FIRE TOWERS OF THE ADIRONDACKS
THEIR HISTORY AND LORE, THE NORTHERN DISTRICTS
by Martin Podskoch
From the first chapter: "Adams Mountain--1912"
Adams Mountain (3,520') is a relatively isolated summit in the southwestern section of Essex County in the town of Newcomb. It is bordered on the southeast by the Opalescent River, on the west by the Hudson River, and on the north by Calamity Brook. Hikers traveling to Adams Mountain and the High Peaks walk near the abandoned iron-ore mining hamlet of Tahawus. Tahawus means "he splits the sky" in the Seneca language. It was mistakenly thought by many to be the Native American name for Mount Marcy, New York's highest peak, but it was invented by Charles Fenno Hoffmann in 1837. He, in the words of Adirondack historian Alfred L. Donaldson, "devised and compounded many another Indian name to meet the needs and whims of his poetic fancies."
In 1826 David Henderson developed a thriving iron-mining community known as the Upper Works, Tahawus, and the hamlet of Adirondac. It eventually had two kilns for roasting ore, six coal houses, a forge, carpenter shop, general store, icehouse, stamping mill, sawmill, powerhouse, grist mill, boardinghouse for a hundred men, school, and church. In 1837, a puddling furnace was built, and a while later, a sixty-foot blast furnace. These furnaces required tremendous amounts of charcoal that came from the clear-cutting of thousands of acres of nearby forest. The bustling community gradually came to an end because of impurities in the ore and the cost of transporting the ore from its remote location. Also, in 1845, David Henderson, the driving force for this industry, was accidentally shot along the stream now known as Calamity Brook, where he was searching for new sources of water power for his mills.
Beginning in the 1870s, people came to the Tahawus area for recreation. In 1876 the Preston Ponds Club, the Adirondack Club, was formed. Another club, the Tahawus Club, the first fish-and-game club in the Adirondacks, became famous in 1901 when Vice President Theodore Roosevelt and his family vacationed there. While hiking up Mount Marcy, Roosevelt learned that President McKinley was dying in Buffalo from a gunshot wound. The vice president rushed down the mountain. He made his famous wagon ride that night over treacherous dirt roads and arrived the next day at the North Creek railroad station. Here he learned that McKinley had died and that he was the new president of the United States.
In 1912 the State Conservation Commission constructed a twenty-foot log fire tower on Adams Mountain. Conservation files reveal that the Tahawus Club urged the state to build this tower on the club's land. The summit is eleven miles northeast of the settlement of Newcomb on State Route 28N. The tower went into operation in May 1912. The first observer, Cornelius O'Neil, spotted seven fires, one of which was referred to in the conservation department's annual report:
"The fact that so many fires have burned over only small areas is due to their being discovered promptly. These fires were discovered by observers on mountain stations, and thus, by means of this information and the telephone, we were able to get men to the fires quickly. There are many cases which might be cited, but the following is a good example: During the dry period of July, about noon one Sunday, a fire was discovered by the observer on Adams Mountain. This fire originated in one of the most inaccessible portions of the Adirondack forests, but in spite of this fact a fire warden with a small force of men reached there within two hours, and by five o'clock the following morning the ranger was on the ground with a large force of men, and the fire was controlled before it had burned over more than five acres. The land on which this fire occurred had been lumbered within recent years and there was a large amount of slash on the ground. If the observation station had not been there it is probable that thousands of acres of timber land would have been burned over before the fire could have been checked." In 1917 the state replaced the wooden tower with a forty-seven-foot steel tower.
The first observers lived in a crude wooden hut near the base of the tower. In 1922 the state constructed a 12' x 16' cabin 1,408 feet below the summit.7 The roof and sides of the cabin had asphalt shingles. Later the state built a 10' x 16' storage shed. In 1950 conservation workers added another room to the cabin. The observer walked about a mile from the trailhead to the cabin and a little over a mile more to the tower. More than 33,000 hikers visited the fifty-three state fire towers in 1922, but because Mount Adams was quite remote, the observer, John H. Wilcox, recorded only thirty-four visitors. He reported four fires that year. In 1930 under an arrangement with Finch, Pruyn & Co., the Tahawus Club, and the Conservation Department, the state built a new telephone line to the observer's cabin and tower.
