New Boston New Hampshire’s Famous “Frog Rock”

frog rock mont vernon NH watermarked

And old postcard of Frog Rock, listed here as being in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. Does it look like a frog to you?

Is the Frog Rock famous, infamous or not famous at all? How many people nowadays even know about it? Is it located in New Boston, or Mont Vernon, or both places? Does the rock even look like a frog?

Lets go back in time a bit. During the mid to late 1800s Mont Vernon (a town lying south of New Boston, New Hampshire) was a tourist destination. Several hotels, and especially one called “The Grand,” were attractive summer resorts for the ‘upper crust’ seeking cooler air and relaxing activities.

Those summer guests were often seeking sites of interest to visit on picnic day-trips from their hotel. Large or unusual-shaped rocks were curiosities, and considered of interest to write home about. Thus, Mont Vernon’s “Frog Rock” which should have been only a local curiosity, became more significant and frequently photographed.

To this day both Mont Vernon and New Boston New Hampshire like to claim the rock as their own (it sits near the boundary of both towns). The New Boston 250th Anniversary Quilt included “Frog Rock” as a square, with the description: “the eight foot tall frog-shaped rock in the southwest corner of town was once a tourist attraction.”

The land where the rock sits today is officially considered New Boston, and the land (551 acres) was donated to the New England Forestry Foundation by Dr. Charles and Mrs. Frances Hildreth Townes in 1974. It is called the Frances Hildreth Townes Forest.  The NEFF web site states that the glacial boulder, Frog Rock, is 10 feet high (2 feet higher than previously mentioned), and can be found on Frog Rock Road (an abandoned country road). In addition, somewhere nearby is a second glacial boulder, “Teetering Rock,” a 6-foot tall rock that can be manually rocked. [See Map and Directions]

I’ve included an old post card so you can see what Frog Rock looks like, and yes it reasonably looks like a frog.  It no longer sits out in the open. Now it is surrounded by woods off a dirt road. I am also supplying you with a video of Fritz Wetherbee with Frog Rock, talking about its history. This way you can get an even better feel for the size and look. Fritz even kisses the darn thing, so you’d better watch and see if it turns into anything interesting–possibly into a now famous rock that looks like a frog. [see video]

 

New Hampshire does not corner the market on frog rocks, and several others exist in the United States. Eastford, Connecticut, for example, has a Frog Rock Roadside Park where people can picnic. It would be better named “Frog Head Rock,” and someone painted an eye and a mouth on the rock so you can “imagine” it better. They even have a Facebook Page. The rock has been a tourist attraction at least from the mid 1950s. A 2012 news story said the future of the rock was uncertain, but it appears to currently be a rest area, restaurant, food stand, and a big painted rock. [Off Route 44]

Some frog rocks have a tendency to turn into golf courses.  For example, Frog Rock Inn in Hammonton, New Jersey, named after Rocco “Rock” Colasurdo the owner of a cranberry bog and some frogs where he built a restaurant in the 1960s. Today its the Frog Rock Golf & County Club. There is no actual “Frog Rock” landmark at this site.

Frog Rock Park in Austell Georgia today has a disc golf course. The oddly shaped rock was  almost removed and destroyed back in 1985 when the Bankhead Highway was being widened. The stone is 15 feet tall. Some consider it a historic landmark.

My story would only get stranger and more distressing if I continue, with people garishly painting rocks in order to make them more toad-like.  So I will stop here and just give you a link to take a look on your own.

*ADDITIONAL READING*

New Boston Historical Society

History & Genealogy of Mont Vernon NH (web site)

Online Book: History of the Town of Mont Vernon

 

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2 Responses to New Boston New Hampshire’s Famous “Frog Rock”

  1. dcrothman says:

    Janice, Frog Rock is most definitely in New Boston.

    Directions to Frog Rock:
    Start in Mont Vernon. Buy a hot or cold beverage in the Village Store.
    Drive north on Rte 13, past the town cemetery. (Worth a visit!)
    Bear left onto the Francestown Turnpike.

    Drive north about 3 miles to the New Boston town line, marked by a green sign labelled “T/L New Boston”.
    This is your clue that you’re not in Mont Vernon any more!
    You will pass a brown apartment building on your left (Hartwood Apartments, 290 2nd NH Turnpike) and a house on your right.
    Where the road bends left past this house, there’s an unmarked pull-off on the right and a logging road which heads due north.
    Park by the Turnpike and walk up the logging road… maybe 1/3 of a mile.

    Frog Rock is less than 50 yards to the right (east) of the logging road.
    The path to the rock isn’t marked, so how do you know when you’re there?
    What you want to do is walk along the logging road until it starts to go downhill, then turn around and walk a little way back to the turnpike looking for the small clearing that will now be on your left (still east of the logging road of course).
    You’ll be in fairly open pine woods so you should see Frog Rock not too far from the logging road.

    After you admire Frog Rock, you might return to the logging road and continue north, which goes down hill as mentioned before.
    North of Frog Rock, to the left (west) of the logging road are some impressive stone foundations, about 50-100 feet from the road.
    These were once the Read Brothers farmhouse and barn.

    Further to the north is Colby Pond, a glacial kettle hole. 42.937373, -71.727972
    All of these features are located most easily with a good geological survey map. — Dan R.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Dan,
      Thank you for this awesome description on how to see Frog Rock and the other landmarks you mention. In the days of the old hotels these were hot spots for tourists, today mostly forgotten except for locals. Thanks for the directions! 🙂

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