Holliston Mystery: What Toppled the Town's Famous Landmark?

“It’s just another little bit of town history that has slipped away,” said Holliston town historian Joanne Hulbert.

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It’s a mystery in the town of Holliston…what finally caused the Massachusetts town’s legendary natural landmark to topple over?

“It sure is a shame to see it down,” said Holliston resident Brian Kampersal.

People traveled from near and far Wednesday, just to see it with their own eyes.

“It’s sad but it’s pretty neat to see it up close,” said Holliston resident Tarn Hildreth.

Holliston’s famous balancing rock -- roughly five tons -- has lost its balance.

“Oh my goodness, this is really a historical thing,” said 88-year-old Frances Kampersal, who fondly remembered the stories of her late husband Ernie and his brothers trying to push the rock over.

“When they were young, they tried to push that off, so there’s all six of them, and they were big farmers, and they’d be pushing and pushing, and they couldn’t budge it,” said Frances Kampersal's son, Brian.

Holliston town historian Joanne Hulbert says it's just another little bit of town history that has slipped away.

Legend has it in the 1700s George Washington himself was passing through Holliston and tried to unseat the precariously perched stone.

“People would always get up there and do the same thing that George Washington did,” Hulbert said.

None was successful…except perhaps in the end, Mother Nature.

“This was it, this was the time, it just said, ‘enough, gravity wins,’” retired field geologist Carol Hildreth said.

Hildreth came to examine the rock formation that she says was formed by glaciers. She says normal weathering likely led the balancing rock to finally touch the soil again.

“This was dropped here 14-15,000 years ago and it’s been essentially deteriorating over that time,” Hildreth said.

Those who live behind it at the Balancing Rock Village are unsure what this will mean for them.

Pauline Santino, who lives in the 55+ community, said, “Well we have a running email going on about what do we do about our name now?”

It’s unclear at this point what the town will do about the rock -- whether they will leave it or try to hoist it back up -- but it’s expected to be discussed at the next select board meeting.

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