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No memorial stone or profiler damage after Old Man vandalism


October 31, 2012
FRANCONIA — Damage from the recent act of vandalism at the Old Man memorial is being repaired. On Monday, Dick Hamilton, President of the Old Man Memorial Fund, noted that no suspects have been apprehended and no witnesses have come forward.

The vandalism occurred two weekends ago. Flags from the site's veterans stone were stolen, and graffiti was found. Hamilton also said that the sign describing the memorial's turnbuckle was also taken.

Another flag has been placed back at the veterans' stone site. Graffiti removal was another part of the site's recovery effort.

Hamilton later found a part of the turnbuckle sign. He said that replacement of the sign would wait until next spring. Plans are to place a new sign in concrete to hopefully deter future vandals.

The large turnbuckle at the memorial site was put in place in the 1950s to stabilize the rock formation. The memorial's turnbuckle fell with the Old Man when the formation tumbled down the mountainside in May 2003.

Although distraught at what Hamilton called a "senseless, stupid act," he was pleased that no damage has been found to the paver stones or the profiler portions of the memorial. The small profilers help people see an image of the Old Man's face in the spot where the granite formation stood before falling.

The memorial paver stones have become a key part of the Old Man site. The stones include personal messages from those who have fond memories of the Old Man.

Hamilton's organization has sold 640 stones. Each stone costs $250, $500, or $1,000. In August, the memorial fund reached the $250,000 mark in stone sales.

Anyone with information about the vandalism should call the Franconia Police Department at 823-7025.

Additional information about the memorial fund can be found at www.oldmanofthemountainlegacyfund.org

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