Friday, January 15, 2010

A Mystery in the New Hampshire Woods

A Mystery in the New Hampshire Woods

America's Stonehenge: A Virtual Photo Tour
By Kim Knox Beckius, Guide

You've probably heard of Stonehenge--that mysterious collection of megaliths (big rocks) over in the old England. But did you know that America has its own Stonehenge here in New England?

If you want to see a prehistoric archaeological enigma, all you need to do is head about 40 miles north of Boston to Salem, New Hampshire, where you can explore 30 acres of cave-like dwellings, astronomically aligned rock formations, a sacrificial stone, and other mysterious structures left behind by an unknown people.

America's Stonehenge opened to the public in 1958 under the name Mystery Hill Caves. Renamed America's Stonehenge in 1982, the site continues to intrigue visitors and to puzzle archeologists and other researchers. I've visited the southern New Hampshire attraction twice, and each time I was mesmerized by the strange series of stone structures and compelled to develop my own theories of how they came to be.

Were the astronomically aligned megaliths positioned by migrant Europeans, maybe the descendants of the original builders of Stonehenge, who arrived in America long before Columbus? Were the secret passages and chambers constructed by Native Americans? Is this truly one of the oldest megalithic sites in North America, as radio-carbon dating would suggest?

Come along with me on a photo tour of America's Stonehenge, and draw your own conclusions.

Visitors to America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire, first pass through a Visitors Center, where tickets are sold, a gift shop offers interesting site-related items, and a short video provides a preview of the mysterious attraction that lies just ahead.

Intrigued by the mysteries of America's Stonehenge? The site is open to visitors year round, and special events are held particularly to coincide with full moons, solstices, and other astronomical happenings. For more information, call America's Stonehenge at (603) 893-8300.

(Awesome indeed! Seems all Salem's have something magickal about them.)

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