In 1941 the iron ore industry started up again when the National Lead Corporation (NLC) acquired the Tahawus property and began mining the impurity in the iron ore called titanium. This was used in the construction of aircraft and making white paint. Mineworkers used the Tahawus Club buildings. The mine, however, closed in 1989 and in 1991 the last train carrying ore left Tahawus.
On February 27, 1948, NLC granted the state an easement to maintain the three trails (Calamity Brook, Adams Mountain, and Indian Pass) through their land for use by state employees and the public. In 1971 the DEC abandoned the Adams Mountain tower due to aerial fire surveillance. It also stopped maintaining the trail, and the summit became isolated. A few hardy hikers placed surveyor tapes to mark the trail to the abandoned fire tower.
In October 2003, the NLC sold its 9,600-acre Tahawus lands, including the Adams Mountain tower, to the Open Space Institute (OSI). In fall 2003 OSI opened the area to hiking and during the summer of 2004 the DEC made repairs to the fire tower to make it safer.
In 2004 the state announced an agreement with the OSI to buy a 6,000-acre tract that includes Henderson Lake, Preston Ponds, and Adams Mountain. If this piece became part of the High Peaks Wilderness, the fire tower on Mount Adams would have to be removed because it is a "non-conforming" structure. When the transfer is completed, the DEC and the Adirondack Park Agency will have to decide on the land classification of the new tract. John Sheehan of The Adirondack Council, an environmental group, was quoted by Michael Gormley of the Associated Press in a January 2004 article, "Environmentalists Split on N. Y. Fire Tower," as saying, "The idea is not to place structures that would attract large numbers of people to the wilderness. In a wilderness area, recreation becomes secondary to protecting the natural resources." Michael Fraser of the DEC stated, "While we have yet to acquire the property, we are certainly aware of the interest in preserving and maintaining the fire tower on Adams Mountain. It would be premature to speculate on a specific direction, but the future of the structure is something we will be reviewing thoroughly."
The article concludes with a comment by Bill Starr, a former observer on Pillsbury Mountain and New York State deputy for the Forest Fire Lookout Association. "Local residents over the years have connections with an individual fire tower, be it a family member or prominent member of the community who used to work at that fire tower. Now they want their children to experience the same thing." George Canon, Newcomb supervisor, said he and other local residents want the fire tower to remain because "It's a piece of our local history."
Some groups, like the Resident's Committee to Protect the Adirondacks (RCPA) headed by Peter Bauer, voiced their support for restoring the Adams Mountain fire tower. They also supported the classification of the vast majority of the Tahawus tract as wilderness and that it be added to the High Peaks Wilderness Area. They envisioned a small part of the summit area, which includes the tower and its cables, to be classified as Wild Forest. RCPA also suggested another plan of a private inholding owned by a not-for-profit group. It would own 1.5 to 2 acres that would be surrounded by wilderness lands. The RCPA would ask for the creation of a type of friends group that would be organized to restore and maintain the fire tower. The plan would also state that if the tower fails to be maintained and deteriorates, it should be taken down and removed.
During the winter of 2004-05, New York State Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA) Director Bill Starr wrote a nomination for the Adams Mountain fire tower and cabin to be added to the National Historic Register.
Kinne F. Williams, in the August 1946 issue of The New York State Conservationist, described his experiences in building the fire tower on Adams Mountain in the article "Putting Eyes in the Skies." Our first job-and the simplest-was to check against blue prints the many lengths of steel, the crates of millwork, the boxes and bags of bolts and nuts necessary for our tower. . . . . We truck-loaded our precious equipment from a railway. For several miles we rode atop our steel pile over decent roads, but they petered out into dirt and it became desirable to hike alongside the truck. And then we hit the corduroy . . . a road built by first clearing the right of way and then paving the bed with logs cut a little wider (and only a little!) wider than the width of a truck or wagon.
At the corduroy we unloaded, and a tote wagon took over. . . . There the equipment was stockpiled and again checked against the prints to make sure nothing had been dropped en route. Fortunately for us, forest rangers had earlier discovered an abandoned road which years before had been used as a log haul from the foot of the mountain. . . . The route led us across the outlet of Lake Sally via a recently constructed bridge close to the water . . . we found that beavers had thrown a dam across the stream and bridge and flooded all the approaches.
