Jay Atkinson visits America’s Stonehenge for the New York Times:
Salem, N.H. — At this leafless and gloomy time of year I traveled, in the spirit of the symbologist Robert Langdon of “The Da Vinci Code,” to America’s Stonehenge, in this town five miles from the Massachusetts border. Scholars have debated whether the stone cairns and chambers here were built by early American Indians, enterprising colonial settlers or, more controversially, a migrant European culture that visited these woods nearly 4,000 years ago.
Determined to plumb these mysteries, I arrived at a rustic information center and gift shop on a cold and gray Sunday morning. Inside I was greeted by the aptly named Dennis Stone, 55, a commercial airline pilot who along with his wife, Pat, 59, owns this unusual roadside attraction. (Dennis’s father, Robert E. Stone, 80, began leasing the site in 1958 and bought all 105 acres in 1965, saving it from possible development.)
A charming mix of prehistoric wonders, alpaca farming and kitsch, America’s Stonehenge is an oasis of eccentricity in an ever-growing world of carefully managed and manicured tourist spots.
“We don’t think it was a ‘habitat’ site,” said the stocky, bespectacled Mr. Stone. “Perhaps a shaman once stayed here, but primarily it’s a religious and astronomical site, a gathering place, like Stonehenge in England.” …
[continues in the New York Times]