Marty Podskoch will give a PowerPoint and storytelling presentation on his book, Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, The Northern District, on Thursday, August 18th at 7 PM at the Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown. The book contains information and photographs about the fire towers in the northern part of the Adirondack Park that include St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, and Essex counties.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fires raged out of control in many of New York State’s vast wooded areas. The years 1903 and 1908 were particularly disastrous, and because of public outcry for protection from the devastation, the state began a rigorous fire and prevention and control program, including the building of fire towers. The first state fire towers were constructed of trees and logs with an open platform built on top. Each tower was equipped with a telephone, a map, and binoculars. When smoke was sighted, an observer would call in the location of the fire to a forest ranger. These wooden towers were replaced with steel towers and the use of towers greatly reduced the number of acres destroyed by fires because they were extinguished at the early stages.
Doors open at 6:30 PM. $8 fee/free for members of the museum. Covid-19 vaccination is strongly recommended and masks are encouraged. Masks will be available. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Mount Arab fire tower, Almanack archive