The Mystery Stone

By Carla Charter

New Hampshire Historical Society has many interesting relics. Not least among them is the Mystery Stone.  The smooth Quartzite stone is egg shaped and has a hole drilled from the pointed top to the rounded bottom. It is 3.8 inches high, 2.65 inches wide and weighs 19.2 ounces.  There are carvings on the stone, including a face in an oval, a teepee, an ear of corn as well as various other symbols. There is a geometric decoration around both drilled holes.

So where did the stone come from and who did it belong to? That is the mystery. The stone was found encased in a clay ball in 1872, by workmen digging postholes in Meredith N.H. The men were working for Seneca Ladd of Meredith, an organ builder turned banker and gave him the stone. His daughters, Frances Ladd Coe and Virginia B. Ladd donated the stone to the Historical Society in 1927.

“We date it to 1872 when it was found. There are no documents to any time prior. At the time it was thought it was placed there by Native Americans as a ritual. The newspaper stories about the stone at that time were not consistent, therefore who originally placed it there is all theories.” said Wesley Balla Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the New Hampshire Historical Society.

He added that the stone is on display at the museum and has received quite a bit of publicity. It has received National Press Coverage include being featured on CNN as well as being written about in books and on blogs.

The stone can be viewed at the New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, New Hampshire.  The museum is opened from Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  More information on the New Hampshire Historical Society and the Mystery Stone can be found at the society’s website at https://www.nhhistory.org/