Our demolition team of rangers got busy and tore out the dam, and as the water receded our first load of steel was safely conveyed to the base of the mountain. Normally, four trips a day would have been possible. But our beaver friends, who plugged the gaps in their dam while we slept, cut the number to one until a touch of dynamite discouraged their efforts. . . . For seven days our first morning chore was to remove trees from that trail, and each day the job grew more difficult. The first trees felled by the beavers were close to the road and only the trunks had to be cut out. But as time went on the critters moved their engineering farther from the road and closer to the stream, with the result that we caught the tops of the trees and a sight more axe work.
[At the foot of the mountain] began the tussle to get up to its ultimate destination-a distance of two miles [horizontally] and 2,000 feet [vertically]. Horses which had been trained in log-skidding were brought in for this part of the job. A chain attached a light load of steel to the whipple tree of each horse, and the ascent began. State workers cleared the trees of the tower site and horses drew the steel up to the summit.
Eventually the real climb was reached, and here it was necessary for the horses to be literally skidded up the trail by means of a block and tackle. Then when ledges were reached near the summit, even the horses gave out, and the rangers were obliged to manhandle each item to the top. Holes were drilled deep into the granite outcropping and anchor bolts were cemented into them. Our tower started going up, and the actual job of putting that steel into the air was pleasant relaxation.
But it didn't last. As our baby grew it became painfully apparent that the pieces were too long to fit, thanks to incorrectly placed anchor holes. Still, knowing that it was far easier to make the materials at hand into a tower than to get new parts atop our mountain, our ingenious rangers decided on a new stunt. By loosening the bolts, and prizing the bars and distorting with block and tackle, each piece and each hole was eventually fitted into a complete tower.
When it was finished, however, we found to our amazement that we had constructed not a tower whose legs went straight into the air to be surmounted by a 7' x 7' enclosure, but a tower whose legs actually spiraled! It was literally screwy! Yet time has proved ranger judgment: the Adams Mountain 'eye' has been successfully defying the elements and looking for fires for 29 full years.
Minerva historian Doris Wells said that she remembered two of the observers: "Wesley Jenks had a wife who walked around most of the time barefoot. When she went to the fire tower she took a short cut through the mines. She lived in the observer's cabin with her baby and her husband. "There is a funny story I once heard about another observer, Loyal Parker. He lived near the bridge over the Hudson River. One day some ladies were picking berries and decided to take a swim. They took off their clothes in the woods. Then Loyal came by and not only stole a few glances at the women in the water but also stole their clothes."
Someone suggested a visit to Marvin Bissell at his country store in Newcomb, so on October 21, 2004, I drove up and found Bissell's General Store on a side road near busy Route 28N. I had often driven on 28N but was unaware of Bissell's store. I found the store crammed with thousands of items. You name it and Marvin has it.
First I asked about observer Emile La Course. Marvin said, "Emile went up to the fire tower on Adams Mountain every day. He spoke in a little French accent. He was married and later separated from his wife. Emile lived in North Creek and probably worked like his dad for Finch, Pruyn & Company." Marvin scanned the store and, seeing we were alone, went to a side door and disappeared. After a few minutes he returned with an index card that had the following data on Emile La Course:
B. Oct.1902 - D. Sep. 1974 Wed-Grace E. (moved to N. Creek) Kids: Ruth, Grace, Margaret, Roger, Donald
Then I asked him about Maurice Bissell who was the observer from 1931 to 1937. "He was my uncle, my father's brother. His wife was Hazel, but they didn't have any children. My uncle never said, 'Hello,' but always said, 'Greetings and Salutations.'
"One time he saved a man's life when he was lost in the woods. Uncle Maurice found a hiker lying on the trail. The man was a diabetic and in need of medicine. Maurice took the man to the observer's cabin and called the local doctor who said he would send some medicine to the cabin. It was a rainy night and a group of college students who were hiking stopped at the cabin for shelter. Maurice asked them if they would space themselves along the trail so that when the medicine arrived at the trailhead they would act as a relay team carrying the medicine. The young men ran up the trail in record time and saved the man's life."
Marvin locked the register again, disappeared into the back room and returned with an old photo album. In it he showed me a picture of his uncle during World War I.
Marvin flipped the album to another page and showed me former observer Loyal Parker with his uncle Maurice. Loyal was a farmer who also worked for the Shampeny Sawmill in Newcomb. "One day he was working on the edger saw and a board got stuck. He jumped on the board, fell, and cut his hand and wrist. Then he had to stop working. He had a son, Henry, who died, and a daughter, Edith."
