The rock profile you see 1200 feet above this spot had its beginning some 25,000 years ago during the great ice age. As the glacier moved southward the cliff began to take the shape you see today. As the ice age came to a close and the glacier retreated, frost, wind and rain caused the rocks that make up the face to take on a human form.
The profile is made up of five ledges, three are anchored deep in the cliff and support the two above, and measures 40 feet from chin to forehead. Only from this angle does the arrangement of the stones appear as a man's face.
If the Indians of the region worshipped this natural wonder they left no legends about it. The first white men, explorers then settlers, who traveled through this valley did not report seeing it. It was not until 1805 that two men, Luke Brooks and Francis Whitcomb, surveying in the Notch, came to this spot for water. looking up Brooks saw the face of a man above the lake. "Its (sic) Jefferson", he cried. America's President being Thomas Jefferson at the time.
Word of the profile was slow in reaching the outside world until 1825 when a letter from General Martin Field was published in the American Journal of Science. It was, however, Nathaniel Hawthorne's beautiful tale, "The Great Stone Face". written in 1850, that immortalized the Old man of the
History does not record who first called the profile by the name we know today. W.C. Prime, world traveler and writer, who first came to this region in 1859 said it best: "It might elsewhere have been given a name. Here it has been always. The Old Man of the Mountain, otherwise name-less."