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 fire 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.
The fifty-six-foot tower, which is on private land, has not been used for fire observation since 1988. However, it is open to the public and can be reached by a one-mile trail. The cab offers a splendid view of Stillwater Reservoir and the pristine hills of the southwestern Adirondacks.
For the view, we owe thanks to the Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower, a group of volunteers who rehabilitated the tower and reopened it to the public just last summer.
The Adirondack Explorer sent writer John Pitarresi and photographer Nancy Ford to cover the festivities on the day the tower reopened.