Every time I drive through the hamlet of Olmsteadville, I enjoy visiting Charlie Kays, a former logger and observer on Vanderwhacker. Charlie told me that his uncle, Loyal Parker, was the observer on Adams Mountain from late 1951 through 1952. "When I was a young boy, my parents sent me to live in Newcomb with Uncle Loyal and my aunt. In those days families had to send their children to live with families that were close to a school. I stayed there during the week and came home on weekends. Uncle Loyal was a carpenter and truck driver for Finch, Pruyn & Company. A tall guy, he was related to the West family which produced a lot of forest rangers and fire tower observers.
"One time when I was the observer on Vanderwhacker Mountain, I got a call from Emile La Course on Adams. He thought he saw smoke and said to me. 'Charlie, the whole country is on fire! Can you see where it is?' I looked out the window in the tower and saw that there was a lot of mist brightly lit by the sun."
During the summer of 2003, I visited retired forest ranger Gary Hodgson at his home in Lake Placid. He told me this story about a conversation with observer Emile J. La Course on Adams Mountain. "The observer was an old Frenchie who spoke better French than English. The radio call letter for this area was 9-12. The conversation between the two went something like this:
Frenchie: 9-12 from Addamm Mountain. Ranger: 9-12 on. Frenchie: I see the smoke. Ranger: Ah, Frenchie, where do you see the smoke? Frenchie: Out the window. Ranger: Ah, Frenchie, which window are you looking out of? Frenchie: Da one by da phone. Ranger: I hope you haven't moved the phone since I was up there last? Frenchie: No, the phone she be the same. Ranger: Now Frenchie, how far away is the smoke? Frenchie: Maybe hundred mile. Ranger: Frenchie, you can't see 100 miles out that window. Frenchie: Maybe no hundred mile den. Ranger: Frenchie, I need to know the location of the smoke as near as you can tell me. Frenchie: (a long pause) I think thunder boomer coming. Addamm Mountain out of service. Ranger: Frenchie. Frenchie! Frenchie!!!
Retired Forest Ranger Gary Roberts of Chestertown said, "I worked with Andy Blanchette [late 1959 through 1961] when I supervised the Adams Mountain fire tower. Andy was one of the toughest guys I ever knew. He was a good guy to know."
Dorothy Youngs, the wife of District Ranger George Youngs, echoed the sentiments of Roberts to Blanchette. "George had Andy go to Shattuck Clearing, where Andy was removing the brush from a fire trail. George thought he might need some help and sent someone to help. When the guy got there, Andy had all the work done. George said to me, 'I don't know how he got all that work done by himself.' "
After hearing all these favorable comments about Andy's work ethic, I drove to Newcomb to meet him in person. I was expecting a huge lumberjack but what I found was this thin, average-sized man with a withered arm. We sat on his enclosed front porch, and I told him about great stories I had heard about him working in the woods.
Then I asked him to tell me about his arm and about growing up in this area. "I was born with my arm like this. It never stopped me from doing what everyone else did. I grew up in a large family of nine kids and my mother didn't pamper me. When I graduated from high school, I had a hard time getting a good job. I didn't have money to go away to college. I applied at the National Lead Company at Tahawus but didn't get a job. The jobs that I did get consisted of mowing grass and working at my neighbor's logging company.
"In the fall of 1958 I worked in Albany doing construction work and as a handyman. After paying for my room and board, I had twenty-five dollars a week left.
"The next year I came home and did odds jobs. Then I got my lucky break. The local forest ranger, Ed Shevlin, told me they needed an observer on Adams Mountain. He asked, 'Would you like to try it out'? I said 'yes' and he replied, 'We'll give you a try, but if you don't work out, we'll let you go.'"
"I was very happy to get a job with the state, and I began working on September fifteenth. I drove to the trailhead each day and hiked up the two-mile trail. The last part was really steep."
I asked Andy if he'd show me how to get to the trailhead. We drove down 28N to the Tahawus turn and passed the old mining area. Andy told me about the early history of that area. Before we reached the trailhead, I saw a huge stone structure standing above the trees. Andy said it was the old blast furnace. I just had to get a better look. We parked on the dirt road and walked around the monstrous chimney that had an opening on each of the four sides. It was amazing. The huge cut stones were in perfect shape after standing there for about 150 years. I peered into the one of the openings and saw that they were lined with brick. What a fantastic piece of history! At the top of the sixty-foot stack, trees had taken root and a few were also growing on the outside stones.
