FOUND! World's oldest weather stone
Three rousing cheers, hooray, yippee and wacky-doo! We've found the world's
oldest weather stone! In last month's edition, we described weather stones in
New Zealand, Iceland, Germany, Bermuda, Canada and Ireland, and wondered where
those comical tourist attractions originated.
Now we've found a stone that may well be the daddy of them all - it's said to
be more than 500,000 years old!
Discovered in the British Virgin Islands, it's now proudly displayed at St.
Michaels Marina, a fishing and boating resort on Chesapeake Bay, Maryland,
U.S.A., "only a leisurely drive from Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia,
Richmond and New York."
It's a smooth grey stone seemingly the size of a football, hanging from a
notice-board that proclaims:
Captain Frank's WEATHER STONE
This stone, thought to be over 500,000 years old, churned and polished by
of the Atlantic Ocean and transported from the British Virgin
Islands, is an official and
highly accurate weather forecaster.
If the stone is wet...
it is raining
A dry stone
indicates... it is not raining
If a shadow is beneath
the stone... the sun is shining
Should the stone be
swinging... there's a strong
If the stone is
bouncing up and down... there's an
If it's white on top...
it is snowing
If the stone is
expanding, it's getting warmer...
if contracting, it's getting colder
If the stone appears fuzzy, you should probably
walk, not drive,
to your next destination
AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED BY THE RIGHT HONORABLE DREW WILLIAM LANDIS,
HONORARY MAYOR OF TORTOLLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS.
Be sure to read Captain Frank's hilarious account of the stone's discovery at
Tortola (not Tortolla), in the British Virgin Islands, by visiting his website
Last month, we mentioned the weather stone notice in tropical Bermuda, that
says "If it's white on top, believe it or not, it's snowing." Corey
Butterfield, who lives
in Bermuda, has kindly sent us a photo of the stone, which he saw displayed at
Fort Scaur historical park.
"This sign had me cracking up," he said. "It typifies the Bermudan spirit.
I'm surprised that tourism officials had enough of a sense of humour to produce
"In addition to observing the weather stone, Bermudians of old used to hang
shark oil outside (mainly on their clothes lines) in glass bottles, to tell the
weather. If it was cloudy it would be stormy; clear oil meant a fine day, etc."
Fort Scaur was built by British colonial authorities in the late 1860s and
early 70s to defend the island's dockyard from attack. American forces were
stationed there in WWII.
Our global search for the original weather stone began in New Zealand, and
ends there too. We've discovered a second New Zealand weather stone hanging
outside a store in Russell, Bay of Islands. It's called an Early Polynesian
Russell, like Captain Frank's St. Michaels and Corey's Bermuda, is a great
fishing and boating centre. Anglers and boaties always want accurate weather
forecasts. That must be why they put so much faith in those weather stones.
Potential weather stones in Tortola
An evening drive in Tortola can quickly turn into an adventure.
Such was the case last Friday when a friend was driving two reporters to
a gathering at a co-worker's home. With the sun setting and little
traffic on the road it was a serene drive, until a loud bang shattered
The back seat passenger turned around just in
time to see a grapefruit-sized rock rolling down the middle of the road.
A quick inspection at the end of the voyage revealed little damage other
than frazzled nerves.
On the ride back to Road Town from Cane
Garden Bay the same passengers in the same car managed to hit a rock of
similar size. But this time a flat tyre was the result.
- A Reporter's Notebook,
BVI Beacon, British
Virgin Islands, December 1, 2005.
POSTSCRIPT. We sent a draft copy of this story to St. Michael's
Marina, Maryland, seeking permission to copy Captain Frank's photos. In reply,
we received this email from Ilene Morgan & Capt. Frank:
Frank is delighted that you like his weather stone.
He got the idea during a Bermuda holiday where we found the weather stone at
Fort Scaur. A later holiday in the BVI further gave birth to Capt. Frank's
With the help of friends we were on holiday with,
we gathered up about a dozen potential weather stones, scavenged for boxes
and duct tape, and were amazed when security actually let us through.In
response to their puzzled inquiries about our cargo, we said they were
The weather stone story and legend then became
fully developed after an evening spent with several friends and much good
cheer, and is a much enjoyed attraction at the marina.
St. Michaels isn't really a fishing resort. Once a
ship building town, St. Michaels is now one of the premier visitor
destinations for our mid-atlantic region, and is THE premier destination on
the Chesapeake Bay for cruising boaters. Should you be interested, you can
find more info. at
Story first posted
Copyright © 2006