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rondak46
03-31-2004, 08:02 AM
Many maps I look at indicate that there are fire towers on several peaks, such as Garfield and Carrigan. Are these still there? Andmore generally, are the topos correct or have sevaral or many of the towers been removed.

Mike

Mohamed Ellozy
03-31-2004, 08:25 AM
No fire tower on Garfield (just the remains of its base), tower on Carrigain is still there.

Many fire towers have been romved, the topos are rather slow in recording changes. They still show the Osseo Trail leaving the Kanc. According to Steve Smith and Mike Dickerman's The 4000-Footers of the White Mountains that trail was relocated in 1983.

The White Mountain Guide is probably your best source for discovering whether a given mountain still has a fire tower or not.

rondak46
03-31-2004, 08:27 AM
Many fire towers have been romved

This answers my question.

Mike

maineguy
03-31-2004, 08:47 AM
The steel frame supporting structure of the tower on Carrigain still remains, but the enclosure which sat atop it was removed sometime in the early to mid 70s. It was a wonderful place to spend the night and you could drink the well water unfiltered.

The tower atop Osceola was almost identical to the one on Carrigain and was also removed sometime in the 70s.

Never saw the tower on Garfield

The last remaining firetower in the WMNF is on N. Kearsarge.

http://www.firetower.org/listings/us023.html

David Metsky
03-31-2004, 09:21 AM
As far as I know, there never was a firetower on Garfield. The lookout station was built right on the rock, that's why those foundations are there.

Based on the footings, I assume there was one on Carter Dome. Smarts (on the AT south of Cube) still has a tower, but it's not in use. Magalloway in northern NH still has an active tower.

NH Fire Towers (http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/4192/nhtpage2.htm)

-dave-

Mark
03-31-2004, 10:12 AM
Did people live in these towers or just climb up when they were actively looking for fires? They must have been exciting places during lightning storms!

peakbagger
03-31-2004, 11:03 AM
There is a very fine fire tower on Bemis in the WMNF, unfortunately it is laying on its side!. Looks like it was built just a few years before they tipped it over.

dug
03-31-2004, 12:16 PM
Mark, I believe they were manned. I think in the case of Carrigain, for example, where the well is the Ranger would actually live/camp, but would spend his days in the tower.

The trails to these for many were roads that a 4x4 could access. In places along the Garfield Trail, for example, you can still see the old wire used for their DSL. No, wait, that's a joke. But there is an old phone wire or something.....

MichaelJ
03-31-2004, 12:19 PM
It was a wonderful place to spend the night and you could drink the well water unfiltered.

Don't drink without filtering from the Carrigain summit well. In fact, I recommend not pulling water from there at all.

That well has regrettably been used for other purposes.

maineguy
03-31-2004, 01:31 PM
[QUOTE]
"But there is an old phone wire or something."

On sections of the Desolation Trail up Carrigain the phone wire is visible.

And yes, don't drink the water from the Carrigain well. We drank from it back in the 60s, I wouldn't try that today.

ken
03-31-2004, 04:05 PM
>>Many maps I look at indicate that there are fire towers on several peaks, such as Garfield and Carrigan. Are these still there? Andmore generally, are the topos correct or have sevaral or many of the towers been removed.<<

check out this new hampshire site
http://www.nhdfl.org/fire_towers/fp_firetowers.htm

Peter Miller
03-31-2004, 10:04 PM
In the southern Whites, both Stinson and Carr had firetowers. I believe Stinson's was removed in the 70's or 80's. It had become a teenage party hangout. The road that was used to access it is still a fine route to the summit. I believe AMC's White Mtn Guide refers to it. It is used by snowmobiles in winter.

The foundation of the Carr tower is impressive. The road once used to access it is the western approach to the summit, which the WMG lists as abandoned, but which was being privately maintained the last time I hiked it.

The tower on Red Hill in the Lakes Region is in active use. One of the ironies is that Red Hill was the repeated target of an arsonist some years back. That arsonist also regularly torched Rattlesnake Mtn in Rumney, just north of Route 25. The fire scars on both are still quite visible. The arsonist was eventually caught.

The tower on Cardigan is a beautiful structure.

rondak46
03-31-2004, 11:08 PM
......The tower on Red Hill in the Lakes Region....

Looks like the Catskills and the whites have sister fire towers. Red Hill in the Cats is one of five Towers there.

Mike

Papa Bear
04-01-2004, 08:27 AM
I just woke upto this thread and realized I hiked to three towers in southern NH last October (also Acutsney in vermont had one), one was manned (although the guy said it was his last day of the season - Oct. 12). They all had microwave dishes which would indicate they are active.

Here they are with pictures:

Cardigan (locked but in use): Cardigan Tower (http://gallery.backcountry.net/albums/papabear_2003_NEFF_Cardigan/aap.sized.jpg)
Kearsarge (open, ranger on duty): Kearsarge tower (http://gallery.backcountry.net/albums/papabear_2003_NEFF_Kearsarge/aah.sized.jpg)
Belknap. Locked but in use (I think): Belknap tower (http://gallery.backcountry.net/albums/papabear_2003_NEFF_Belknap/aaj.sized.jpg)

Here's an interesting point. These peaks were all on the "50 finest" list that I'm chasing. These high prominence peaks are exactly those that attracted fire towers since they stood (stand) out above the suroundings.