We continued up the road and Andy pointed out the parking area where he began his daily hikes to the fire tower. A little farther up the road we passed the abandoned buildings of the old mining town called the Upper Works (Tahawus or Adirondac). Later I heard that there was a movement to preserve the old furnace and town buildings.
Andy said, "It was a nice job working on the fire tower but also one of the most boring jobs I ever had. There were some years when I only got twelve visitors. I was only twenty-one years old.
"The first day that I went up it was raining so I did trail work and fixed the telephone lines with Ed Shevlin and Larry West. We left early in the morning at 6:00 AM and worked till noon. We walked in snowshoes because the snow was deep. When we became really hot we took off the shoes but then we sank in the deep snow and had to put the snowshoes on again. The snow was at least three feet deep and at the top of the mountain the telephone line was waist high.
"I liked working with Ed because he was the guy who gave me a chance to work. Ed had confidence in me. I'll never forget that. He was a super guy. Ed was one of the most educated rangers. He graduated from Syracuse University. He was about 5'8" and wore a small mustache. Ed was a bachelor who lived with his sister, Helen, in Olmsteadville.
"My first day on the tower I was all alone. They gave me a key to the tower and that was all. It took me a little while to get used to getting up to the tower. After a while it became a matter of routine.
"They didn't give me any instructions on locating a fire. I knew some of the mountains but I had to study the map and use the binoculars to locate the different areas. There weren't many fires when I was up there. I did spot one fire in the Boreas Pond area and one on White Lilly Pond. "The roof of the tower cab had a crack in it and they put a new one on in about 1960. Charlie Kays, the observer on Vanderwhacker, helped me carry a whole new roof up. We were like 'Mutt and Jeff.' He was about 6' 6" and I'm about 5"8". We cut a sapling pole and put one end on each of our shoulders. One section of the roof was suspended on the sapling between us. It was good going up the mountain because he was tall and at the bottom and I was walking first. The roof came in four sections so we had to make four trips. We then removed the old pieces and bolted the new pieces together.
"There were always problems with the telephone line especially where the line went through the woods. We had a few problems with lightning strikes. We had to maintain the line from the Tahawus Road to the tower. When I got to the trail in the morning, I tested the line on the way to the tower. Every mile there was a test station. If there were problems, I'd have to put on spikes to climb the poles or sometimes some of the poles had ladders. Most of the time the line was shorted out from a branch that was knocked down from high winds. The closer that I got to the tower, the line was on one-and-a-half-inch galvanized water pipes. The telephone was a big part of my job. I had to have the line working in case I spotted a fire. "There was an old observer's cabin that also had a phone. I didn't stay there too often because it only took me fifteen minutes to get from the cabin to the parking area. So I was home almost every night.
"I saw a few bear on the trail but I didn't get scared. They were always on the move. They ate off the Tahawus dump so they were well-fed.
"I was laid off from the tower in about November and worked for the town of Newcomb doing snow removal. I worked on the back of the sand truck and threw off the sand with a shovel. We didn't have spreaders like we do today. In 1962 I got a job as the caretaker at the Lake Harris Campsite. Emile La Course took my place on the tower. He was my uncle, a total French Canadian who spoke in broken English. Emile was a hard worker. He used a scythe to mow the trails.
"Then in 1966 I became the caretaker at Shattuck Clearing at the ranger station. I maintained that part of the Northville Lake Placid Trail. I was so upset when the state burned the cabin there. It helped save lives. In 1978 I became the seasonal caretaker at Santanoni. Then in 1980 I was promoted to operational supervisor." *** On July 16, 2002, I stopped by at the Minerva Highway Department and talked to former observer Kerry Killon, who arrived for his lunch break. His wife, Joyce, joined us. Kerry said, "I've worked at three fire towers: Vanderwhacker, Adams, and Goodnow. I started out at Vanderwhacker in 1963 and stayed there for three years. In 1968, I got the job at Adams Mountain and stayed there till 1970. Then I finished my fire tower career at Goodnow Mountain in 1974.
