‘Old Man of the Mountain’ memorial advocate dies
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Dick Hamilton, the lead organizer of a memorial to New Hampshire’s fallen Old Man of the Mountain, has died. He was 86.
Hamilton, who spent more than 50 years in the state’s travel and tourism industry, died Tuesday, said Taylor Caswell, commissioner of the state Department of Business and Economic Affairs.
Hamilton became chairperson of the Old Man of the Mountain Legacy Fund after the granite rock formation resembling the profile of an old man fell off a mountain cliff in Franconia Notch State Park and crumbled in May 2003.
The image of the Old Man has been a symbol of New Hampshire and a tourist attraction for generations, appearing on the state quarter, highway signs and license plates. The stone profile was first discovered in 1805.
Hamilton helped plan and raise money for a memorial at Franconia Notch State Park that includes a plaza with seven steel “profilers” that recreate the Old Man’s image. There’s also a fishing platform at Profile Lake and a 600-foot-long (182.8 meters) pathway at the lake’s north end.
Money was raised through donations and the sale of granite stone pavers at the plaza, engraved with names and messages of individuals, families, organizations, and businesses.
Hamilton’s paver says “Good Night Boss,” which he used to say to the Old Man many nights driving home from work.
“From his early days in the industry, Dick’s mantra was ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ and we seek to embody that standard today in a sector that may otherwise be full of competitors — instead uniting and working together in promoting the entire region,” Caswell said in a statement.
“Because of those alliances and relationships, the tourism industry — critical in the region — was able to withstand challenges such as the energy crisis in the 1970s, years when it didn’t snow and leaves may not have been that colorful, up to the fall of the Old Man of the Mountains in 2003.”
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)