purpose of the stones and “buildings” on the site. The hypothesis that the owners want you to consider is that the site was home to an ancient, but extremely advanced culture that had made substantial breakthroughs in astronomy and had quite an understanding of both masonry and physics to build such stone structures.
As we walk, I keep thinking back to the site’s original “Mystery Hill” moniker given to it by William Goodwin who owned the property and opened it as a tourist attraction in 1937. And the skeptic in me leans toward this being a multi-generational hoax with its origins more in the land-uses of 19th century farmers and the granite collectors of the early twentieth century than to some amazing, otherworldly pre-historic culture.
While the caves and stone formations look intriguing and likely have some historic significance, the setup and structure of the self-guided tour and the haphazard nature of the preservation efforts makes us classify this site as a tourist trap. We could’ve saved our money for a beer at Cheers in Boston.