I can happily spend hours poring over maps, looking for places to visit, especially when planning a trip. Sometimes the results can be quite unexpected.
A few years ago, we went down to Connecticut to visit some friends, and decided to spend a few days travelling back, so we could swing through the other New England states. While planning our return route, Rich and I spotted something neither of us had expected… a small red dot together with the legend, America’s Stonehenge.
We both assumed it would be some sort of tacky reconstruction of the iconic stones on ‘Old’ England’s Salisbury Plain. But we couldn’t have been more wrong.
America’s Stonehenge, which was formerly known as Mystery Hill, is located near Salem, New Hampshire. Among the trees are a whole host of stone walls, chambers, passages and standing stones, covering an area of about 30 acres.
No one knows for sure who built the stone structures, why, or even when. Some people believe they were erected by a pre-Columbian people as long as 4000 years ago. Archaeological evidence does indicate that the site was indeed inhabited by Native Americans around this time, although it seems doubtful they were responsible for the structures present today.
Most experts consider the stone constructions to be the combined work of 18th and 19th Century farmers, and the enthusiastic ‘reconstruction’ of one of the site’s previous owners, who claimed it was originally built by Irish Monks before the time of Columbus. Some people even think the whole thing is a playful 20th Century prank.
Is America’s Stonehenge really a 4000 year old wonder, a modern fraud, or a practical storage place built by 18th and 19th Century farmers? Honestly, I don’t know (although I strongly lean towards the farmers theory). What I do know is that it’s an unexpected and thought-provoking curiosity in the woods of New Hampshire, and definitely worth a bit of a detour.
And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!