"The tower is on National Lead Company land. The trail went across the Hudson River and Lake Jimmy. Parts of the trail were extremely steep. The cabin was infested with mice. They ran over my head while I slept. Most of the time I lived on the mountain by myself but sometimes Joyce stayed with me."
Joyce said, "One night when I was up at the cabin, my brother, Vernon Arnold, the observer on Goodnow Mountain, came over in the evening for dinner. He brought some liquid refreshments in his pack basket: vodka, scotch, and wine. After dinner he had to leave. There was no moon and it was pitch black outside. He didn't have a flashlight. As he started over the brook, we heard a loud crash. All the bottles fell out of his pack on the rocks but luckily none broke."
Kerry added, "We also had some other visitors. One day I heard a bear in back of the cabin. I said to it, 'What are you doing here?' Then I noticed a cub in front of the cabin. I realized that I was in trouble because I was between the mother and her cub. She started coming at me and she was mad. I was about one hundred yards away from her so I took a rock and threw it up into the woods to distract the mother. That's when I moved real fast up the mountain.
"I also had to make sure the telephone lines where in good shape at the beginning of the season. There would be a couple of feet of snow on the trail so I'd use snowshoes. One day, as I was coming down the steep trail, I slid down just like I was skiing. I also hit a lot of rocks on the way. When I got to the bottom of the hill, there was nothing left of the rawhide webbing on the snow shoes."
Retired Forest Ranger, Frank Dorchak of Malone, told me this story about his experience with a bear on the Adams Mountain trail. "I had to go to Mount Adams to replace the turkey wire on the stairs of the fire tower. As I hiked the trail, I saw bear tracks all the way up. After working for a little while, a terrible rainstorm came so I headed down the trail for shelter at the observer's cabin. On the way down I saw a bear on the trail. It was about eight feet away and it was soaking wet. I had my poncho on and I was dripping wet, too. "I said to it, 'We're not going to argue about this. You go your way and I'll go my way.'
"The bear replied, 'Ruff!'
"I said, 'Ruff!'
"We both ran the other way.
"When I got home, I had to change my underwear!" he joked.
OBSERVERSThe following were observers on Adams Mountain: Cornelius O'Neil (1912-19), Howard Bush (1920), Cornelius O'Neil (10/16-31, 1920), Arthur Braley (1921), John H. Wilcox (1922-28), Floyd Parker (1929-30), Maurice Bissell (1931-37), Edward J. Moriarty (1938-49), Albert Tripp (6/20-8/16 1949), Wesley Jenks (8/16 1949 through 10/16, 1951), Loyal Parker (10/22 1951 through 1952), H. Ward Knickerbocker (1953-54), James O'Connor (1955-58), Joseph Caza Jr. (1959), Andrew Blanchette (Sept.1959-61), John Cunningham ? (1962), Emile J. La Course (1962-66), Richard B. La Course (6/13-8/30 1967), Eugene Bush (8/31-9/13 1967), and Kerry Killon (1968-70).
RANGERSThese forest rangers supervised the tower: William La Haise (1912-15), Grover Lynch (1916-47), Edwin "Ed" Shevlin (1950-63), Robert Morris (1970-74), Gary Roberts (1974-88), and John Chambers (1988-present).
TAKE A HIKEFrom Minerva drive north on Route 28N for 14 miles or from the Newcomb Town Hall, drive south on Route 28N for about 5 miles. Go north on the road to Tahawus for 6 miles. After going over the railroad tracks, turn left at the intersection. At the next fork, turn left and drive over the railroad tracks again and go over the bridge that crosses the Hudson River. Drive to the next intersection and turn left and follow the sign to "Marcy and the High Peaks." After driving 2.8 miles you will see a large blast furnace on the right. Continue for .2 mile where you will find a parking area on the right. It is a 2.4-mile hike to the summit. Follow the Hanging Spears Falls trail (yellow trail markers). You will go over a suspension bridge spanning the Hudson River and a floating log bridge over Lake Jimmy. After hiking .8 mile you will reach the cabin. Go past it and the stream for about 100 yards and look on the left for the trail to the summit. The trail is marked with orange tape. A hike to Adams Mountain provides one of the best views of the southern High Peaks. From the tower the hiker is rewarded with a striking view of Santanoni, Marcy, McIntyre, Colden, Redfield, and Allen Mountains and the neighboring High Peaks.
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