Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Stillwater Fire Tower History Book Published

Stillwater Fire Tower A Centennial HistoryA new book about Stillwater Fire Tower will soon be available in local stores. Stillwater Fire Tower, A Centennial History … and Earlier (2019, Self-Published) by James Fox, recounts how it came to life as a shiny steel tower in 1919 when fire observers and forest rangers helped protect our forests from the summit. The tower closed and was partially dismantled in 1988.

Rehab of the tower began in 2009. Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower completed an authentic restoration in 2016.  The location offers views of the Adirondack High Peaks and the wind turbines on Tug Hill.

Historic photographs chronicling the fire tower, along with photos recent events are included in the book. Dozens of pictures of volunteers and hikers, rangers and observers and their relatives fill the pages, along with panoramic, aerial and time-lapse photography by Eric Adsit, Kurt Gardner and Gary Lee.

The history of Stillwater Mountain reaching back before the first wooden tower was built in 1912, is illustrated with photos, maps, lithographs and a sketch from Lewis County Surveyor S.H. Snell’s 1882 notebook.

Also included is the story of the survey bolt that was stolen and later recovered by Adirondack Almanack reader Kyle Kristiansen in New Jersey in 2013. That 1882 benchmark was identified as Station 77 in Verplanck Colvin’s survey of the Adirondacks and had been located on the summit of Stillwater Mountain.

The author Jim Fox lives in Stillwater. His wife Carol’s family photos of Stillwater Mountain in 1910 fueled Jim’s enthusiasm as an organizer of Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower.

Copies are available at historical societies and businesses that sell books on local history. All proceeds go to Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower, a non-profit organization of volunteers.

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2 Responses

  1. Noel A. Sherry says:

    Jim, congrats on your new book celebrating this historic and important fire tower in the W Adirondacks. I took the trail from the Stillwater-Big Moose Rd this past summer, an easy hike with a very rewarding view of the High Peaks to the E, Tug Hill to the W, Blue Mtn, and East Mountain next to my lake, Twitchell, in Big Moose, NY. Loved the pictures, the history, and the info on the tower’s restoration, the discovery of the missing Verplanck Colvin benchmark, and the organization of volunteers to restore it and then on weekends interpret the 360 degree view from the Tower. You have done a fantastic job on the Tower, and the book. Congrats, Noel Sherry

  2. Doug says:

    Congratulations Jim. Thanks for capturing this history and making it available to all of us.