Posts Tagged ‘Stillwater Mountain’

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. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stillwater Fire Tower’s Weekend Summit Stewards

Stillwater Fire Tower Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower has recruited volunteer Summit Stewards for summer weekends. They’ll be up at the tower from 10 am to 2 pm starting Saturday July 1 through Tuesday July 4th. Summit Stewards will point out Whiteface Mountain and the Adirondack High Peaks to the northeast, the 195 wind turbines overlooking the Black River Valley to the southwest, and the expanse of the Stillwater Reservoir below.

The tower’s authentic 1919 sliding-top map table can be seen, with it’s alidade and vintage Panoramic Map for Stillwater Mountain for locating forest fires. Summit Stewards help tell the story of the 1882 copper survey marker that was stolen over a century ago, found with a metal detector hundreds of miles away in 2013, and was returned to the DEC.

Only later it was discovered that the Station No. 77 marker had come from Stillwater Mountain. It’s empty hole can be seen in the bedrock under the tower, and a brass replacement marker that was reset last September. The recreated stencil of the tower’s shipping information from Chicago can be seen on one of the steel supports. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Verplanck Colvin Built First Tower On Stillwater Mt.

The famed surveyor Verplanck Colvin built the first tower on Stillwater Mountain way back in 1882. The hole that once held his copper marker is still visible on the summit bedrock.

Colvin’s tower is long gone, but a steel tower built in 1919 still stands, and last week the state nominated the structure — along with the fire observer’s cabin and some other buildings — for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to read the state’s application. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Stolen Stillwater Mountain Survey Bolt Being Replaced

original 1882 nickle plated copper marker station 77A party from the NYS DEC Region Six survey division, members of the Colvin Crew, and Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower will set a brass marker below the fire tower to replace the original survey bolt that was stolen and later recovered by Adirondack Almanack reader Kyle Kristiansen in New Jersey in 2013.

That 1882 benchmark found by Kristiansen was identified as Station 77 in Verplanck Colvin’s survey of the Adirondacks and had been located on the summit of Stillwater Mountain. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 8, 2016

The Rising Elevation of Stillwater Mountain

1912-18 First fire tower on Stillwater Mt. Built atop an Adirondack Survey signal tower. (Photo courtesy Maridee Rutledge.)At an elevation of 2,264 feet, Stillwater Fire Tower in northern Herkimer County has never been a beacon for tourists. It’s not even modestly high compared to the 46 Adirondack peaks over 4,000 feet.

Since 1912, Fire Observers on Stillwater Mountain needed a high tolerance for isolation and resistance to boredom. Until the fire tower closed in 1988, the annual number visitors ranged from 145 to it’s record of 618. Before the mid-‘50s, when the Big Moose Road was completed, the only access to the tower trail was by boat from the Stillwater Reservoir. Even then, only hard-core hikers who would tolerate eight or twelve miles of dirt road from Number Four or Big Moose Station, enjoyed the tower’s views. » Continue Reading.