The Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone: Ancient Tribe’s Enigma?

The Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone: Ancient Tribe’s Enigma?


The Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone, discovered in 1872, is an enigmatic artifact that has puzzled researchers and archaeologists for over a century. Found in Meredith, New Hampshire, this small, egg-shaped stone, measuring about 4 inches in diameter, is covered in various carvings and symbols that seem to depict a lost civilization. Despite numerous theories and investigations, the true origin and purpose of this stone continue to remain a mystery.

Discovery and Characteristics

The stone was discovered near Lake Winnipesaukee during the digging of a posthole. It was found by a construction worker, who passed it onto Seneca Ladd, a local farmer. Ladd later donated the artifact to the New Hampshire Historical Society. The stone, made of quartzite, was meticulously carved with 14 distinct designs, including a face, an ear of corn, a teepee, and other intricate symbols.

Theories on Origin

Over the years, several theories have emerged regarding the origin and purpose of the Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone. One hypothesis suggests that it may have been created by some ancient tribe in the region, as the imagery echoes Native American culture and traditions. However, no specific tribe or artifact of similar nature has been found to support this theory.

Another theory proposes that the stone was an artifact left behind by European explorers, potentially indicating a lost Viking settlement in New England. While speculative, it aligns with the idea that the carvings resemble Norse motifs. However, this hypothesis lacks concrete evidence and remains speculative.

Uncovering the Mystery

Despite the mysteries and theories surrounding the Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone, its true origin and purpose continue to elude researchers. The lack of any direct historical or archaeological context makes it challenging to pinpoint its source accurately.

To uncover the mystery, several techniques have been employed, including radiographic analysis, which revealed no signs of internal structures or hidden compartments. Additionally, linguistic analysis has been attempted, with scholars examining the carvings in search of any recognizable writing or language. However, no breakthrough has occurred in this regard.

Continuing Interest and Exhibition

Even after decades of study, the Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone still captivates the imagination of enthusiasts and archaeologists alike. The stone is currently on display at the New Hampshire Historical Society, where visitors can marvel at its intricate carvings and imagine the stories it might hold.


The Lake Winnipesaukee Mystery Stone remains an enduring enigma, providing more questions than answers. While several theories exist, from ties to Native American tribes to potential Viking origins, none have been substantiated with concrete evidence. As the stone continues to baffle researchers, it serves as a reminder of the mysteries that lay hidden beneath the earth’s surface, waiting to be discovered and understood.

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