When most people think of mummies, images of deserts and pyramids come to mind. On a recent trip to NH, Bryon the owner of the Shamrock Motel mentioned that there were mummies in No. Woodstock NH. Memories of a story concerning mummies that were reburied in New England came to mind. Byron claimed no knowledge of real mummies in NH but that he knew of a curious rock formation from long ago. He explained that ‘The Mummies’ was an outcropping of bedrock that Crooked Brook carved into what resembled mummies. Though not as admired as ‘The Old Man in the Mountain’, it once was a popular roadside stop for tourists and locals.
In order to get to the mummies, we had to scramble down a steep rock face along side a bridge on Rt. 3 to the brook below. Though it is called a brook, it is fairly wide and appears to run very deep during the spring thaw. Fortunately, the brook was running very low, giving us a safe path built from stones and boulders cast to the riverside by the brook at it pinnacle of flow.
It wasn’t long before we spotted ‘ The Mummies’. It was an exposed portion of bedrock that the brook had carved into a unique design. You could clearly see how why it was named so. Each different area of the bedrock resembled various features of a human body wrapped in cloth in various degrees. It must look even more interesting and heighten these features when the brook is running through the crevasses between these granite pharos.
The brook ran very close and parallel to Rt. 3. Before the adjacent land had been developed, it must have mush easier for people to gain access to this road side curio. Now it rest behind an RV park. Outside of private property, there is no area where a the Mummies can be easily seen. The Mummies will be added to the list of natural wonders, once admired by many, that was consumed by human development.
When I tried to dig up information on ‘The Mummies’, all I could find was an old postcard. Next time I visit the area, I’ll have to make some time to rummage through the archives of local library. Maybe I can discover a few more facts about the site. If I’m lucky, I’ll turn up a few new prospects to investigate along the way!
~ Strange New England
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