America’s Stonehenge is an archaeological site consisting of a number of large rocks and stone structures scattered around roughly 30 acres within the town of Salem, New Hampshire. It is open to the public for a fee as part of a recreational area which includes snowshoe trails and an alpaca farm. A number of hypotheses exist as to the origin and purpose of the structures. One viewpoint is a mixture of land-use practices of local farmers in the 18th and 19th centuries and construction of structures by owner William Goodwin, an insurance executive who purchased the area in 1937. Some claim that the site has a pre-Columbian European origin, but this is regarded as pseudoarchaeological or the result of an early-20th century hoax. The site was first dubbed Mystery Hill by William Goodwin. This was the official name of the site until 1982, when it was renamed “America’s Stonehenge”, a term coined in a news article in the early 1960s. The rebranding was an effort to separate it from roadside oddity sites and to reinforce the idea that it is an ancient archaeological site. The area is named after Stonehenge in England, although there is no cultural or historical connection between the two. The site is most likely the result of work of Jonathan Pattee, a nineteenth century owner of the site.
The alignments of some of the rocks on the site with astrological phenomenon is not reputable as they have been moved several times over the years.
The roadside historical marker is located several miles away from the site on NH Route 28.
The most famous artifact on site is the “sacrificial stone” this is more likely a Lye Stone commonly used to make soap, many similar looking stones at other colonial era sites can be found.
Although not a pre-columbian archeological site it is still worth a visit for its stone colonial remains and insight into how a roadside attraction comes about.