by Jim Fox
After this not-so-hard winter, Friends of the Stillwater Fire Tower (FSFT) are geared up to finish work on the tower by 4th of July weekend for our official opening.
We have lots of work ahead that will be a piece of cake if we get the enthusiasm we had four days last fall.
Workdays are currently set for Saturday, May 7, 14, 28 and June 11 and Sunday, June 12th. If needed, more dates will be added.
We have to replace the landings and fencing and do a bit more painting of the tower structure.
The floor of the cab, windows, a new safety railing and the map table need to be replaced.
A footbridge must be built on the new trail.
The DEC will install an emergency radio repeater/transmitter in a to-be-determined location after FSFT completes our job.
Stiff competition is expected among a few foolhardy volunteers, as to which one will get to stand on a plank out the cab window to paint the roof. (Full body harness and a long sturdy rope provided.)
Old timers have been nagging to have the boulder that some strong knuckleheads moved from the base of the NE corner of the tower.
They say it needs to be skidded 20 feet back to the spot where it lived for over 100 years.
The good news about signing up: the hike up is easy and is good for your heart; the 45-mile views are incredible; you’ll have fun working with great people.
The only bad news is that you’ll have to pack your own lunch. We’ll supply water, tools, and gloves. You supply the sweat and laughs.
Last fall we had over thirty volunteers come from as far away as Massachusetts to get our beloved tower back in shape.
If you missed it then, now’s your chance.
Just think of the pride you’ll be filled with when you bring your kids or grandkids up to the tower years from now.
Or when the Stillwater Fire Tower is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places! (We’re working on it!)
Did you know that when we’re officially open, we’ll be added to the “Fire Tower Challenge?”
Hardcore hikers will be coming from all over just to add Stillwater to their peakbagger conquests.
And did you know the first tower on Stillwater Mountain was built in 1882 for Verplanck Colvin’s Adirondack Survey?
That’s probably why there are two brass benchmarks imbedded in the bedrock beneath the tower. Be part of history… we need you!
All workers will be offered discounts by our good business neighbors: Norridgewock in Beaver River (thanks Thompson Family!); the Stillwater Shop and Northern Lights B&B (thanks Jackie and Frank Rudolph!); and the Stillwater Hotel (thanks Marian & Joe Romano!)
All new volunteers need to fill out a DEC form which you can bring with you on the work day, or send it to: Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower, c/o Jim Fox, 150 Mallard Cove Rd., Lowville, NY 13367.
Please reply to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in working, and let me know when you can work and which day(s) would be best on Memorial Day weekend.