Pb

stopher
04-01-2004, 06:04 PM
Belknap is still in use. Last I heard, Hal Graham was manning it. There's also a fire tower (no longer operating but maintained by Tamworth Conservation Commission) about ten miles northeast of Red Hill. It was where the picture of Tim Seaver's first "mystery mountain" was taken from.

Dr. Dasypodidae
04-02-2004, 10:22 PM
Croydon Peak, high point of Sullivan County, also has an active fire tower, but it costs money and special permission to visit, as it lies inside a huge private hunting reserve.

RoySwkr
04-14-2004, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by maineguy
The steel frame supporting structure of the tower on Carrigain still remains, but the enclosure which sat atop it was removed sometime in the early to mid 70s.
They also redid the stairs from the original, which OSHA considered too steep to remain - {as Dave Barry says, this is not a joke}


Originally posted by Mark
Did people live in these towers or just climb up when they were actively looking for fires? They must have been exciting places during lightning storms!
In the Western US, people actually lived at the top of the towers, and since most fires were caused by lightning they stayed on duty during storms, sitting on a wooden stool with phone insulators screwed to the legs. That is why the tower cabs were roughly 14'x14'.

In NH and ME, they usually worked the towers in fair weather only and lived in a cabin near the highest spring, so the cab is often 7'x7'. Sometimes there is a storm shelter near the summit in case the tower needs to be vacated.

There are lots of abandoned standing towers in ME and a few in NH, and even nutty hobbyists who climb them.

maineguy
04-14-2004, 12:21 PM
[QUOTE]
"They also redid the stairs from the original, which OSHA considered too steep to remain - {as Dave Barry says, this is not a joke} "

The next upgrade/repair will probably require a wheelchair ramp.
:eek:

BrentD22
04-14-2004, 11:56 PM
There is a great Fire Tower on Nobscot Hill. You can't access it legally, but there is a hole in the fence. No one ever gets mad if you up in it. I think you can go up into the tower when they are working on the communication equipment that is mounted on it.

The tower is in Sudbury, Mass Nobscot Hill. You can see Boston, Wachusett Mountain and on a clear day to Mt. Monadnok. The area around the fire tower has some great low land hiking. See this link Fire Tower/Tipping Rock (http://www.jch.com/tipplingrock/) and 2nd link (http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/NOBSCOT_1123.asp)

The AMC also has some info here AMC Link (http://www.outdoors.org/publications/outdoors/2002/2002-fire-towers.shtml)

also
Forest Fire Ass. Web Addy (http://www.firelookout.org/)

MichaelJ
04-15-2004, 06:34 AM
(OT - not actually in NH)

When I was a kid we used to go up Tower Road out in Ludlow (western MA) and hike up to the fire tower. At the time, there was no fence and you could walk up the stairs and take in the view. It was one of the larger tower, and the stairway up was "normal" in size and shape.

It's still visible from the Turnpike, but I don't know how access is now.

sardog1
04-15-2004, 06:56 AM
Originally posted by RoySwkr

In the Western US, people actually lived at the top of the towers, and since most fires were caused by lightning they stayed on duty during storms, sitting on a wooden stool with phone insulators screwed to the legs. That is why the tower cabs were roughly 14'x14'.

It wasn't always love at first sight: JK at Desolation Peak (http://www.geocities.com/phoffman3/desolation/)

(Off topic? Ah, c'mon, the guy did grow up in Lowell, MA. ;) )

ken
04-18-2004, 05:31 PM
did anyone know massachusetts once had 92 firetowers?
http://www.firelookout.org/towers/ma/mass.htm

here are some more
http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/4192/nhtpage2.htm
http://www.nhdfl.org/fire_towers/fp_firetowers.htm
http://www.firelookout.org/towers/vt/vermont.htm
http://www.firelookout.org/towers/ct/ct.htm
http://www.telenet.net/~ranger/

BrentD22
04-18-2004, 07:13 PM
Actually 102 sites according to this website Massachusetts Fire Tower Info. (http://www.firelookout.org/towers/ma/mass.htm)

It also says that there are currently 43 standing active towers. I'm sure the active purpose for most are not fire look-outs, but most likely communication towers.

ken
04-18-2004, 07:45 PM
i noticed that too (102) but if you look at the list there are 92 listed, some with ##A's - i think that may mean that they were moved (i'm not sure)?

BrentD22
04-19-2004, 12:29 AM
I think I understand the information now. What the 92 vs. 102 number is. There are some towers with a A or B next to the number. It's because the tower was rebuilt next to the old one for one reason or another. They count as 2 seperate towers at the bottom of the page, but to be more specific there has been 92 different tower sites, 10 of which have had the tower rebuilt in the same place or within several feet.

The pictures are really cool. I love the fact that I live at the bottom of Nobscot Hill. I can hike up or drive up to the top and go up into the tower and see Boston - Worcester and North to Monadnok. It's awsome! Wish I new how to gain access to the little cabin on top.

ken
04-19-2004, 10:29 AM
that looks like the reason - must be nice living near a good view - - now that i know where the mass. firetowers are located i guess i have a new list to work on.