Virtual Tours in History – Part 2
America’s Stonehenge

PART 2: AMERICA’S STONEHENGE – View the Virtual Tour

Not to be confused with Salem, Massachusetts is Salem, New Hampshire which is located in the southeastern portion of the state near the Massachusetts border. Just north of the town is America’s Stonehenge, also known as Mystery Hill.

Entrance to America's Stonehenge, Salem, NH
Entrance to America’s Stonehenge, Salem, NH

The site is approximately one acre in size and consists of unusual rock structures and man-made caves. The site was first researched by William B. Goodwin in 1937 who purchased it and named some of the structures. The first structure of interest is called The Watch House because of its location outside the main site. It may have been a lookout point or could have been used as a shelter or storage area.

Me at America's Stonehenge 2014
Me at America’s Stonehenge 2014

There is a great deal of controversy over the dating of the site. Some people think that the structures were built by early Native Americans, or possibly, a migrating ancient European culture. If that is the case it would make the structures at America’s Stonehenge thousands of years old. Others think the structures were built by Jonathan Pattee who resided near the site from 1825-1849.

Carbon dating has been done at the site and resulted in a date which indicated the site was in use 4,000 years ago.  One fire pit was even dated to 7,300 years ago but it could have been from a forest fire and does not necessarily mean the site was used by humans at that time.

The Oracle Chamber is one of the most unique features at America’s Stonehenge. The letter “C” marks the “Secret Bed” which is a large niche where a person could lie down and be completely hidden from view. There is a small opening near the floor which allowed someone hiding in the niche to observe any activity in the chamber.

Oracle Chamber  Photo Credit: Native New England Stones
Oracle Chamber
Photo Credit:
Native New England Stones

The “D” refers to a small tunnel called the “Speaking Tube” which carries sound out to the large slab of stone above, known as the “Sacrificial Table.”  After passing through the Oracle Chamber you can visit the Astronomical Viewing Platform. The sign there lists all the astronomical alignments visible at the site including the summer and winter solstice sunrise and sunset. The standing stones pictured in the video are used in the alignments.

So visit America’s Stonehenge for yourself and decide if it is a true ancient site or a modern hoax. It is a beautiful wooded site where you can enjoy a hike in New England. And besides…they have alpacas!

SOURCES: “America’s Stonehenge pits believers in mysterious history vs. academics who say it’s hooey.” Accessed 12.11.15. “America’s Stonehenge Tour Guide Map.” Visited September 18, 2015. “America’s Stonehenge: A Classic Whodunit and Whydunit.” Accessed 12.11.15.

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